You Spin Me Right Round, Baby

(Yes, another musical title. Sing it with me now! Ya’ll can just picture Billy Idol (or Dead or Alive… Yes, Lee, that is for you.) right now, can’t you? If you aren’t old enough to know who he is, or what records are, please skip this notice and go straight to Google. Also? You remind me of the Babe… What babe, you say? Well, the Babe with the power!*)

So, today, on my ever-marching forward quest to try new things that scare me, I attended my first RPM class. Now, I am tired, drained, and very pleased with myself.  My Honey Crisp apple tastes like the best thing I have ever eaten. And that is pretty frickin’ crazy, considering I love chocolate, and once paid $50 for four truffles in Las Vegas.

Yes, yes I did. and they were worth it in every way you can imagine. I was also slightly drunk when I bought them. Story for another time, friends… Where was I? Oh, yes… The cycling class from H-E-Double Hockeysticks.

RPM is the branding that Good Life puts on their version of spinning classes. So basically, for those who aren’t familiar, you sit on a stationary bike and pedal like you stole it, for 45 minutes, while an extremely fit individual yells at you from the front over pounding club music.

*thumpa-thumpa-thumpa* “UP! DOWN! PUSH IT! HERE WE GO! HOLD IT… HOLD IT! YOU CAN DO IT!” *thumpa-thumpa-thumpa*

I heard that exact same refrain in the birthing ward when I was in labour with my son. I may or may not have been just as sweaty.

The instructor was very helpful, my deer-in-the-headlights look must have made her take pity on me. Maybe she watched me the day I tried that elliptical, and remembered how adept I am at being a dork on gym equipment. Who knows. But I appreciated her so much right then, when she helped me adjust my bike, showed me the hand-holds, and was ever so sweet to tell me I would do great.

She explained the whole class in detail to me, and then, very seriously said “Your crotch is going to hurt. You will feel like you are sitting on a knife. This goes away after a few classes, but I suggest wearing bike shorts with padding.”

Err… Yay? I get to pedal like a madwoman without going anywhere, and have a knife in my lady parts? What fun!

In reality, the sore crotch part wasn’t so bad, and it was nowhere near knife-like. More like a fenceboard, or a very narrow bench. My tailbone hurt worse, so next time, I may find a wider seat, which I saw on a few bikes. The sitting to standing and back transitions were harder for my tailbone. I needed Advil, stat, once I was done that class. Getting off the bike was actually excrutiating.

I had to sit for some of the sit to stand transitions, simply because I knew if I tried, I would fall off the bike, and no one likes a distruption when you are panting, sweaty, and in the middle of a hill climb, now do they? My lower quads were pulsing, and I backed off the intensity so I would not completely seize up and crash (Can you crash pedalling a cycle to nowhere?). Thankfully, my legs recovered quickly between “races”, and I was able to do 80% of the sets she put us through at a moderate intensity on the dial-knob thingy.

Surprisingly, my back feels fine, as do my calves and my hamstrings. I thought my arms might get tired, but they seem ok too, even though I felt a bit like I had to reach for the handles. I may move myself a wee bit closer next time.I was fully extended in the race parts with my hands on the corners of the handlebars. I have short arms. It sucks when buying long sleeved shirts. They are always, and I mean always, too long.

*flappity-flap*

My feet, however, were another story. They fell asleep. Like, numb, hit ’em with a hammer asleep. Is that normal? It wasn’t pleasant. Perhaps I need better shoes for that class, instead of my recently retired Brooks (which are still great for gym work, just not running). I have no idea. Walking back to the change room was interesting. I am sure folks thought I was impersonating a penguin.

*waddle-hop* “What’s wrong with her?” – “Oh nothing, she’s just speshul…”

I looked around at other folks who were taking the class at the beginning, and felt a bit intimidated at first. There was a group of what look to be hard-core bodacious cycling women all bunched on one side, with cycling shoes that clipped to the pedals (they sounded like tap shoes on the laminate flooring *tappity-tap*), sassy running skirts and teeny, tiny sports bra tops. One woman was so tanned, except for a line where her helmet would cut across her forehead, and a distinct line where her Garmin sat on her wrist. I think she had 0% body fat. She was awesome, because she was, I assume, in her (and I totally am guessing here, don’t lynch me!) late 30’s, early 40’s. GO her!

She was sweaty when she was done, but said “Oh what a nice light workout!”  with no hint of sarcasm or jest. Gah… here, let me hug you so you can feel how NOT light that was for us non-bionic women. You rock… Props… But right now, I am going over to that corner to have a nap, k?

My shower, in the crappy, spitty-showerhead showers was awesome. My walk back to work was slow and every food smell made me go slightly insane with hunger. My body is wondering what the *&@# just happened.

Next week, I’ll bring a towel during class, better shoes, and a snack for afterwards.

*Ten Internets to anyone who can recognize that awesome, geek-filled reference.
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3 thoughts on “You Spin Me Right Round, Baby

  1. That was flippin’ awesome. I have never done a spinning class but if I do I will be sure to bring my shorts or skort with chamois to protect my lady parts. And yes I would likely geek it up with some clip ins too…I do not own any yet but my hybrid bike has the option to have me clipped in or not so they would not just be for spinning class.

  2. It gets easier … promise! Sounds like you did the right thing – let your body dictate what you could and couldn’t do. Cycling shoes do make a HUGE difference (I wouldn’t invest in them unless you know cycling is going to be a regular part of your routine) – the hard bottom on a cycling shoe is easier on your leg than the softer, more flexible bottom of a running shoe.

    • Thanks! It was definitely a workout that I want to keep doing so I can get better. I am thinking once every two weeks. A few friends have said padded seat covers and/or padded shorts help a lot. I noticed several folks had gel seat covers that cinched onto the seat. Might be worth the investment!

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