You guys … I completed week one of my Flywheel Summer Tune-up challenge. :::Sigh::: I’m proud. I want to cry a little. Maybe eat a side of extra large fries? I don’t know … so much emotion. But I can literally feel various systems in my body start to go into shock and be all, “what the eff are you DOING, WOMAN?!”
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to explain my first week of spinning to you guys. Do I tell you I was the idiot that signed up for a 60-minute spin class for her first class EVER and when people in class found out acted like I was attempting to tightrope walk across two skyscrapers sans a harness?
Or do I underline the fact that I was on a waitlist for my first class, because I foolishly didn’t sign up in time, finally got assigned a bike that was in a decent part of the room (unfortunately not in a dark corner like I had planned), only to find out when I arrived that the bike was broken and now I was on bike one. One. ONE. Front row. First class. 60 minutes. Yeah. I still don’t have words.
But, after much thought, I decided to share some lessons with you that I learned after three grueling spinning classes (I know, I know, I was supposed to do 5 … I mean life, kill me). Because if the girl who loves carbs, chocolate and vodka can survive these crazytown classes that make you feel like you’re in the pit of a crazy European techno concert on acid … anything is possible. I mean … really.
1. You will want to vomit: Everyone told me I was going to get sick to my stomach. Umm … I will do anything not to vom. Unfortunately it just got so damn hot in there and we were moving so fast that my body was just like, “you know what? No. If you’re going to make me do this … I’m going to make you do THISSSS :::stomach flips:::” (my body is an asshole).
2. Remember, this is your ride: In the words of a very wise instructor at Flywheel named Nicole (hi Nicole, you rule), “if anyone is looking at your resistance numbers or how fast you are going, they can go fuck themselves.” Being front row for my first class was mor-ti-fying. I couldn’t help but think all of the other riders were looking and judging at how fantastically out of shape I was (because you know, they had nothing else to do, right?). I couldn’t keep up or do the different positions. I was told to just focus on “making it to the finish line.”
And only after my third class did I realize, so what if I can’t keep up? I’m a newbie. And to me, it isn’t worth harming myself just to prove to these ass clowns, whom I don’t even know, that I’m an exercising “beast” … because I’m not. So if you don’t like me pedaling like I’m on my way to a picnic in a field of daisies, then you can suck it my friend. AYE AYE AYE AYE. THAT is the mindset you have to have to survive. Do what is comfortable for you and only you. Screw the rest of ‘um.
3. Become one with your anxiety: I loathe stepping outside of my comfort zone. But this … well … was on another level of being uncomfortable. All the people waiting outside for the class to start looked like they were ready for battle, where I looked like I was … ready for the bar. Not to mention the pounding music, the heat, and just the insane intensity flying through the room … you’re going to think escaping quietly, popping a Xanax and taking a long nap sounds like heaven.
My first instinct was to freak, and then want to cry, and then want to flee. But I just chose a point of focus, and started breathing yoga-style. I would take a sip of water, and keep breathing and focusing and moving. By the end of class, I resisted temptation to stand on my bike and be all, “BOO YAH, look who made it to the finish line, bitches!?!?! :::inappropriate arm gestures::::”
4. Pain: Nope, not your muscles … your ass and your va-jay jay. Guess what? The bike seat isn’t comfortable. Shocking! But no … seriously … I was expecting not to be able to walk the next day, turns out I was fine. Instead, every time I attempted to sit down at work or on the train, I wanted to cry because my ass was THAT sore. I needed one of those pathetic donut things to sit on. I mean, not the sexiest problem in the world, right? Also insane wedgies … they are a real thing, and hurt. Bad.
Look, for my first three classes, I’ve wanted to cry and I’ve desperately wanted to quit (you have no idea how many times I strategically planned my escape route mid-spin). But I’ve never escaped. Because when I’m sitting on the train home after class, a hot sweaty bootleg version of Sporty Spice, still catching my breath and feeling like I’m going to die, I feel this insane sense of accomplishment. It rules and is kind of addictive. I feel like a real life athlete (yeah … no … I would be the worst athlete on the planet unless there was a french fry eating competition).
One more week to go. I’m already feeling better, stronger and way more healthy. Thanks to all the amazing instructors over at Flywheel Center City for all the encouragement and support and listen to me bitch about how scared I am. Let’s see how I feel after seven more days of these shenanigans …