It's a dream until you write it down, and then its a goal. - Anonymous

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spin Class

So today I completed my second ever spin class and I think that I am hooked! The instructor told me the general rule was that it would take 3 classes before someone gets hooked but for me it seems one class was enough. For those of you that may not be familiar with spin, it is a cycling class. I know, most of you are probably thinking, "come on, how hard can that be!". Yeah, let me tell you, it is a fantastic workout and great fun!!! And keep in mind that this is coming from someone who hasn't ridden a bike in probably a good 10 years!
This class definitely made me think about why I ever gave up bike riding? From what I recall I flew over the handle bars a few too many times mountain biking, and I was scared for my life riding in the city streets. So I am sure you are all wondering what made me decide to take this type of class in the first place. Well, to be completely honest my cardio is terrible (no exaggeration!). I could easily chalk it up to my sports asthma but that would be a cop out. I was always involved in competitive sports growing up and over time I was able to fade out the use of my puffer. However, over the years the activities dwindled and the asthma became noticeable (especially when trying to keep up with my scrambling buddy while hiking Mt. Yamnuska). Recently, activities such as jumping on the trampoline with my students for 10 minutes would leave me breathing hard. I am only 26 and I felt like I had the lungs of a 70 year old! (no offense to anyone in the older age!). So I decided that I needed to add in some cardio to my routine.....but what? I am not the type who could run on the treadmill for an hour...I just get so bored! I really give cudo's to all those who can. Then I remembered that when I signed up at the gym I was told about spin classes. I knew of them as I had worked at a gym where we also offered them to members, but never really thought that it would be something I would enjoy. However, spin or cycling is one of the highest calorie burning activities that a person can engage in. When I began this journey I promised myself that I would be open minded and would continuously challenge what a better way than to jump into a classI haven't ever tried ( or let alone an activity I haven't done for 10 years!)...and I am so glad I did!
When I first entered the class I was kind of a fish out of water. I headed straight to the back row and looked for a bike that seemed to be set up at the right height for me (I decided to avoid the awkward fumbling around with all the different gadgets). I just got on the bike, strapped my feet into the peddles the best I could and started peddling. Soon I was surrounded on either side by "regulars". I watched them like a hawk while they were setting up their bikes so I would know what to do the next time I came (if there was to be a next time!). I am not typically the shy type when it comes to asking for help, but an experience earlier on in the week kind left a sour taste in my mouth. To make a long story short, I asked a personal trainer if they could demonstrate a specific exercise to me so I could make sure I was doing it right, and the way they responded to me was very off putting.. .as if it wasn't part of their job to help people out! Anyways, enough said. When the class started the instructor asked if there were any newbies in the class and without thinking I raised my hand...of course I was the only one! As everyone's gaze feel upon me she asked if I wanted to move to the front of the class...I politely declined and hoped that would be the end of it. She just smiled and gave me the run down of the 50 minutes. Basically there were to be 7 different phases, with phase 2,4,6 and 7 to be the toughest. Each phase was carefully choreographed to music (all of which was enjoyable to listen to). The phases went back and forth working between "racing" which was basically peddling at very quick paces and "hills" which required us to get out of the saddle and ride as if we were climbing a hill. Of course all phases required us to increase and decrease the resistance on the bikes based on the instructor's request.
There is one thing to be said about doing classes, and that is motivation. I think like most people I work harder when I have someone motivating me. It isn't that I don't try to push myself when I am working out alone, but like most people I always seem to have a little more left when someone is there to motivate me. Partly my competitive nature also kicks in and makes me think that if the person beside me can do than I too can do it (and do it better lol!).
I am happy to report that I made it through both classes! No one was more surprised by this than me. Of course my first time I kept the tension on my bike pretty low but today I really challenged myself. Oh yes, and I forgot to mention that my Friday workouts are legs and abs so going into these classes my muscles are not 100% recovered. So I guess they kind of get a double workout :).
So to anyone who has thought about trying a spin class but wasn't sure if it was for them I definitely encourage you to do so. I mean what do you have to lose (besides the calories of course!)?

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