When the Fall class schedule came out in August, I noticed that there was a spin class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am with some guy named Chuck. It's really only ungodly for other people. I'm usually awake now whether I need to be or not. And it works with my schedule because the kids are still in bed. Most of humanity is still in bed.
But I digress...
I knew I wanted to try spinning (or indoor cycling as all the cool gyms call it now) but I was in the middle of training for my October 1/2 marathon, and sometimes there are only so many things you can be doing. But the first chance I had after I did my 13.1, I went into the class.
I didn't know what to expect. I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn't really understand how spinning worked. I was completely bewildered by the bike. I didn't know how to adjust my seat. When I learned how, I didn't know where to put it all at. It was overwhelming, but the people in class were really cool.
An hour later, I thought I would need to be scraped off the floor. And I won't even get all undignified and talk about the pain of sitting on those saddles. Walking up the stairs at home nearly killed me. I found out later that the MWF 5:30 am class with some instructor named Chuck was actually one of the toughest classes in our area. And the instructor named Chuck was an actual Iron-Man So was the guy that helped me set up my bike. And they weren't the only ones.
Hooked...without a doubt.
I was pretty excited afterwards. My trainer/SIL told me that it was a really good High Intensity interval work out and that I should definitely do it again.
Fast forward almost 5 months later. I'm still hooked. But I think now it's even harder than it was those first weeks.
In those first few weeks and months, I knew that there was no way that I would be able to keep up with the class the entire time. So I just did the best I could, and kept the peddles moving no matter what. Gradually I was able to stand more, climb more, push more. But it took time. For my birthday, I got a pair of cycling shoes, so I was able to click in to the pedals like all the cool kids. They helped a lot. The rigidity of the sole of the shoe kept my foot from bending so much, and pedaling hurt a lot less.
As the weeks and months I have gone by, I've gotten a lot stronger. I actually prefer standing to sitting, climbs are easier, pushes are doable. I can almost keep up for the whole class. Almost. I'm almost there. But not quite there yet. I keep pushing myself harder and harder during class, but I still haven't completed a class without backing off at some point.
I read an article on cycling recently that said that cycling didn't really depend on who is the strongest, or fittest. Cycling is all about one's ability to tolerate suffering.
There is a lot of suffering during Chuck's class.
I wake up on those mornings, down a cup of coffee, grab a banana and look forward to seeing everyone. The camaraderie is inspiring. After class, we put away the equipment, talk about our training plans for the rest of the day or the weekend, and thank Chuck for the great class.
But during class, we suffer. Cheered on by Chucks mantras
- It's MONDAY!
- Sweat's moving
- Legs are heavy
- Blood is pumping
- It's WEDNESDAY!
- All you got, all you want!
- Cold weather's coming
- One more song
- It's FRIDAY!
At 5:30 am I love class. At 6:30 am I love class.
From 5:50 to 6:20 I'm wishing Chuck dead. Or trying to come up with an excuse to get off the bike and not look like a wuss. But I keep pushing, keep climbing, keep suffering...almost there.
Spinning is brutal. And I love it.
UPDATE (And a BIG note to self!): If you don't blog for over a month, it's always a good idea to re-read previous posts to make sure you don't regurgitate 1/2 of an old post on a new one. OOPS!