Well, last night I finally made it in to the spin class. It turns out that the 24hr fitness closest to my house has no waiting list for their spin class…..of course not knowing that and thinking it would be the same as the other 24hr I had gone to last time, I showed up EXACTLY 1 hour early in order to get my name on the list…..
Oh well, that’s ok. That just means I was able to get in a good workout before the spin class. (wonder if I’m going to regret that)
About 10 minutes before the class is supposed to start, Lynn shows up and we head into the main room where the bikes are lined up against the wall. I guess the Hayward gym is smaller than Newark since Newark, and San Ramon from what Lynn tells me, both have separate rooms set aside just for the spin class.
We pull a couple of bikes away from the wall and start setting them up. These are obviously not your everyday, run of the mill exercise bikes. They have adjustments for the bars to go up, down, forward and back. The seats are adjustable for height as well as front and back and the pedals have toe straps on one side and SPD compatible clips on the other…..there’s also an innocent looking little black knob on the down tube that I will quickly learn to hate….
Will, the instructor comes over and cheerfully introduces himself. Other than his bike shoes, he doesn’t look like a cyclist. He actually looks more like a very fit, 20 something, poster boy for the 24 hr fitness chain or something to that effect…..He’s pleasant and helpful and promises that this will be a great class…..He seems like a pretty good guy…
The first thing I notice is just how warm it is in the room. We haven’t even started to pedal yet and I’m sweating…
Well, with the music blasting away, Will, in that fired up, let’s go team voice starts us off. He tells us to turn the little black knob so the resistance is light and start spinning away to get the legs warmed up. While we’re doing this he has us stretch our arms, and back and neck, this way and that in an attempt to loosen us up….
After doing nice easy spins for a bit, I start thinking, ok, it’s warm and I’m definitely sweating, but this doesn’t seem too bad….I look around and can tell that other than Lynn and I and Will there are actually only a couple others that are wearing bike shoes….maybe this won’t be that bad….afterall, I’m a cyclist and ride pretty regularly…..
Pretty soon though, Will, in that, happy to be alive voice says, “ok, turn your tension knob to a 5….You’ll have to play with it a bit but try to find something that isn’t too hard but isn’t too easy….assume your max is a 10 and try to find something half way there…..”
Well, the tricky thing is….the knob has no numbers and no way to figure where a 5 should be….so, assuming it should be set fairly tough I pick what I think is a 5 and we start in earnest….
Pretty soon Will has us standing and hammering away….and every couple of seconds he says…In that psychotically peppy voice “ok, turn it a quarter turn to the right….ok, turn it another quarter turn to the right….come on now….another quarter turn to the right”……(did I mention I set it “fairly tough” to begin with?)
By now he’s saying “ok, stand and pedal, now sit….stand and pedal, now sit….stand and pedal, now sit”….it was hard enough standing and pedaling but sitting and keeping the same tension is killing me….”ok, stand and pedal….sit…..”
I am, by this point, a cross between a huffing locomotive and a leaking waterbed…..my towel has quickly reached the saturation point and is no longer even slightly helpful in stemming the flow of sweat down my face….my heart is pounding in my ears and my legs are screaming for relief…finally….Will, in that ax murderer on a rampage voice says ok, let’s take a break….loosen the knob from hell and spin nice and easy while we do some more stretches…
As I sit up and look around, I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong….there’s a guy over in the corner who obviously spends more time with a bag of cheese puffs than a bike, and he’s sitting there smiling and chatting with his neighbor….there’s a lady on the other side that I’m pretty sure hasn’t even begun to perspire in her designer brand, all velour, matching sweat outfit….and there’s me…a dripping, gasping, jelly-legged puddle of goo trying not to fall of the bike as Will, in his whiney, pissy little voice tells us to streeeettttcchh….
I gulp down water and try to dry my face as I tell Lynn she is no longer my friend for getting me in to this….
And then I hear psycho Will start up again telling us we’re doing intervals….He splits the class in two groups and labels us One’s and Two’s….the goal being that while one group is pedaling like they’re fleeing from the hounds of hell, the other group gets a chance to rest…..
Just as we’re about to begin the lady in front of me almost falls as her seat comes off her bike….Thank you God!
Will has to delay the start of the intervals while he helps her fix it…..
Soon enough though, he gets the music turned up and, sounding like Hitler as he rallies the SS, tells us “ok team one go, go, go!!!” And we start pedaling like crazy…..it’s funny, when I’m really suffering on the bike, whether I’m trying to hang on the back of a fast group, taking a pull at the front or suffering up the last section of Mt Diablo, I have this place I go in my head….I just hide away in there and concentrate on keeping my legs turning while everything else just kinda shuts off….and you can bet I’m headed there now..….as Will, the sick, twisted, drill sergeant, keeps yelling how we’re doing great and only 30 more seconds….soon enough though I can hear him counting 5,4,3,2,1…..and then we rest….
I sit up and, trying to catch my breath, spin easily while I wait for the next one…and sure enough in what seems like way less than a minute…he’s yelling for us to start again…..so I put my head down, head for my happy place and begin again…..
Finally, after doing this 5 or 6 times, he has us spinning slowly and stretching ….and then it’s over….I’ve survived my first spin class…..
As I gather my stuff, put my bike back against the wall and wipe up the area on the floor that looks like someone’s water heater broke….I think….Wow, I can’t wait till next Wednesday…maybe I don’t hate Lynn, or Will, afterall……