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Spin Class – The Journey Begins

Spin Class, Triathlon Coaching, Nutrition Coaching, Healthy Lifestyle, Personal Training, Tri Club, Wahoo Kickr

Ready to start a new adventure of taking a group spin class? Despite what you may think you don’t need to be thin to take a class, they’re for everybody. Will a lot of people in the class be in shape? Probably. But usually that’s just because they’ve reached their goal weight and they’re there to stay active. When I first started my journey I weighed eighty-five pounds more than I do now. And just like others I had to start at the beginning. Check our our list of group classes. Here’s a look at what my first spin class looked like. 

Hmmm Something Here Doesn’t Look Like the Others

At my first spin class I made the minor misassumption that I would be surrounded by people just like me. Overweight and at the gym trying to get back in shape. I was shocked to see how many people in the spin class were actually already super fit. I’m not talking about a couple pounds to lose and they’d be at there goal weight. I’m talking six pack abs, and defined arms and legs, the whole package. Could this be an exaggeration? Maybe, but I did feel somewhat out of place at first, but I really wanted to try the class, so I stuck around.

Biking Since I was Five-Spin Class Should be a Piece of Cake

I took this class with a free pass I had to my local community center. I thought that because it was a community center and not a big fancy gym that the class would be geared more towards beginners. Oops. Not so much. We were rocking and rolling from the beginning and I was just trying to keep up. And this was just the warm up.

Did the Clock Just Move Backwards?!

When the instructor says, “If you get through twenty minutes of the spin class and decide that’s enough for your first time, feel free to leave.” Now I don’t think I would ever tell one of my participants to go ahead and leave in the middle of class. Turn down the resistance on your spin bike, absolutely. Or just do an easy spin until you’re able to rejoin us, sure. But just leave if the class is too hard, not so much. And of course here I am,  thinking this is a spin class, I’ll be able to go an hour, just watch me. That lasted all of five minutes and then I was watching the clock like my life depended on it. Ugh, all I wanted to do was make it to the twenty minute mark. And the clock didn’t seem to be moving at all. I swear at one point the clock was going backwards.

Where’s the Exit

I love being front and center in whatever I’m doing. I find it less distracting, I can hear better, and I’m pretty confident that whatever I do I’ll be able to do with a flourish. No reason to hide in the back. So when I chose my spin bike I wen to the far side of the room and chose the one right in front of the instructor two rows back. The problem was when I just couldn’t take another minute of my spin class I had to walk the green mile across the whole studio. I guess I’m happy that I was at least able to walk and didn’t have to crawl.

Mirrors? No One Said There’d Be Mirrors!

There is only one time you want to choose a bike further from the door. When the wall that has the door also has all the mirrors, don’t even think about sitting there. I had no idea what I was doing, so not only did I pick a bike furthest from the door, but the wall directly to my left was wall-to-wall mirrors. As you can imagine all of the skinny people to the right of me completely disappeared in the mirror. Two seconds before I sat down the room was packed with cyclists, and when I climbed on top of my bike and looked in the mirrors, all of a sudden half the cyclists disappeared.

Instructor Knows Best

When the instructor says, “Tighten your tension. I’ll know if you haven’t.” Believe her, she’ll know, because when you stand up to ride out of the saddle the forty-five pound fly wheel will cause the pedals to continue their high RPM’s, but your legs will be rotating at a much lower RPM, causing your once securely anchored feet to go flying out of the stirrups, practically throwing you over the handlebar of the stationary bike.

Now when I use and indoor spin bike I don’t usually need a helmet, but this very well may have been the exception. I think I may have been the first person to almost have a major wipe out on an indoor spin bike.  I was lucky I wasn’t walking of of there with a bruise from where I caught major air flying out of my stirrups and got a gut full of handle-bar.

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Did Someone Say Something?

After about five minutes I noticed the person next to me started sneaking glances to see if I was going to make it. From the horrified look on his face I must’ve been as red as a balloon, and looked like I was about to pop. About this time I  started hearing some murmuring around the room . I think the class was likely taking wagers regarding whether or not I was going to make it. When this happened I started patting my bike shorts looking for an elusive pocket that might have a couple of bucks. We all knew that I wasn’t going to make it, and I figured I might as well get in some of the action and at least try to make a couple of bucks in the process.

Uplifting Mantras

In the end just try your best. If you are struggling, try repeating some of these mantras to yourself, “no pain, no gain.” Or, “feel the burn, that way you know it’s working.”  And, “shut up legs.” For my first spin class none of these mantras actually worked, so I ended up going with an old stand by, “screw this, life’s too short, I’m out of here.” Got off my bike and made the slow walk of shame across the room.

Honestly this class wasn’t so bad. There were a few mishaps, but I did learn a lot, and ultimately I did go back and try again. And now I actually love spin class and find it great fun. And I’ll always look back on my first class with a smile in my heart. Because even though it was kind of a disaster, I was willing to try something new, and I survived to spin another day!