This time of year is notorious for drawing out all of the keeners – the New-Year’s-resolution-makers who have vowed to make this year THE year of fitness, and I’m right there with them.
Now I’m an optimist (sometimes), but I’m also a realist. I get bored with the gym. Truth be told, I would much rather be outside – running, riding my bike, walking a nice trail…doing all those things that I enjoy so much they don’t really feel like exercise. Unfortunately, I live in Canada…and I’m a cold-weather wimp. So…enter the gym.
One of the excellent features of our gym is that they offer classes. Lots and LOTS of classes…all included with membership. I’ve tried out a couple of them, but until recently, with my youngest only in school part-time and my husband travelling up to 50 per cent of the year, I found it really tough to stick to anything consistently. Well, as of this past fall, that all changed – not only did Lily start Grade 1 (sob!) but my husband traded his crazy travel sked for a new gig here in town (yay!).
The first thing I noticed is that they had new bikes…not too surprising considering the last time I did a spin class, our six-year-old did not yet exist. Ian and I struggled for a couple of minutes to figure out how to adjust the tension/level of difficulty on the bikes; by process of elimination we figured it out (there are only so many bright-red knobs…this one moves the seat, so that’s not it…we’re a bright pair, indeed). Oh, and that seat…wow. That’s small! Did these things get smaller, or did I get…oh, just forget it. But seriously…where is the padding on these things?
The instructor enters, and I’m feeling fairly confident. He’s young, but not exactly…um, buff. Let’s just say I can tell the guy enjoys the occasional evening brew-sky. And I respect that – I’m right there with him. Feeling good about the class – I can do this.
So the class begins. We’re keeping up, doing well…though Ian complains about his seat. It seems his bike seat, too, is smaller than the last time he tried this. I concur. Over the music, I try to tell him that he could invest in some padded bike shorts. “What?” he yells back. “Padded bike shorts!” I yell back. “WHAT??!?” he responds. The music is really loud. Dance music. When’s the last time I heard dance music?
The room is freezing cold, plus there’s a massive fan blowing. I’m wearing shorts, but I have no desire to part with my sweatshirt. After a while, I look at the clock. Seriously…only eight minutes have passed? I’m certainly not cold anymore. I take off my sweatshirt and reach for my water.
The next time I reach for my water, I glance casually at the clock. Good Lord – how has it only been 15 minutes?? I’m really sweating now. I’m a runner – shouldn’t this be easier? Something smells…I’m really hoping it’s not me. Did I put on deodorant? Now I’m not so sure.
The instructor is up and down in his seat. For a guy with a spare tire, he sure seems to be handling all of this no problem. Perhaps I’ve underestimated him. He’s yelling again, “Come on, team! Don’t quit on me!” How does he have the lung capacity to talk, let alone yell? It’s all I can do to take in enough oxygen. I feel a bit winded and start breathing deeply. Very deeply…and when I catch my breath I let out a bit of an audible growl. I do this when I’m really working hard – the difference is I’m usually running with my headphones, so I can’t hear myself. The girl to my left turns and gives me a bit of a look.
We soldier on. We’re closing in on the end of the class now – just a few minutes to go. But there’s no rest for the wicked – or the chubby. Our fearless leader drives us forward, continuing to simultaneously bark commands and smile. How is this guy still smiling?
Forty-five long minutes later, it’s all done. Just in time, too – my water bottle is all but empty. Ian is smiling and sweaty.
Damn, that was tough, but I loved it.