So, I used to work in PR where I learned how to spin information. Recently, I took my enlarged butt to the gym, where I am learning a whole new kind of spin.
I am a major weenie when it comes to exercise. I don’t really care to break a sweat, actually, but as more and more Kit Kats took up residence on my backside I found the motivation to get my act together. Then my friend Amy started going to spin, and every time I saw her she would talk to me about it. Me? Spin class? Are they gonna give me a Twinkie at the end, or somethin’? (Surely, I need some kind of inducement. Maybe we could just hang one from the ceiling in front of me and I could ride for it like a dog chases a rabbit at the track).
Okay, okay, I know it’s really just for the sake of exercise, not to earn forgiveness for future food transgressions. (But this is how I think, People, so if I actually get skinny by Christmas it will be an absolute miracle.)
Back to spinning. Here are some things I never knew about spin class.
- You have to get there early to get a bike (in the back close to the door just in case you have to make the walk-of-shame out of there an important phone call).
- You also have to get there early so you can ask the instructor to help you set up your bike. There are numbers on the different settings that you can do yourself the next time you go, but get someone to show you what they should be the first time.
- Make sure you look at the bike you choose to ensure it has a speed dial on it. Not all bikes have them. I just thought those were broken bikes at first, but it’s intentional. I guess some people don’t want to know how fast or far they are going. No idea why you wouldn’t want to know. Anyway, there’s nothing worse than setting up your bike only to discover there’s no flipp’n dial on it, so be sure to check for that first.
- See if you can borrow a gel seat from the gym. This is a pad for your bicycle seat. Your hiney will thank you. I was so glad the instructor mentioned they had some to me. Also, note that adding one affects the height of your seat setting.
- Now, I knew I would need water, so I took that. But I did not know I would need a towel. When I put my hands on the handle bars my hands were sweaty, and I spent the whole time afraid my hands would slip and I would face-plant on the dial. And because I was holding on for dear life, my shoulders and neck were WAY sore the next day, which brings me to my next point.
- Don’t be holding on for dear life. You will pay for it if you do. You are supposed to just use your hands to balance yourself.
- You have to “jog” and “run” on the bike. Really, I had no idea. You stand up on the peddles and up and down you go or you have to hunker down while standing and “run” up hills. This is weird because you are doing this and sometimes your bike seat pokes you in the butt. Again, I had no idea, but actually the running and jogging is sort of a butt-saver. You can only sit down for so long before you are ready for a break.
- There’s usually great music.
- There is something to the pack mentality. Everyone is doing their own thing, but you are all doing your own thing together. I even have a friend (Sharona) to talk with before class. It’s really helpful if someone will actually notice if you don’t show up for class. I benefit from a little peer pressure and fear of shame.
- You get little mental challenges from your instructor like “watch your dial and see if you can go a mile during this song.” Or sometimes they ask you to increase your speed by tiny increments and it’s really challenging but fun to try to keep your RPMs at the right level. (I can’t always do the RPMs they tell you to do, but I do my best and keep moving).
- It’s kind of dark in there. This is helpful for beginners because it makes it even harder for someone to see you are cheating you feel more comfortable. Actually, I have realized my teacher knows if I am cheating because of how fast my legs are moving. But, whatever. I’m showing up and working hard and that’s what matters.
- Don’t wear loose-fitting shorts. I made this mistake and spent an hour completely aware of the flab on my inner thighs.Wear something tight under your shorts to suck your fat in. This is yet another reason I am glad the room is darkish.
- When you finish you will be very aware of your hiney, and you might walk funny for a minute, but the rest of you will feel great. Can’t believe I am going to say this but endorphins are actually better than Twinkies!
In the end, I achieved my goals: I didn’t fall of the bike, I finished the class and I got some good exercise. I’m really glad I tried it. I like it, and I find it to be very effective. As my friend Karen says, “you can burn a lotta butter in spin class!” (Mmmm, butter. See how quickly my mind turns. Bad, Heather! Bad!)
Have you tried spin? What do you think of it?