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I went to a spin class for the first time last week. Most of the 45 minutes in the class was me wanting to yell out that this was my first time doing spin, IS EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM AWARE THAT THIS IS MY FIRST TIME? I need everyone to know this.
I went to an establishment strictly dedicated to spinning because this is somehow a viable business model now. The place looked like a high end yogurt shop with its white walls, neon signs, and fully spirited employees but the smelled like a beverly hills candle boutique masking the stench of wet poodle.
For anyone who doesn't know: spin classes are where you pay whats ultimately a lot of money to get into a room full of 20-40 stationary bikes that require special shoes that latch on to the pedals. Then for anywhere between 45-90 minutes, you undergo a spiritual awakening of self, complete with a pit stop in hell but an ultimate end in nirvana.
A few yelp review photos helped gauge the level of pretense beforehand so when I walked in, I had an air of confidence like I hadn’t eaten bread in seven weeks. This facade didn't last very long. Clipping the bike shoes onto the pedal was so painfully difficult to perform gracefully that I may pretend it's my first time, ever time.
Probably the redeeming aspect of a spin class - that part raises its rank above other trendy classes like yoga or high intensity interval training (HIIT) - is that they include colorful lights and electronic dance or rap music. This is my ideal scene because it makes me think I’m having a fun night out when reality, I’m sweating at a rate faster than what the gym towel can withstand. The instructor knew that I could pedal through the hardest when the drop occurred in the song. There's no reason to increase your bike's resistance until the *untz untz untz* happens. At this point, the instructor understands me at a deep and personal level.
After class was over, I wondered why I had waited so long to try this out. I had a good run with working out once upon a time. There was a two-year period when I worked out 4-6 days a week and felt amazing. I had that glow, sought out that high, and waddled around the gym a special kind of way after each great session. I’m not asking for an applause right now, I just want to establish the glory days before I talk about my failures. Like an old, ex-highschool football star with a receding hairline, I need this moment.
It took a while for me to figure out why I ever stopped consistently working out. The gym in my building is actually only 10 feet away from my door - this is a literal measurement. Convenience was never an issue so even though this gym is right by me, I never go. It took me a while (a year while) to figure out that I’m someone that thrives on having a lot of people around me struggling the same way to stay motivated.
This week, I went back to class. The domino effect of one health kick leading to another and then another is already happening. I’m suddenly inclined to replace meals with smoothies and think about probiotics all day. Maybe next week, I’ll figure out how people purposelessly wake up at 6 am..