Speeding Up at My First Spinning Class


"You will like spinning," said my yoga friend W a few weeks ago. "I go to spinning class every Monday and it is a great 30 minute cardio workout."

"Maybe I will try it sometime," I replied.

So here I was next to the open door at the spinning room. I had just finished my morning yoga class. It was Monday. It was 12:10 p.m. and the class was about to start at 12:15 p.m. Instead of walking on the treadmill as I normally do most Mondays, I walked through the open door and got on a bicycle.

"Another new person," said the instructor C. "What's your name?" She wrote it down along with three other newbies' names. Then she set me up on a high-top bicycle—moving the seat to fit my petite frame and adjusting the stirrups around my feet.

 "Keep your feet parallel to the floor, don't point them down or they will fall out of the stirrups. Move your legs around like the hands on a clock. Round and round," said C. She turned off the lights, attached her microphone and raised the sound level. We were off to the races, bopping to a boisterous beat.

"Hold the handles," said C. "Start pedaling." I held the handles and started to pedal. I can do it. I can do it.

"Okay, it's time to speed things up," said C. "Turn the dial to harder resistance and let's climb the mountain." My heart rate was already at its peak. What's that you say C, you want me to work harder and move up the mountain on my bicycle. Ooh, ooh, ooh, can I do it? Can I do it? I huffed. I puffed. I turned the dial and I climbed the mountain. Sweat started to drip down my face and down my neck.

"Okay, now let's stand up and bike up the mountain," said C. "Keep breathing." What's that you say C, you want me to stand up while I'm trying to climb the mountain? I'm not an acrobat. Ooh, ooh, ooh, can I do it and keep breathing? Lift, lift, lift. My ass would not stay up off the seat. Let me try one more time. There it goes—my ass was high in the air and my hands were on the handles right up front too.

"Okay, now we're going to stay here for a count of 40," said C. WTF, OMG! WTF, OMG! Are you kidding me C? You want me to keep my ass in the air while I'm pedaling for 40 and keep breathing?  

"You can do it, Judy," said C. "Come on Judy, keep your body in the air."

I huffed. I puffed. I tried to keep my 50-something ass in the air but it kept falling down. Gravity prevailed.

"Good try," said C. "Just keep pedaling. Only 15 more minutes to go."

I felt dejected but not defeated. This bicycle was not going to get the best of me. Onward and upward. What time did you say it was C? How many more minutes to go? My legs were amazing. They kept pedaling at top speed.

"Turn the dial down," said C, "Sit back down, keep the pace. We're going to stay here for a few minutes."Wahoo, I didn't have to move, I was already seated. 

"Turn the resistance up," said C. "Lean forward and move your hips from side to side. No jumping." WTF, OMG! WTF, OMG! But C, you just told us to sit back down. I thought we would have a little respite. No luck. I picked up my bottom and swayed my hips from side to side. I can do it. I can do it. Oh no! Oh no! Here I go! Here I gooooo! Here I gooooo!

Plop, plop, plop and I was back down on the seat.

"Keep pedaling, Judy," said C. "It's going to be okay. Just five more minutes to go."

My heart rate was high. Only five minutes to go and I would be free and clear.

"Well done," said C as the clock struck 12:45 p.m. Thirty minutes had passed and I had just finished my first-ever spinning class!

I did it! I did it! I climbed the mountain and pedaled back down and I'm still breathing.

"There's lots more spinning classes to explore," said C. "There's a 45-minute class tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. and other classes most weekdays and weekends that are 60 minutes. Some classes you will also use hand weights to increase your cardio." What's that you say C? No holding on to the handle bars? How does one manage such a feat?

I was proud of my spinning speed. It was a new accomplishment for my life after 50. Dare I add this weekly class to my fitness routine?  Better yet, perhaps I'll save my pennies and eventually trade in my recumbent bicycle for a Peloton bike. (Note: Will have to save lots of dollars or play the lottery to win lots of dollars to buy a Peloton bike. It is quite an expensive piece of equipment.) According to a recent article in The New York Times, investors are betting that this start-up, which features live-streamed spinning classes in the home, may become the next big exercise lifestyle brand.

You know me—my astrologer said that I always stay one step ahead of the trends.

Find out Which Fitness Trend Works for You?

This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.

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