Pure Austin Spin
My idea of a perfect lazy Sunday is a breakfast of strawberries and champagne in bed followed by a brunch of eggs benedict and mimosas at Chez Fred. As luck would have it, my Sunday morning Austin hot spot disappeared about the same time my doctor advised me to cut the cholesterol.
In contrast, AJ’s views Sunday as the perfect day of the week to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn and take a 25-mile bike ride up and down the hills of northwest Austin with a couple of buddies or a 10-mile run around Town Lake. Lately his work schedule has prevented him from indulging in either of his Sunday morning routines and since he’s training for his first triathlon he’s been taking spin classes at our gym, the locally-owned, AIBA member Pure Austin. He’s gotten hooked on spin and has been encouraging me to try it. I’ve always taken a dim view of spin classes because when you’re not participating the music and the instructor yelling over the music is really annoying. Yesterday my usual Sunday date weasled out on me at the last minute, so I didn’t have an excuse not to go to spin class with AJ.
AJ found us two bikes at the back of the class nearest the door in case I wanted to cut out early. I knew I wouldn’t bail. Once I begin something, I attack it with grim determination until I’m finished–emphasis on the grim.
I haven’t been on a bicycle in a year and during the warm-up my leg muscles shot pains of warning through my nervous system informing my brain that this was definitely not their idea of lazy Sunday. Brain wondered if I was in this much pain during warm-up, how was I going to make it through 45 minutes of class? However, the instructor quickly set such a pace that the pain in my legs disappeared and I found myself unable to think about anything–pain, fear, how much time was left in class. I think this is one of the great things about spin class. I truly was focused in the moment. In yoga class or on the elliptical machine my mind wanders–I’m always thinking about something else.
About 15 minutes into class I felt like I was going to throw up. Only my overriding desire not to humiliate myself kept me peddling. I tried to keep pace with the person in front of me. After a particularly intense set of hills, the instructor, Danielle, reminded us to check our form and not get sloppy just because we were tired. “And don’t slack off. Don’t cheat yourself. Remember your goals.” I turned to AJ and said, “The only goal I have is not to die during this class.”
And I survived! I actually felt really good all the rest of the afternoon. Rather than being worn out and exhausted, I was hyped. And, surprisingly, my legs aren’t sore this morning. My only sore spot is where my seat meets the saddle. I guess that will remind me not to spend too much time today sitting on my butt.