I like to make myself believe that I'm in shape. I walk every day to and from work which amounts to a 30 minute jaunt one way, 25 if I'm listening to quick-paced music. This walk is what I use to convince myself that a Big Mac isn't that big a deal...I'll walk it off in no time.
This week I decided to sign up for a spin class at Quad on King Street West. While I had no illusions about being a yoga newbie, I always like to think that I'm an excellent cyclist. Every summer on schedule, I decide to use a bicycle as my mode of transportation and pout until my dad unhooks his from the garage ceiling and cleans it up for me. Newly pumped and shiny, it will sit in my hallway unused because cycling around the city is dangerous and it's so much more fun to walk. But somehow I still like to think I could cycle if I really wanted to.
During my last workout I misunderstood the bonds of fitness when I tried to glimpse at the people suffering around me so they knew I was suffering in solidarity. Apparently, this just isn't done. Fine, will keep my 'We're in this together and doesn't it just suck?" faces to myself.
To start this spin journey, I needed to choose a class. Quad offers an assortment of different types of spinning. The class that employs a live DJ was my first choice but mysteriously never appeared on the online schedule. Instead I ventured into whatever class was running when I had a second free from my excuses to NOT spin.
Side Note: I don't exactly own a pair of runners but that didn't stop me. I let a friend know that I had every intention of wearing my TOMS and between exasperated sighs and rolled eyes, she told me that it's foot suicide. Whatever. She doesn't know.
What you'll need: A water bottle, comfy shoes, hair ties. A towel is provided by Quad to put over your handle bars and prevent sweat-induced slippage.
The lucky girl that I am, the class I wandered into happened to be high intensity with Marc. In addition to spinning like we're on a flat road, we'd also be climbing three hills. Fabulous. I explained to the instructor that I was new to the regime and he promised to let me take it easy. And then gently let me know that I had set up my handle bars backwards. Great start.
Here's a short snippet of my inner thoughts:
12 p.m -- Crap. A pregnant woman. Heavily pregnant too. It's going to suck when she rocks this class way harder than I will.
12:03 -- This seat is mega uncomfortable. Sitting like this hurts. Maybe if I shift...no that hurts too. What if...nope, that's not happening. Well, at least I won't be thinking about my legs.
12:08 -- Foot cramp, foot cramp, foot cramp! Damn TOMS!
12:10 -- Oh my god. It's only been 10 minutes?! I'm exhausted and huffing and puffing like Tony Soprano. Great idea to pick the bike next to the mirror. Exactly what I want to see: me, blotchy and wheezing.
12:15 -- Marc! Stop peeking at my intensity levels! Mind your business!
12:20 - We have to stand up too? Oooooh, yay a break from the Seat of Doom for my bum. Oh wow. That burning feeling in my thighs is a wee bit aggressive.
12:25 -- I better not have a hunchback after this.
12:30 -- We all get it Spin Queen to my left. You brought a protein shake and are here to win the Tour de Basement. Oh dammit! Preggo is actually standing? Up I go.
12:35 -- Wait...you said only a few more seconds of stand up pedaling. Marc! I though you loved us!
12:40 -- Peek all you want Marc the Slow Counter, this gal's intensity ain't going up.
12:45 -- I'm starting to get the hang of the stand up spinning! I hope Marc notices that I've stayed standing the WHOLE time he told us to.
End Result: My legs were the slightest bit tender but not at all as achy and numb as I though they would be. Next day aches are at a minimum too. Hooray! My backside is another story. Throbbing and tingly, my bum did NOT appreciate what took place. Interestingly enough, my wrists are also in a bit of pain from being bent on the handle bars.
Effort: Heavy. I drained my water bottle and was red from the intensity of the pace. Breathing was definitely laboured but not as bad as I anticipated. It is so important to find your own pace in this type of class and work up a rhythm that is challenging but doable. When I was concentrated on matching other people's paces, I found myself getting totally out of sync. Slowing it down and counting in my head made it so much easier to follow.
Return Trip: At the beginning of the class I was thinking 'Hells to the NO' but would consider it. The music was fun, the instructor was great and I can feel all the effort I put into the workout throughout my body. I think I might just be back for more. But will bring some seat padding. Ouch
Read the other entries in the series