Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spinning Out of Control

1.) Tell the story of trying to learn a new talent or hobby that you only pursued briefly. (inspired by - One of MamaKat's writing prompts...

I have always wanted to try a spinning class. My interest was piqued on a trip to Chicago. While wandering through the city I spied a spinning class through large windows. Those people looked intense and purpose-driven. I thought that seemed alright.

It seemed that I overheard people everywhere talking about their spinning classes and how great they were and how they were in the best shape of their lives. "Yes!" I felt myself thinking, "That is what I want!"

I did want that. I wanted that feeling of euphoria that only sweating a lot can produce. I wanted the sculpted booty and perky walk. I wanted to be able to chug water after class while swapping stories of the burn I felt during class with my fellow spinners.

I am the type of person, though, who must mull things over. If I go shopping I never buy spontaneously, I always go home and mull it over.  Mull it over for years, in fact. I am this way with everything, which may be to my detriment.

I made the mistake of mentioning my spinning desire to a very young friend of mine. Lindsey was 17. She thought it sounded like fun.  The only class we found that worked with our schedules was at 5 a.m. Still, I just kept the Nike motto of  "Just Do It" running through my mind. I slept in my work out clothes to make things easier and headed out the door at 4:40 a.m.  I felt like I was sneaking out on a special mission minus the black face paint.

I got worried when we arrived 5 minutes early and still appeared to be late. Someone noticed Lindsey and I standing in the corner of the room.  All 15 class members kindly  rushed to help us get bikes and figure out what to do. There were no more pads for the seats left and I joked that I didn't need any padding because I had plenty of extra on my own seat. What an idiot I was. Before I knew it I was sitting on a bike and someone was buckling my feet in. The instructor was a petite woman who was definitely over the age of 65 but who had more energy than I had ever had in my entire life. She had us get off of our bikes and do some stretches. So far, so good.

Then we climbed on and the music started spinning. I was doing it! I was a spinner!  I felt like I was in a commercial. Then the instructor told us to change some dial to make it seem like we were going uphill.  Then she told us to stand up. Just when I thought my legs were going to disintegrate she told us to sit back down. More dialing, more spinning. We were told to stand again, at which point I looked at my young friend with wide, panicked eyes. There would be no more standing for this gal.  The teacher (and everyone else) noticed my distress and told me to just pedal and sit and that I would eventually be able to do the stand and sit routine. I pretended to move my dial when she said we were going uphill. I was a fake spinner.

I have failed to mention that there were mirrors on every wall. I could see my red, huffing face leaning over the handle bars. I could see my large, round derriere quivering on the miniscule bike seat, which was of course hidden from view. My hands were white knuckled as they gripped the handlebars. I could see something pink on my chin. Oh, yes, it was my tongue.

I kept my eyes focused on the clock.  It was a 30 minute class so at any moment we would begin the cool down.

Just then the instructor shouted, "Keep it up! We're halfway there! We've gone 15 miles!"

Doh. It was a 30 MILE class. My mind raced. I tried to think of ways to escape and still save face. I glanced at Lindsey. Fortunately, she seemed to be in a similar boat, although she was still engaging in the sit-down-stand-up business. I focused on the burning sensation in my bottom region and practiced some breathing techniques that got me through labor.

At long last the spinning slowed and the instructor was saying soothing things and people were smiling. Some were leaning back on their seats stretching out, not even hanging on to the handle bars. I was still clinging.

Lindsey came over and asked me if I needed help. I just whimpered. I couldn't move. I was stuck. Or, rather, the seat was stuck. I was pretty sure the only way I was getting out of that room was if someone flipped the bike, and me, onto my side then placed a foot in my lower back and pried the bike seat from between my cheeks. Seriously.

I made it off the bike without such dramatics, although Lindsey was laughing through her own tears.  The class noticed my discomfort.  I heard a lot of , "Oh, yeah, my first time...". People came and slapped me on the back and gave me high fives.

One guy said, "Yeah, I remember it felt like I was riding with a broom handle between my cheeks.  You get used to it."

I decided I didn't want to get used to it.

I'll stick to Sweatin' to the Oldies.  Who wants to join me?

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. I've always wanted to try spinning too!

    Though now I'm reconsidering :)

  2. OMG, Kara. I took a spin class... once. Pretty much the same as you, but at least you had a buddy with you. I was on my own and EVERYONE else kept up with the whole routine. It was embarrassing, and not at all fun. I would love to be able to go in there and do the workout, but it is definitely WORK. ugh.

  3. I want the sculpted toned body but none of the work or sweating. I've never wanted to try spinning ... and your post made me recommit to that feeling.

    Visiting from Mama Kats.

  4. I'm a sweatin to the oldies person, feel more comfortable in Richard Simmons company than a group of people intent on working out. Now if I could only motive myself to actually watch it.

  5. I'm glad I read this! I recently joined a gym and have been trying out various classes (with similar red-puffed results)... I think about spinning now and then, but deep down I know that no good of it can come. Not unless I enjoy torture, which I don't.

  6. Hilarious! And so terribly, terribly awful. I am high fiving you right now for even TRYING. I promise you, I couldn't make 2 miles. Great job!

  7. So stinking funny. Your skills as a writer inspire me. Though, as a "work harder, not smarter" kind of guy I am now considering joining a spinning class.

  8. This is exactly true. I remember my late thirties one-class attempt at martial arts. Results: not limber enough, not strong enough, and enough of enough too early in the class.

    Then there was the boy scout backpacking trip. "Come on, Mike, its a lot of fun. Just the guys out in the woods." The first day was not so bad. Drive five hours to the Smoky Mountains (normally called Great Smoky Mountains but you would understand removing 'Great" if you were there.) Then hike 2 miles what I thought was uphill but found out was a slight incline. Up at 5 a.m. for a quick breakfast, packing and then discovering what 10 miles of uphill really was.

    Well, the rest of that story is not yet available in book form.

  9. It truly sounds like my idea of hell.

  10. Now I want to try it just to see if it's bad as you say...what's wrong with me!?!

    Seriously though there is nothing worse than feeling like you're almost done and then realizing you're only halfway there!!

  11. Wow! I love your humorous spin on what must've been a horrible experience. I think a lot of people could benefit from spinning...but it's stuch a stinking shame that there's no "beginner" level spinning class. You either have to jump right in and feel like a flop or skip it altogether. Either way, it's discouraging.

    But good for you for finding the humor in it!!

  12. 30 miles at 5am? ha! you are brave just for considering it!

  13. 30 miles at 5am? ha! you are brave just for considering it!