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Recumbent or Spin?

Updated on February 1, 2012
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Pain Is Weakness Leaving The Body

A few years ago, I lost almost 20 pounds by eating right and walking almost every day. I would ride the recumbent bike at the Y from time to time as well. I looked better and I felt better. However, it was hard to maintain what I called "the rabbit food diet". It was also difficult to find time to walk. I worked full-time and my son was involved in extracurricular activities that kept us busy in the evenings. Also, I did not like to walk indoors (and I still don't) and I did not like to walk when it was cold (and I still don't).

However, I also did not like what I saw in the mirror when I stepped out of the shower recently. I knew I had to get back to eating better and exercising more.

I think I'll save the topic of eating for another hub. This hub is about the exercising part of the equation. With the winter season upon us, it is hard to make myself walk sometimes. As I said before, my son's schedule keeps us busy in the late afternoons and evenings and even if it did not, the days are short now making it hard to walk safely at night. Of course, there is always the recumbent bike but that routine has become tiresome. Basically, I go to the Y and utilize the cross country application for about five miles/thirty minutes. I thought I was actually accomplishing something and was quite proud of how easily I could make the five miles. But like I said, I was bored.

Well, today, I had another one of those "What was I thinking?" moments when I decided to go to a spin class at the Y during my lunch. I have heard these classes are a "workout" but have decided that if I can easily last thirty minutes on the recumbent bike, forty minutes could not possibly be much harder. Right?

So, I arrive at the Y, get changed and head to the classroom. I slink to the back of the room. I am pretty sure I am probably the next to the oldest person present. The one I think might be the oldest is front and center....showoff. The next thing I know there are two young men crawling up on the two bikes to the right of me. I see that I am not going to be allowed any privacy even though that is exactly what I am seeking in the rear of the room.

Alas, here comes the instructor. She is nice and helps me get the bike adjusted to my height properly and shows me how to work the gears. She asks if I have ever been to a spin class before. Something tells me not to mention the recument bike so I say no. She heads to the front of the class and positions herself on a small stage area. This is awful....she can see EVERYTHING!!! Now, I will have absolutely no privacy! She starts playing with her music and finally gets on her bike and puts on a headset with a microphone. She is starting to look somewhat Hitleresque by this point. I decide that she is obviously not as nice as I had previously thought.

Class begins. We spend about five minutes warming up. Then, it is 25 minutes of pure Hades...at least it is for me. We do sprints on the bikes, we do hills on the bike, we do jumps on the bikes, we do lifts on the bikes. We do all of these activities at resistances of anywhere from 1 to 24. There is not a whole lot of resistance level 1, I can tell you that. And, the entire time, the instructor is yapping about swaying not bobbing. I am bobbing, I can tell. I am also supposed to be relaxing my shoulders and hands, keeping my head up, keeping my back straight, keeping my knees and toes straight ahead, and not rounding my shoulder to the handlebars but bending at the hip joint. Holy smokes, I almost feel like I need to go through some type of licensing procedure to be able to handle this thing. At one point, I go get water that is up front for the class. This of course means that I have to walk by Adolfine Hitler. No privacy, none. My hands are shaking so bad while I am trying to get that one swallow of water that fits in that little paper cone that I know she must be looking down from her platform of power all the while smirking at me. I leave the room even though she previously said it was important to keep moving. I keep moving down the hall out of her sight until I find a place to sit. After a few minutes of catching my breath, I decide that I at least have to make a show of it. I slink back to the rear again. I guess she finally decides she needs to check on my status so from the front of the class I hear her headset amplified voice .... "How we doin' back there?" .... I am telling you, absolutely, positively, NO PRIVACY!!! What makes it even worse is that by this point, I barely have the wherewithal to even be able to answer. This has got to end and soon.

Finally, she tells us we are in our recovery time. I can tell you that I feel like I am in the recovery room of a hospital somewhere. So we spend about five minutes recovering and then do you know what she wants us to do. She wants us to stretch. Well, I show her - no stretching for me! I am shaking too bad at this point to stretch anything. I can't keep my balance to stretch! Instead, I stretch my arm out to a nearby shelf and get what I need to wipe down my death machine.

I wait until almost everyone is gone. Adolfine is busy talking with the showoff. I slip out and quickly find a place to sit. What is really bad is that I have to walk up two flights of stairs to get to the womens' locker room! That is pretty torturous too but I make it. I get showered and dressed and with shaky legs start back down the stairs. Guess whose path I cross? You got it .... Adolfine .... minus her amplified headset.

Do you know what she has the nerve to say to me? She says that I did a great job for the first time. I tell her I might be back. She wants to know if it was that bad. I decide that the safest thing to say is that it was not what I expected. She then proceeds to tell me that I will be sore the next day and that my behind will hurt. She is speaking in future tenses but I can tell you that my behind is already hurting in the present. They really should do something about those seats. The recumbent seats are so much more comfortable. Recumbent bikes are a pleasure compared to what I just went through.

I manage to get myself back to work. I email my former boss who is also a member of the Y and tell him that I have just been to a spin class. His response is that he sweats like a hog when he does those classes in July. It is February, just call me hoggette. You know what though? I actually liked it because it was a workout. I feel like I actually accomplished something and did something to better myself. The recumbent bike has just gotten to be too easy. My former boss made one final remark. He said "Pain is weakness leaving the body." I am in pain and can tell I will be in pain for a few days. But, I am apparently strong now according to his statement. Adios, recumbent bike.



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