Photo by Brishen Lee Photography
Anytime I've actually been on a bicycle, I've subsequently ended up in the emergency room. Wear shoes when you ride a bike (and not flipflops) and don't hang shit on your handlebars. Those are my life lessons to share with you.
Those adventures in stupidity haven't stopped me from wanting to ride a bike in adulthood. My husband and I have been considering buying bikes for a while, despite the "law" being laid down many years ago. In an effort to 1) be less fat, 2) be less sedentary, and 3) do anything other than ride our computer chairs/giant blue balls (it's ok, you can laugh, I kept it there because I keep laughing), I decided to try out a spinning class. My first ever. Look how excited I was. And how green that shirt makes my eyes look.
I've been stalking local gyms for a few weeks trying to find one closest to my house that offers this type of class, and we seem to live in just the right spot to be "not hip enough" for such a thing. So the gym my brother loves near my parents house was the gym of choice for this little experiment.
Oh, an experience it was.
The night before this little misadventure I was filled with dread. I HATE exercising. I HATE to sweat. Sweating makes me feel like I am trapped in a parked car's trunk on a hot day in the desert while wearing a straightjacket. Everything I'd read about this type of workout led me to believe I was going to be soaked by the end. That, plus the, yknow, part about actually being awake and having to move of my own volition...well, talk about a deterrent.
I have yet to understand why people enjoy this exercising nonsense. But I went anyway. And I brought a padded gel butt pad with me, which was recommended by several people who are avid cyclists. I think that was a good move, because I did not experience the bruising I was warned about.
I went in to this gym, on a trial basis, and got myself all registered. They gave me a little tour, I said hi to a few people I know and then made my way into the Cycling Room. I was expecting it to be more packed, with both equipment and with people, and I was relieved it wasn't so that if I fell off or otherwise made an idiot of myself I would have a smaller audience. I said hi to another girl who was newer, but had been before. She said it's not as awful as it sounds. I dispute that claim.
I picked myself out a bike kind of in the corner, but close enough to see, and in the direct path of the giant fan. A giant fan blowing in my face is kind of a mandatory thing for me, yknow, with the sweat abatement. I got my little gel pad adjusted on the seat and set my towel over that to "save my spot" while I explored.
Soon the instructor came in. She was the woman whose children I babysat as a teenager, and who fired me abruptly after a few years of doing so. Awkward. She had been a fitness instructor even back then, so I was not at all surprised that she still was instructing classes, despite her implication that she herself is surprised by this revelation. Regardless of that initial weirdness, she was really great at teaching. She got me all set up on the bike (man are there a lot of adjustments to make!) and said "please don't have a heart attack in your first class!" Fair request given my level of fitness. I almost felt like a liar saying "I won't" because really that was a serious possiblity halfway through. Oh hell, within the first minute.
Once we got going, it was about 50 minutes of various levels of work, "flats" where you pedal really fast at lower resistance--using the little knob to adjust the pads on the wheel, and "hills" where you tighten the knob for higher resistance, and often stand up on the bike for more attention to your butt and quads. I had pretty good "cadence", which is your speed, essentially, for the majority of the class. I started off obviously much stronger, a little over 110 in the beginning. By the end of the class I was around 88. I thought I was going to die around 5 minutes in, and there were some spots where I was thinking to myself "don't puke don't puke don't puke" to just get through it.
At the end of the class, I climbed off the bike and was surprised I was still able to function and that my legs were still useful to get me into the car. I took a photo of the monitor on the bike indicating the cadence, time and mileage on the ride. I don't have a heart rate monitor to attach to their system so it didn't have that stuff noted. But on my Fitbit I registered over 6900 steps and well over 1,000 calories burned just from the class. By the end of the day I had 7500 steps and 2350 calories burned, and that's with me essentially riding my big blue ball the rest of that day doing work! That's pretty sizeable for someone who didn't really put a lot of resistance up on her wheels for being a first timer.
I neglected to take an after photo, mostly because I didn't want to touch my phone again with my sweaty body, but picture the before from above, except way redder and sweatier. I went about my day after a shower and actually was surprised that I didn't feel a significant amount of pain the next day. I noticed my lower butt/crotch area was a little sore and "bruised feeling" maybe halfway through the following day, but not enough that it was like "oh my god my ass is killing me!" My legs were fine, my shoulders were sore from holding myself up, but otherwise not much pain.
My husband wanted to go with me to try it for himself, so we planned to go in the middle of the following week. Unfortunately (lucky bastard) he got stuck in a work situation, so I went on my own, partly because I was absolutely red with rage over a production issue I couldn't fix on the fly. I tried to funnel my fury into working out. Look, I made that a positive. It's not a positive since it involved exercise and sweat, but let's pretend. This is me pretending :::
I liked this instructor a lot more, mostly the way she instructed. She went through the "positions," which in a sense were like ballet. There are 4 according to her. The first is "normal riding of your bike." The second is standing straight up. The third is hands up at the top of the bar, by the little tracking device/water bottle, and your butt kinda sticking out. The fourth is on the lower rack in the middle, butt sticking out again.
I wish I could say I can see myself becoming addicted to this. That was not the way I felt after finishing, anyway, nor is it the way I feel as I type this two days later. I need to work on my mindset about exercise because my weight rollercoaster is really becoming a problem. I will probably go back with my husband to get his feelings on this before I make a final call on whether I try to keep going on a random basis. I think I might enjoy riding on a bike path more but the safety of not having two wheels and yknow, concrete below me is probably safer.
Are you a spinner or cyclist? Any tips or tricks?
Be sure to follow according to ame on
Twitter ::: Facebook ::: Instagram ::: Pinterest ::: Bloglovin'