Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spin to Win

My Spinning Essentials:
Spin Bike; Workout DVD; Water Bottle; Hair Ties; Workout Top; Sports Bra; Padded Shorts; Socks; Shoes; Tunes
Over the past few months, I've received a handful of email inquiries about spinning. From time to time, I'll mention it on the blog. I've never gone in-depth about my fitness regimen (cough, if you can call it that, cough) of choice, because I'm NO authority when it comes to health and working out. In fact, I'm the opposite of athletic. I'm the kind of girl that closes her eyes when a ball is tossed her direction. Why? I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps it will magically fall into my hands. Doesn't that seem logical to you?

Anywho, I took up spinning my sophomore year of college. At the time, Flyboy and I were just friends and we hung out with the same group of people. The University of Missouri has a state of the art Rec Center and it was silly not to utilize it, so our friends started to toss around ideas of classes we could take together. FB mentioned spinning. Of course he did! He's tall and lanky. Naturally, he's into things like running, swimming, and cycling. I, on the other hand, am built like a Clydesdale. Running was out of the question. Don't even get me started on swimming. That would mean I'd have to learn to relax in water. Nope, not happening. I'd dabbled with Yoga, Pilates, and TurboKick (not sure what I was thinking with that one), but I quickly stopped going to classes after the instructors would call students out for things like form. They may have thought they were being helpful, but I found it humiliating. In my mind, it was just a matter of time before I was singled out. These fitness sessions didn't help me relieve stress or feel any healthier. They were just painful reminders that I'm not flexible, coordinated, and I lack rhythm. Oh, and when I work out, I get tomato face. It's not pretty. I've literally had people stop and ask me if I'm alright or kindly encourage me to take a water break. It's quite comical, but I hated it in grade school when we'd have to run a mile. My peers and the gym teacher were always worried. It's yet another reason that the gym is just not for me!

After several failed attempts, I was about to give up on the Rec Center. Honestly, the idea of spinning creeped me out. I saw the students lined up outside the classroom. They all looked so intense with their fancy clip shoes and padded shorts. I laughed at the mere thought of going, but since I was starting to fall hard for Flyboy, I stepped up and agreed to go. I remember the day of our first class. My stomach was in knots and I was ready to bail. I started to size up the athletic people around me, and I just couldn't see myself in there with them. The instructor opened up the classroom, helped us adjust our bikes, and then she turned off the lights. Catchy tunes were blaring, and there was nothing but black lights and a lighted projector. When I realized that I could let my guard down and no one was judging me or staring at my lack of technique, I was able to truly enjoy the class. Don't get me wrong, that first class felt like an hour in hell. After about 15 minutes, I questioned why I agreed to torture myself. I'd look over at my friends and we'd try to muster a smile at one another. It was brutal, and I never sweat so much in my life. When it was over, I felt a sense of relief and excitement. The best part? No one could see my tomato face and my Crest White Strips were really paying off because others mentioned how bright my smile was. Bonus!

Twenty-four hours later, we all started to feel it. There was an excruciating pain in our butt, groin, and legs. It's indescribable. Walking around campus, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of seats required so much extra effort. As someone that takes pride in moving swiftly, this really got to me. I don't like when anything slows me down. For days, I operated at a snail pace and hobbled around Mizzou like a geriatric. One might think this would be enough reason to NOT return, but the high you get from spinning is like no other. I scoffed at the idea of EVER wearing padded spandex shorts. I quickly learned why these were essential. Once I got a pair, it was just a matter of pushing through the pain. It felt good. For the first time, I felt physically fit.

After college, I didn't have have the Rec Center and fabulous spinning classes at my fingertips. Flyboy and I discussed how much we missed it, so I looked at going to public classes on base. When I learned that it was held in a well-lit room with glass windows for everyone to watch, I panicked. That's not how I like to work out; that environment just isn't for me. We started researching spinning bikes and found a great deal at Wal-Mart. Shipping to Swell Rio was quite pricey because it's in the middle of nowhere; however, Wally World must have overlooked this hefty item, because the shipping rate was 97 cents. At that time, we had a little extra fun money laying around, so we bought a spin bike. In my opinion, it's been one of the best purchases we've made. I love it!

Now, I realize I probably come off as some sort of spinning fanatic. I'll remind you that I don't really enjoy working out. I spin because I want to maintain my weight and because I really love to eat, namely sweets. I've found that it's one workout that helps me achieve this successfully. I can spin 3-4 times a week for 40 minutes, delight in sweet treats, and fit into my clothes comfortably. Because I'm short, I can start to tell when I've fallen out of my routine, and I need to get back on my bike. Some weeks my commitment to working out is better than others. Lately, I've felt pretty proud of my consistency. I think it has something to do with Flyboy's recent triathlon training. I see him busting his tail and including fitness into his daily routine. I feel like I don't have much of an excuse. Here's to hoping it sticks!

What's your workout of choice? Have you ever been to a spin class? What did you think?
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