On March 19 I bought an introductory unlimited membership to a local spin studio. The studio is so close to my rented home in a suburban community that I can leave my driveway at 5:26 and be on the bicycle at 5:30. Despite this level of convenience, I drove by that spin studio for 5 years without once booking a ride.
Spinning is feared by many. I always pictured a group of sweaty fitness freaks in beast mode pedaling on stationary bicycles. I’ve had many friends and coworkers claim to be terrified of even trying it. I took my first class back in 1997 and all I remember from that experience is the horrific pain in my mons veneris. I was told “You get used to it,” or worse “It gets better.” Yeah, that’s what I want. No feeling in my crotch.
It’s also like joining a cult. You’ll hear that a lot too.
Even before I had babies, I worked out inconsistently. I was born athletic, though a very particular type of athleticism. I’m not agile or coordinated. I can’t dribble, serve, hit, or catch a ball. I have endurance and strength. Those two qualities make me a prime candidate for spinning.
I took my first class March 19 and attended 3-4 classes a week until June 20 or so, after which I hit a lazy patch and missed all but 2 classes a week for 2 weeks. It’s really easy for me to become obsessive and inflexible. I have a problem with all-or-nothing thinking. Either I’m working out perfectly or I’m ruining EVERYTHING. I had myself convinced that taking off 4 days in a row had undone 12 weeks of working out consistently 3-5 times a week.
I’d love to be able to tell you that I’ve lost tons of weight and I look amazing, but I haven’t and I already looked amazing. But seriously, I weigh the same and I look better, but I’m toned, not thinner. I feel great when I spin and especially afterwards. My resting heart rate dropped 17 beats per minute in 3 months. I’m beginning to suspect that I can’t eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream every night and lose weight. That if I don’t also radically change my diet, then I’ll never see the results I want.
I don’t have a big dream; it’s just a little dream. I want to get dressed every day without having to consider if my clothes make me look fat. Okay, it’s a big dream.
I have struggled with bulimia in the past, so I have to be careful. I can’t count calories or “diet” because it triggers me to binge and purge. I won’t use apps on my phone or other “easy” tricks. Not today, anyway, and not tomorrow. I will endeavor to be less rigid in my thinking and accept the possibility that I will use phone apps or the like at some point. Today, my priority is taking advantage of the opportunity I have to work out at convenient locations that are offering affordable summer/newcomer specials. I start Bikram yoga on Tuesday. I hate heat and I’m kind of “myeh” about yoga, so this will be interesting. My mother was a yoga teacher and she once gave Chuck Norris private lessons. True story. He had to stop chanting “Om,” though because he would create a new universe every time. Also, Chuck Norris doesn’t do sun salutations. The sun salutes Chuck Norris.
Bikram yoga is also called “hot yoga” and I despise the heat. Still, it gets so hot where I live, it might be nice to walk outside after class and enjoy the cool 98 degree day.
I’m challenging myself to work out every day until I go back to work on August 10. This isn’t going to turn into a lifestyle blog, but I will keep you apprised of my progress. I would love to hear about your own fitness make-overs and successes. To borrow a joke from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, let’s all turn our resistance up to “Gandhi.”