Since I’ve not been able to stay in the sun for any length of time, but I miss riding the bike, I decided to take my first ever spinning class at the gym.
Spinning classes are not normally something that’s very interesting to me – a room full of sweaty people, pedaling to nowhere accompanied by the dulcet tones of something insipid riding the crest of the top 40 playlist.
But I’ve been hearing for years about what a great workout it is.
So I took a deep breath, ventured into a small, dark, smelly room which was surprisingly devoid of any air conditioning vents or fans and had to ask the super nice instructor for help adjusting my fake bike (which, of course, isn’t set the way a real bike would be). When the class finally started and people began to sweat, the layers came off and that’s when I looked around and knew that I was in over my head.
Although I’m not going to be featured on a magazine cover any time soon, I’m not an unfit person. I can’t squeeze into the clothes I wore in high school (hey, I was about the size of a string bean), but I still don’t sag or bag much. However, I was by far the flabbiest person in the class. I’m talking unbelievably ripped people here. People that I didn’t even know existed outside of action movies.
The difference between spinning classes and riding a bike on the street is that when I’m actually out riding the bike, I get occasional breaks. I have to stop at lights, pull over to let cars pass on narrow roads, etc..
I’m not used to cranking as hard as I can for an hour without stopping. I start gasping for air when my heart rate gets up into the high 160’s. When it gets much faster than that I start really wishing I’d drop dead just to spare me the effort of trying to stay conscious – but while I struggled to breathe most of the people in the class were not only barely sweating, they were multitasking while they rode. They were pedaling like hell while texting, gossiping, reading Proust, and I think one woman in the back was knitting an insanely complicated sweater while she pumped it up.
I would have left early, but the instructor, despite pedaling so fast her legs were a blur, still had enough lung capacity to relentlessly mock anyone who dared to leave early.
Also, by the end of the class none of the women sweated off any of their fake tans or top-drawer makeup, while I looked like I’d just stepped out of the shower and could barely walk. The instructor actually came over to ask if I was okay.
As I dragged myself out the door with my arms, wondering how the hell I was going to get home, the instructor raised her perfectly sculpted arm, waved at me and warbled “Good job! See you next week!”
Maybe. Just maybe.