Since 2022 is about 75% over, I figured it was time to start making progress on my New Years’ resolutions! My first one was to cut down on my alcohol intake, but have you seen what’s happening in the world on any given day? Yikes! Yeah, that one got thrown to the wayside almost immediately.
Next, I wanted to cut down on unnecessary spending. Not usually a problem because I don’t spend much on myself, but still. It’s difficult because “unnecessary” is such a subjective word. Some people might say that buying an iced coffee every time you leave your apartment is unnecessary, but I say it is actually a part of my ethnicity as I discovered recently on Ancestry.com. Iced coffee is in my blood.
So, I settled on my last resolution: exercise more. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I hate my body or how I look at all. I’m very much an advocate for body positivity, being comfortable in the skin you’re in, or whatever other Pinterest quote that comes to mind. I’d just like to stop getting handed weight-loss pamphlets when I go to the doctor for a sore throat. And since I’m not giving up the very things that contribute to my cushy padding, I might as well try to work it off. I mean, it sounds good in theory, right?
Entering gym culture as a newbie is extremely intimidating and overwhelming – there are SO many options: CrossFit, Pilates, Barre, oh my! Or you can just go rogue and walk around the weight room pretending you know what you’re doing until “Chad” who has more muscles than the Hulk, mansplains how to do a bicep curl. Cool, Chad, I thought this was the “judgment free zone.” So, I settled on trying out some classes because at least there, I would be intentionally seeking out advice, unlike the unsolicited variety from the likes of dear old Chad.
Spin classes have always intrigued me because I love the thought of losing weight while sitting down. But they are expensive. Because of my aforementioned iced coffee addiction, I’m not exactly swimming in the cash, so I had to find a reasonably priced option to start my fitness class journey, and this studio near my condo offered one week FREE. Perfect, exactly what I could afford and more importantly, what I was willing to put into my fitness journey.
I signed up for my first class called, “Britney vs. Christina” even though I’m not really a fan of pitting women against each other. Then I realized I had nothing to wear. I don’t think the ratty sweats that are older than my children were going to cut it. So I went online and spent just over $300 on leggings and matching tank tops with sayings on them like, “biker gang,” ”ride and shine,” and “they see me spinnin, they hatin.” I was ready!
When I got to the studio, I quickly learned that my quirky graphic tank top was not enough. These spin people were intense! I saw people velcro strapping on these funky looking shoes and carrying around monogrammed sweat towels… and stretching?! I have never once stretched to just sit down. I mean, what the hell? Who does that?
I tried getting on a bike towards the back of the room, cause, you know, raging introvert. But apparently that was “Susan’s bike” even though there were no name tags anywhere on that thing, so I ended up having to get on a bike in the front and center of the room. Ugh.
And then, wouldn’t you know it, I couldn’t even get on the damn thing. I’ve ridden a regular bike before, so I know how to mount a bike, in case you’re wondering. But these bikes are well, different. Our overly peppy instructor, Sasha, must have seen the complete and utter confusion across my face because she came and helped me adjust the bike to the appropriate height for me to hop onto the most uncomfortable seat I have ever placed my butt on, and I’ve even flown across the country on Spirit airlines. Seriously, who makes these seats? Someone who has never been handed a weight-loss pamphlet from a doctor, that’s for sure.
Sasha abruptly screamed through her headset that it was time for the class to begin, which almost startled me off the bike, but I didn’t quite fall off and I was able to clamber back on… reminiscent of that time I almost fell off a horse and had to scramble back on, legs and arms flailing, or else be squashed. I’ve also taken a couple of serious tumbles off bikes which are, shall we say, not fun. Now, I don’t think a spin bike would squash me like a 1200-pound Warmblood or toss me head over heels down a shale-lined lane like a mountain bike, but I wasn’t taking any chances.
Then, just as I had settled back into the god-awful seat, Britney Spears, “Toxic” began to blast over the loudspeakers in the too-dark room. For the first two minutes, a song that I have loved for way too many years turned into torture. Every spin class I’ve ever seen online shows folks happily smiling and loving life. This was not my experience. And this was just a warm-up?? For the last chorus of the song, Sasha, in an all-too-happy voice, told the class we could “freestyle” ride and “do whatever we want,” so I got up off my bike and walked over to the snack machine in the lobby.
As I sat on the ground eating a Snickers, I suddenly realized what their slogan “you’re not you when you’re hungry” meant on a spiritual level. I wasn’t me. I was at a spin class for goodness sakes. I could still hear Sasha in the studio encouraging the class to, “do whatever you want!” and I knew that this, right here, was exactly what I wanted to be doing. But, having spent so much money on spin class gear, I realized that it would’ve been cheaper to just sit at home on my couch and eat a Snickers than on the lobby floor of this spin class studio. It was over a $300 candy bar at that point. Who has that kind of money?
Why do they even have candy bars at a gym anyways? I guess that’s the circle of life, and capitalism. So, I left the spin studio to head back to my apartment, stopping on the way home for an iced coffee, because I have priorities. While sipping my drink and listening to the B-52s, I packed up the spin gear and sent it back to Amazon where it belonged. Existential crisis averted.