When the going gets rough, take a spinning class.
That’s what I did today. I felt bad all day. A mixture of an awareness of my weight, my job, and the speed at which time is passing me by–this is what defined my day at work today. I listened to an entire episode the Best Show on WFMU and smiled, even giggled a little, but nothing changed. Beth and I emailed some and really, that’s the best part of my day. My mood and state of gloom, however, stayed put. I refused any conversations at work today, sticking to my headphones and podcasts.
Enter the gym. I went right after work. I finished to an episode of the Slate Culture Gabfest that I had started listening to at work and switched to something more workout-able: Blu and Exile – Below the Heavens. A hell of an album. Really- I can’t believe how good these guys are. The rhymes and production on it are so impressive. I took in the music and I had a decent workout. I thought a lot about whether or not I would hit the music store after the gym, and what I would buy if I did. I did a chest work out that left me sore (I went easy on the weight, though. I hadn’t really done more than one chest workout in the last month.) and I walked/ran a couple of miles on the treadmill but I still felt the weight of that funk on my shoulders. I wanted to learn to dance, get a new job, build a house, write a novel, save a life, and finish school. I felt like I needed an injection of pride. Then I noticed a spinning class was starting. I noticed that a girl who I’d seen working out earlier was the teacher. I thought about her and the fact that she’d worked out but still was going to teach an hour-long spinning class. I wandered in and sat down on a bike. These are more streamlined versions of the stationary bikes one usually sees at gyms– thinner and smaller. Nothing electronic about it. No dials, counters, etc. I sat down nervously waiting and doing what other people were doing– spinning their wheels and stretching. Some girl walked in and asked me if I had removed a towel she’d placed on the bike. I guess she was saving her place on that bike. But there wasn’t any towel there when I came in and I told her so. I was immovable. It was hard enough just walking into that room and getting on that bike. I wasn’t leaving because some girl wanted to save her spot.
The music started, and the instructor, who had a bike in front of everyone else in the class, spoke through a headset microphone. She drove us hard and seemed nothing short of merciless to me, but she didn’t give me shit when I slowed down and I really appreciate that. I could barely keep up with the class. I spent the entire hour moving, but a lot of the time when the rest of the class was doing stand up pedaling, I just fell onto the bike. This thing was hard to do. My hands were slipping off the handles from all the sweat and my shirt was so wet that it became a part of me. I kept looking at the clock and wondering when it would end. I wondered what the hell I was doing there, in a spinning class. I didn’t belong there, I’m too damn fat. Everyone’s always talked about how hard a spinning class is. My ass hurt bad from the stupid seat. I thought about all the pain I would be in tomorrow and I felt embarrassed every time the instructor looked my way and I wasn’t standing on the bike pedals the way the rest of the class was.
I didn’t stop pedaling, though. And I didn’t walk out. And that feels good.
I may even do it again.