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Spinning Is Not Just for Barbies Anymore

January 18, 2010

Last week my personal trainer – more on him later – recommended I check out a Spin class. Yeah, whatever, that is like THE most intimidating class at the gym. Dark room, sign up sheet, total Barbies in there. No waaaaay.

But, because my trainer scares me into submission, I did. Oh yes, I was the awkward newbie in a class of people that clearly all knew each other. In fact, they made it pretty obvious that I’d bumped another regular from the roster by getting to the gym extra early to ensure a spot in the class. No one would answer my repeated question, “Is this bike taken?” It was Forrest Gump on the bus, all over again.

Anyway, once someone finally took pity and me and pointed me to the only empty bike, I settled in and tried to let the knots in my stomach untwist. I was in the last row of bikes so at least I wouldn’t have that awful feeling that people are watching my fat jiggle. I was nervous about the ride, nervous about being unable to work my bike and nervous about the instruction. Position 3? I’m on a fucking bike. What the hell is position 3?

Turns out there’s three positions in Spin: 1 – fully seated, hand gripping the cross handlebar; 2 – standing on your pedals, hands lightly grazing the handlebar for balance; and 3 – leaning forward as if on an incline, hands at the forward tips of your handle bars. Well once you get the hang of that, it’s all smooth sailing.

Once we were into the ride, I found myself loving it. It’s kind of weird to have an instructor tell you you’re heading up a big hill or sprinting to the end of the race when you’re very obviously on a stationary bike in a gym listening to Ke$ha, but it was oddly motivating. The class went by in no time and I was drenched in sweat and energized. The resistance knob on the bike is totally your own business, so you can pace yourself through the class or really hit it hard, whichever you desire.

These Barbies did not love that I bumped their buddy from the class, but I’m determined to get to the gym early every week and get in that room each time. Now that I’ve tackled the most intimidating of gym classes, I’ve really got no excuse for avoiding “Cardio Sculpt” (besides fear of spontaneous heart explosion), so maybe that’ll be next.

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