Tag Archives: exercise class

Spinning..? I think ‘hell’ would be more appropriate

27 Mar

On Thursday, buoyed up by Tuesday’s first Camden gym session, I positively bounced into my local sports centre, confidently announcing my name sans membership card, and entered into the cardiovascular world of treadmills and weights with none of the trepidation that had accompanied my initial foray into this previously abhorred fitness environment. So confident, was I, about my place in this body-beautiful, muscle-bound sphere that I even planned my trip so that I could enjoy forty minutes of individual workout before embarking upon my aero-biking class.

After some level nine running and moderate cross-training, I approached a scarily fit-looking woman who was warming up on one of the spin bikes. Was she doing the class? Yes, she was doing it, but not running it. Apparently, this lady in super-tight lycra was just so keen to get going that she turned up early for some extra ‘bum up, bum down’ repetitions on the bike. She was wildly enthusiastic about the class, telling me several times that I should take part, despite my protestations that I was already booked in.

This lycra-bound lady should have been the first sign. I would never generally trust that level of enthusiasm, especially not for exercise, but two visits in, and I was actively pushing negative thoughts to the back of my brain.

As more women arrived, I started to get nervous. How had I failed to realise that ‘aero biking’ was spinning under another name? I wasn’t mentally prepared for this much hardcore exercise.

When Tom, the trainer arrived, the lady adjacent to me, bemoaned the fact that Tom was replacing the usual Thursday class leader. ‘I thought we were in for a nice easy session’ she said. Shit.

The next thirty minutes were a blur of pain, embarrassment and occasional maniacal laughing. After around thirteen minutes, I genuinely didn’t think that I would be able to go on, but was saved – at least momentarily – by a faulty bike. I say momentarily, because Tom then moved me to the front-centre of the class, thus removing any possibility of cheating. I was nose to nose with the scary trainer, and next to the fitness freak. While I tried desperately to find a half-second where Tom’s vision was not focused on the class, so that I could turn down my dial, the ridiculously-toned spinner on my right, was going extra fast, and seemed to be genuinely enjoying it.

As we approached the half-hour mark, sheer desperation led me to disregard the knowledge that the class lasted three quarters of an hour, and as the minute hand moved closer to 12, I tried to imagine how brilliant it would be to no longer have my legs controlled by an unnaturally fast spin-cycle. After thirty-three minutes had passed, I reluctantly accepted that my ordeal was not yet over.

Strangely enough, after forty-five minutes of exercise more intense than anything with no actual life-saving value should ever be, I knew that I would come back. I think that spinning should be seriously considered as a means of teaching self-discipline to delinquents, and feel absolutely confident that it will make me a better person.