Why I Broke Up With Spinning

sporty-spiceYou’ve obviously been on my wild ride of joining the ranks of bad ass women who get their spin on. I was thrilled when Flywheel approached me to join their Summer Tune-up Challenge. An excuse to get into shape and try something new? Umm sign me the eff up. 

But at the end of this two-week wild ride, I found myself having to write a really hard email to the ladies over at Flywheel and be all, “it’s not you, it’s me.” Yes, I threw in my towel that normally would collect my sweat whilst spinning early, because, well, sometimes you have to listen to your body. 

I unfortunately suffer from an pretty bad anxiety disorder, and the intensity, music, and speed just was not agreeing with me. The entire two weeks I had awful anxiety … crippling at some points. In times like these, you really have to take a step back and reevaluate what the hell is going on in your life. And the only thing I could pinpoint, the only major change in my life, were these intense classes I had adopted. 

Pathetically exclaiming to a friend how defeated and fucking weak I felt, she told me she could easily go around to a group of women and pinpoint what their exercise of choice would be just by looking at them and maybe chatting for a few minutes. And she looked at me and said, “never in a million years would I take you for a spinner … and that doesn’t mean shit.” 

And she was right. Spinning isn’t my jam and that doesn’t make me weak or a wuss. It doesn’t mean I don’t excel at other forms of exercise (I mean I make warrior 4 my bitch, what is UP). It just means its not for me. We broke up, okay, leave it alone.

I cannot express enough how fantastic the instructors over at Flywheel are, though. Throughout my entire experience they were nothing but encouraging, supportive, and smart, never pressuring me to go harder than I could handle. If you’ve ever wanted to take a spinning class at Flywheel, I say go for it. Throw yourself in the deep end of the exercise pool, because you’ll find your regiment faster that way. At least I did. 

I’m happy to report I’m still on my exercise kick and have some yoga classes scheduled AND I’m still on track with my healthy eating (because … I know you all REALLY care about all these details, right?)

So a big thanks to Flywheel for giving me that extra hard kick in the ass to start getting into shape. You ladies rock! 

Sporty Spice out :::Drops mic:::

I Survived Flywheel Week One

bicycle-cats-j-p-coats-threadYou 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 … 

My Adventures Through The Activewear Department

5566aec53eca91d50892fdc973d0bde1It’s a big deal when I actually drag my ass out to buy workout clothes. That MEANS something. Usually I’ll see something way better than a boring pair of bike shorts, get completely distracted, and come home with a myriad of new outfits, and nothing to wear to the gym … and then the idea of going to the gym fizzles. 

New to the world of workout clothes, I decided to make my first stop at Burlington Coat Factory because A. the prices are right and I knew I didn’t want to spend that much on “gear” B. I don’t know that much about workout clothing labels to be a snob C. Lululemon, from what I hear, makes me want to head butt people and things. 

My first experience stepping into an “activewear” section of a store was … interesting. I’m going to compare it to attempting to dive into an ice cold pool. You stick your pinky toe in first. You put you hand in, swirl around the water. Maybe coat your body with the ice cold water to acclimate yourself, whilst making a cringe-like face. Contemplate going back to the comfort of your lounge chair, aka the shoe department. But then say, “the hell with it,” and dive right in. 

My thoughts?

1. Why in the name of sweet Jesus is everything so colorful? Am I working out or crossing the street when it is pitch black outside? Like do people need to see me miles away whilst working out in my neon gear? Or can a sister get some black tanks and yoga pants so my fellow gym-goers don’t see me dying with exhaustion and hate for my out-of-shape self? What is UP with that?

2. Dear Nike, Puma, Champion, and any other brand that thinks it is totally cool to plaster your brand name across my chest. In the words of my Nana, you aren’t paying me to be your walking billboard, therefore I refuse to be your device for free advertising. A little swoosh here and there is peachy, but NIKE in big bold letters across my taas? Stop it.

3. Do I really need to accentuate my breasts whilst working out? A lot of sports bras/tops had built in cups in the bra area. Really? Cups? Do we need to give the illusion that we are a cup size bigger than we actually are whilst working out? Is that a thing? Because look, I’m just trying to get my taas to disappear with some rather comfortable contraption so I can workout in peace without causing a show. 

4. Sheer workout tops? Really? Really?! REALLY?

5. Why after five minutes of browsing through workout clothes did I get this weird desire to go to Lululemon. I hate that store and I’ve never even stepped foot in there. Anyone who is charging over $80 for yoga pants is no friend of mine. But this insane fear overcame me that my “workout style” wouldn’t be cool enough. Do ladies even judge workout styles? Wonder if I don’t fit it?! Wonder if everyone DOES wear neon and I’ll just be like a girl from the Craft who works out in the corner all lonesome like a freak? And then I found really cool dark gray yoga pants for $12 and was all, “Lulu … what now?”

I got my outfit. I got my hair did (wait … what), I have my plethora of organic veggies for the week (what a productive Sunday … am I right?). Flywheel Summer Tune-up Challenge, it has been broughten (yeah … you heard me correctly).

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Look At Me! I’m Spinning!

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 10.26.47 AMNothing in life is worse than when you wake up after a long holiday weekend and think, “dear God … what did I do to myself?!” If you’re anything like me, you were all, “it’s the 4th of July! That means I can eat and drink and carb up as much as I want without feeling guilty at all! People don’t gain weight on ‘Murica’s birthday!” 

Wrong. When you find yourself on your couch the day after spooning a bottle of Pedialyte dying … you know something is very very off about your lifestyle choices. 

That is why I’m so excited (and by excited I mean scared shitless) to announce to you all, that I, Kate, Editor-in-Chief of Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra, have become a brand ambassador for Flywheel’s Summer Tune-up Challenge. Did I mention I’ve never spun before?

I’m excited because from what I’ve heard from my newly adopted “Fly fam” is that spinning is basically a dance party on a bike … and who could resist a dance party? Not this guy. AND it’s apparently dark as shit in there so no one can see me struggle and cry and get all “Odd Mom Out” as I fight awkwardly to keep up with the fabulous Flywheel girls. 

I’m terrified because I’m probably the most out-of-shape individual on the planet. I have big dreams of making it to yoga after work, but I am a master of talking myself out of it. “I know I already paid for the class, but Chinese food and Real Housewives on my couch is a priority and I PROMISE I’ll go tomorrow.” Flash forward to tomorrow and I’m back on my couch drooling on myself. 

So why did I decide to do this Brand Ambassadorship for Flywheel’s The Summer Tune-up Challenge? Well … 

1. It’s only 2 weeks of my life (I think I can survive that, right?)

2. Things are starting to jiggle on my body that have never jiggled before and I won’t stand for that shit

3. The Flywheel girls are cool as hell (even though we are just Twitter friends currently … but I’m thoroughly pumped to become real life friends with these ladies)

4. Did I mention I need some tough love to get my ass in shape because I’m a master at talking myself out of things I don’t necessarily NEED to do (AKA I’m a flake … I’ll make sure my coach is aware of this)

5. SELF Magazine is hooking me up with a 14-day meal plan to follow as well as access to conference calls with nutritionists (I imagine I will be on these calls like, “So I’m starring down a chocolate chip cookie … what do I do? TELL ME HOW TO NOT EAT THE COOKIE, DAMMIT!)

So yeah … Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra is about to get a little more sporty starting July 13 – July 26 as I’m taking you all on this insane ride with me (and by sporty I mean documenting all of the embarrassing things that happen to me as I get my tush in shape). For example my family has been non-stop making fun of me (no no you didn’t read that wrong, making fun of me … not encouraging me), claiming I will show up wearing a helmet to my first spinning class and are 100% certain I will never lift my ass off the bike seat.

Well I’ll show them! Right? RIGHT?! 

Big thanks to Flywheel for inviting me on this Summer Tune-up Challenge journey with them. I was sure to warn them in advance that I love carbs, am completely out of shape, terrified of the idea of spinning, and don’t want to get yelled at by a crazed instructor. It’s best to put that kind of stuff out into the universe before making a big lifestyle change.

Now let’s rock this bitch.