A couple of years ago I took up spinning on the recommendation of a friend. She loved it, said it was great exercise and I haven’t seen her in a class since! Well, I got hooked. I love the fact that I’m pushed into pushing myself and with a classroom of about 25 spinners, you don’t dare give up. You build up resistance; you get a great workout and the adrenaline benefit that comes from something so intense lasts for several hours.
I use to park my butt in the back of the studio, always liking to see the full view. I’ve never been much of a front row anything…not in the classroom, theater, auctions, the few visits to high holly holidays in a church and never at a comedy club because who wants to be that person, you know, the one that gets picked on for no other reason than being in the front. Once in a while I venture to the second row but the closer I get to that front row, the less I see to keep me entertained.
We saunter into the class, all fresh carrying full bottles of water. You find your numbered reserved bike, set it up to make the ride as pleasant as possible without creating the need for chiropractic adjustment after your workout. A few words on the reservation process. Spinning has become very popular and getting a bike requires a strategy. Reservations are taken 26 hours before the class so if you are on the bike at 8 am, you need to set your alarm for 6am the day before and hope that your fingers and computer speed can land you a precious bike. By 610am, all bikes are booked so it becomes another job to manage.
Once on the bike, you find that tension point to get you started and warmed up and before you know it, the boot camp instructor starts to bark to their selection of music. Some are better than others but all of them in tip top shape. Everyone smiling to each other for the first 10 minutes and it all goes downhill pretty fast.
Everyone sweats but men seem to do a better job of it than women. One guy this morning was sweating so much I thought he had a stream running down his nose. By 830am he was in need of a major wipe down that only a sturdy beach towel can provide. I’m grateful not to be next to him and make a note to myself for future reference. Another guy appears to be in agony. His face is all bunched up, reminding me of the time when I was a student nurse, trying to catheterize a man for the first time. I will never forget his expression and I saw it again this morning. So the men are mostly sweat machines and women tend to grunt…me inclusive.
By 8:40am, the cling on movement starts up. Gym clothes is already relatively form fitting but add some perspiration and you have a major cling on effect. Now you can tell who has had bi-lateral breast implantation. Rock hard pellets with little movement. Sort of like an addition to a house. You can tell where the original house ends and the new one begins. They seem to be out of sync with natural body movement. For those of us with real breast, we look like we have a couple of raccoons fighting in a pillow case on our chest. The only thing that doesn’t make this embarrassing is the men can’t see. They are managing a face flood and are too busy toweling down.
I can’t even talk about the shape of my hair when I walk out of that studio. My hair is too short to be pulled back, and too long to stay out of my face. I’m the bandana wearing spinner and the bandana never seems to end up in the same place it started. Along with my beet red face, it’s a scary look and I exit the gym as fast as possible.
The benefit of the exercise certainly outweighs the soaked “drowned rat” appearance one legitimately acquires by spinning. It validates that we are more interested in better health than looks. The good thing on weekdays is we get to clean up before heading to the train station and let the other spinners there know we can clean up well enough until the next class.