Monday, September 24, 2007

I Need the Spin Doctors

Let me start off with a few basic facts.

* I didn't have a car during college so my bicycle became my primary mode of transportation.
* While I lived in Utah, I liked to bike a mountain trail near my apartment.
* I still like to bike here in Georgia although the mountains are, ...well, hills.

Taking all that into consideration, I thought I'd try - and breeze through - a spin class at the gym. I've biked for years. How hard could a stationary bike set to music really be?

The first indication I was in for a ride (get it? a ride) was when the instructor asked who had never been to a spin class before. I was the only one who raised my hand. He smiled and said, "You're screwed."

Oh. Thanks.

Then the room transformed from an area full of stationary bikes into some disco dance club. The instructor, who was wearing spandex shorts, a psychedelic shirt, and a torturing device otherwise known as a watch, clipped his shoes onto the pedal, turned the lights low and the music up. If I were the type to go clubbing, I suspect it wouldn't be much different. Legs and arms started moving to the beat, lights flashed, the room heated up, and everyone was either sweating or breathing heavy.

Psycho Biker, the name I affectionately gave the instructor, told us to start on an easy gear comparable to level ground. Throughout each song, he would look at his torture device and every 20 seconds or so we would go up one or two gears. The different verses were upward slopes and the chorus was downhill. I'm not sure what imaginary hill we biked but it sure was steep. My grandpa used to tell me he walked uphill both ways to get to school. Well Gramps, I'm positive I just biked uphill both ways. ...except I wasn't barefoot and it certainly wasn't snowing.

We finally were allowed to coast for a minute. Psycho Biker told us that the next song, although the last, was going to be our hardest. We would climb one hill, plateau, then continue on a second incline until the end of the song. The beat started and suddenly the monotone voice of Britney Spears filled the room. For once I was glad to hear her new song. I realize that's strange, but biking uphill in gear #21 is no time to "Oops, and do it again!"

Thinking back, I should have realized what I was getting into. The names of some sports really are what the name suggests: Basketball - Ball and Basket; Football European style - Ball, Foot, and Europeans; Racketball - Ball and, guessed it, Racket. This class was no different and the name fit perfectly. Spinning, my friends, is exactly what your head will do after class is over!


ThomCarter said...

Another reason why exercise should be a spectator sport

Saule Cogneur said...

I've heard lots about spin classes but never got around to seeing what all the fuss was about. They sound pretty intense. I loath all stationary aerobic activity, but in the winter, maybe I will have to concede a bit of my snobbery.

(Today's Word Verification is "uaasoar"...gross)

Diesel said...

That sounds horrible even without the Britney Spears song.

Dorky Dad said...

I was at a gym the other day that had the stationary bikes in front of a giant movie screen in a darkened room ... that's what I need to exercise in, a darkened room with entertainment. That way nobody can seem me coasting and eating a Twinkie.

Jocelyn said...

I love the structure of this post--you're just funny.

I've been tempted to try spinning...but now will hold off for another, em, decade.

Sincerity said...

"... but biking uphill in gear #21 is no time to "Oops, and do it again!"

I would most likely be laughing too hard to get very far in that class! The outfit of your teacher sounds inspirational enough to get me running... out the door that is. :)

But I'm glad that you're doing something to get your heart-rate moving. Many folks don't move at all... except to reach for the remote.

bec said...

I just hear about how intense spin classes are. So far I am too chicken to try it out.

Shankar said...

Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if they'd played "You Spin Me Around".