If you looked at me, your first thought would not be — dang, I bet she kills it in the saddle.
I’m not that fit, okay?
When 2017 hit, like most people, I made a resolution to lose weight, eat healthier, and take more chances. When looking for an outlet for these unreasonable wishes, I remembered taking a semester-long butt beating called Spinning 101 in college. I finished first in our 30-mile-long final exam and actually enjoyed it, so I should be able to get that back, right? (See Kronk meme below for answer.)
I signed up for a free, two-week trial at a local spin studio, not knowing what to expect and Googling “spinning for stupid people” the night before. When I walked into the perfectly designed studio, I looked around at the tightly toned bodies of the River Oaks women around me. (Did I mention I live in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the entire world? Holla at you, janky apartments!) With this demographic, I expected to be outnumbered financially and in units of beauty, so I sucked in my muffin top, pulled up my Target brand leggings and checked in at the front desk. I was handed a pair of shoes with metal on the bottom, and I immediately pictured the scene in I Love Lucy where Lucy squishes grapes in a big vat. Because these shoes would be so good for that. But apparently, they’re for clipping in (Google, how dare you. I trusted you).
As I proceeded down the crisp, white-walled hallway, I was greeted by a stack of shiny lockers — for ME?! I locked my stuff up after reading the directions for far too long (rich people don’t need directions) and sat down on one of the many snazzy, gray benches to await my fate, simultaneously avoiding the judging glances. As the doors opened, beckoning us in, I sipped my tap water from a plastic bottle while the people around me gulped Smart Water from aluminum tumblers like straight G’s, and we entered the dark room.
45 minutes later, my butt hurt. But despite the immensely painful seats, I understood. People love these classes because of the neon-lit room, scented candles, and motivating instructors. It was fairly easy to get lost in the music and pick up the choreographed sitting, standing, push up-ing, and weight lifting. And I should mention, YOU GET A EUCALYPTUS TOWEL. (This discovery has become life-changing to me.)
I continued to wake up at 5:45 a.m. every morning and get my very sore booty to spin class for the following 7 weeks. I tried a few studios before purchasing my member package at a more "body diverse" studio near my apartment. The soreness wore off, and spinning became more fun the more stamina I built at high tempos. I do still dread “Beg For It” by Iggy Azalea, which always included countless sets of tap backs while moving my legs at unreasonable speeds. I get shivers of fear every time I even think about that chorus.
PLEASE GOD NO.
At this point in the article, I know what you’re wondering — did I see results?
The short answer is yes. I lost 10 pounds in one month alone. Combined with tons of water, some additional strength training at night, and a strict, lean protein, high veggie diet, spinning really jumpstarted my weight loss.
But it also taught me the importance of community — a group of people that wake up every morning right along with me, who have sweat dropping to the floor during 30 second sprints just like me, who cheer me on when the burn is real (uh, always). I also learned a lot about myself. High intensity training like these spin classes give you the power to create your own results. When the instructor tells me to “reach down, turn it up,” I have the choice to choose a resistance that makes my muscles strain under the weight, or to choose to be comfortable at a light weight. When I realized what I can do on a bike, I realized what I can do in life.
I’ll leave that here and let it preach.
Clip in. Rock Out. Namaste.