I understand last weekend, the spin instructors from my gym attended a spinning training class of some sort. I thought about that with fear and trepidation. What were they teaching them and dear God, what was coming our way? That started me thinking about those instructors and I wonder if they really know what we think as they are teaching. I have spoken about spinning numerous times on this blog but this time, I thought I would share the thoughts and soft whispers that their riders are thinking and saying in the dark. I believe there are mental phases that occur as a rider progresses through the class.
Humor me for a few minutes and let me explain how 22 random people in the pitch black dark work together to get through 55 minutes.
45 minutes before class– Acceptance and agreement– Alarm goes off at 4:40am weekdays and 5:55am weekends. Hesitation creeps in and the thought of pushing off a spin class until the evening surfaces. NO! Get moving, and we do. We tell each other we will be there and we will! I have had at least one cup of Death Wish Coffee and my clementine is packed and ready to go. Some bring bananas, some just tough it out. We arrive to get there early and secure “my bike”, stretch and visit with friends. Oh, and you have to visit the ladies room before class starts or you will think of nothing else for 55 minutes.
Start of class– Hope. Great music is playing, the lights are about to go out and the whirling sound of the fly wheels pick up. Gut check: ok I ate my clementine, towels in place, water bottle ready. Gum chewing happiness, Chapstick applied and I am picking up speed. I look over at my friends and we share a moment as we await the details of the ride we are about to take. Hills? Tabata? Everest? Speed?
15 minutes in– Compromising– This is the beginning of the second hill. My gluts are screaming. Do I really need a full turn? Can she see me? Is escape an option? I think my head hurts. What is the song? I like it!
“You should be a 6 or 7. Mid-hill climbing.” Message received, no compromise.
25 minutes in– Denial. Do. Not. Check. The. Time. My mind wanders to things I have to do, what’s for dinner and man I have to l lose these stinking’ 10 pounds. She reads my mind, “Don’t wander. Focus.” I need Pitbull and the Rolling Stones or perhaps even a bit of the Backstreet Boys.
“You are not tired” she continues. “Don’t give up now.” OK. I’m ok. The clementine kicked in. I am about to change up to the second towel, the first one is drenched. Gum flavor is still holding up.
35 minutes in. Disbelief– Holy crap! We are nonstop and the recovery is an active recovery? What is that exactly? If I had heart surgery, would they put me in an ‘active recovery room’? I think not.
45 minutes in– Satisfaction. She announces, “Two songs left!” Are my fellow riders giving her a woo-hoo because it’s almost over happy or almost over sad? I want more?
55 minutes in– What is that? The (vagina poker) seat is getting to me and the sound of my friend’s squeaky bike is pushing her over the edge. The instructor is counting down…. 45 seconds, 30 seconds…
“Push, it’s your last chance. Do not hold back now.” 10-9-8-7 …… we do NOT let up. I know my hair has absorbed twice its weight in water and is now about 4 inches off my head. I rarely get drips on the floor around my bike but my fellow riders do and I am envious. Sidebar- excessive floor sweat is not cool, it’s kind of nasty.
Cool down. Relief. The breathing begins to return to normal and the sound of the bikes slows slightly. Most of us have fully used two towels and slugged the water we so carefully rationed. My gum has taken a beating and is flavorless.
Thank you to these dedicated instructors who plot and plan what is the equivalent of a Broadway musical with uplifting and motivating music and “choreography” executed on a spin bike. It is noticed and appreciated by most of your riders. The new riders walk out with a bit of that John Wayne strut caused by discomfort in their butt and thighs. The regulars? We are checking our heart rate monitors and Fitbits for calories burned and calculating the conversion to glasses of wine.
Cheers ladies and gents. See you in the saddle in the morning!