Spinning, spinning

Many will play, but she of strong mind and bottom tissue will prevail.

Last week, I took on a bold challenge in fitness: my very first spin class. I left work promptly at 5 and drove down to Planet Granite. My intention was to make it there in time for a 5:45 yoga class, but apparently there are no Monday night 5:45 classes. Not really wanting to wait it out until 7:30, I grabbed a snack and some water and checked out the class schedule — there had to be something else, right?

And there it was: “Cycling — 6:30 — Carole.”

Bingo.

Now, as I’d mentioned, I never tried this. I knew it would be hard, I knew it would probably hurt the next day, but what the hell. At the beginning of class, Carole got us warmed up and worked her way around the room to check out the bike set-up for any newbies (yours truly). I’d set mine up almost perfectly without any assistance, so you can imagine that after giving myself some mental kudos, something pretty humbling would have to occur next — because, of course, when I get those little ego boosts, inevitably something ridiculous has to happen. It’s like gravity.

Well, having gone to the gym with the explicit intention of doing yoga, I hardly came prepared with the appropriate footwear. Most of the people in the class donned snazzy looking spin shoes, but of course, I was left with the Sophie’s choice of this-is-not-a-smart-idea-Robyn-Elizabeth footwear: rock climbing shoes or my Vibram Five Fingers (another post for another day — I have drank the barefoot running Kool-Aid).

I opted for the Five Fingers.

Are you wincing?? (Rachel, did you just slap your forehead? I know. I. KNOW.) Yes, I often have to learn lessons the hard way — like “Why You Should Always Wear Stiff-soled Shoes to Spin Class.” Carole advised me not to wear those shoes again and to be very careful if I wanted to spin. Since she wasn’t outright kicking me out, I happily nodded and pedaled on. (Seriously, this is where the ominous music starts playing…)

And then the class really got going. We did jumps, we did hills, we spun fast, we spun slow, we cranked the resistance (whimper!), and we let up the resistance (aaahhh!) until an hour later, our class was just one big hot mess. I never knew my own body contained that much fluid to sweat, but apparently it did. The guy next to me had his own puddle under his bike. (Yeah, gross, but impressive!)

After the class, my knees really did not like me. They were angry with the workout (undoubtedly, their rage was misdirected — the shoes were the culprit). My butt REALLY, REALLY did not like me. (When was the last time I’d ever been on a bike? Ouch.) I’d found myself doing more jumps in class just to get my derriere off of the saddle. I wonder if Carole thought I was pushing myself. I just thought I needed to keep my butt bones from boring through what I assumed would be adequate padding…

Aside from being sore for a few days (the good kind of sore, mostly), I really liked the class — so much so I did it again tonight… with better footwear. I’m still trying to decide if it’s my good fortune or not to have decided to try spinning when the instructor is in the middle of her “Extreme November!” challenge — this week’s theme was “Extreme Strength!” — Oh. Goodness.

But in the words of our out-going Governator, “I’ll be back.”

Have you ever tried spinning? What was your first time like?

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9 responses to “Spinning, spinning

  1. Congrats on losing your “virspinity” as Rachel calls it! πŸ™‚ I’ve never done it before — looks awesome and terrifying.

  2. I absolutely LOVE spinning! I only get to one class a week, but it’s my favorite workout of the week, week after week! I’ve been going regularly for a couple years now – can barely remember my first class – I’m sure I was nervous about what the seasoned spinners would think of me, or something along those lines. But I was HOOKED. (Your arse will get used to it eventually – cycling shorts will help!)

  3. Man, I am TOTALLY afraid but really want to try a spin class… the bikes themselves look intense! Was it complicated to set up? All the tiny girls lined up outside the class can be intimidating…

    • It wasn’t super complicated — I adjusted it to what felt ‘right’ (seat lower ‘cuz I’m short, scootched in a bit ‘cuz I’m short, etc.), but I also made sure the instructor checked the bike.

      And I know what you mean about the line of girls — it can be intimidating, but just ignore them. πŸ™‚ It’s fun!

  4. Carole is awesome! I’ve only been to one spin class but I’m a regular at the Monday Ab & Core class. She really really pushes everyone and her attitude is so cheery. Gotta love to suffer.
    Make sure you get to that spin class early. The bikes fill up fast!

  5. I heart spinning! Its all about the instructor and the music though. If either suck, then its no fun to me at all. Sounds like you have a great instructor though if you wanted to go back. My fave went on maternity leave and I haven’t been able to take a class since.
    There’s a Planet Granite near me in Sunnyvale I believe…I might have to check it out.

  6. OMG you did it in VIBRAMS?! Ahhh that sounds so painful! I’ve hopped on my bike in my socks before and it was NOT fun.

    So proud of you for jumping right in and sticking it out though!!

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