first time rider
Because I am engaged to someone who is so deeply entrenched in the fitness industry, I happen to partake in such physical activities myself. I am a loyal fan of anything Joseph teaches (Insanity LIVE and more recently Joseph’s new classes over at Equinox River Oaks which include but are not limited to: MetCon3, Best Butt Ever, Armed and Dangerous, Stacked, and Precision Running). However, there are times when I dabble in other forms of exercise. In the past year and a half, I’ve taken a couple of indoor cycling classes and yoga classes as well. The next two posts will be about my experiences with them. I promise that the paleo recipes are coming soon. Somewhat soon. I’ve been slacking. I know.
I have only really taken indoor cycling at one boutique studio in Houston so far, Revolution Studio. It has multiple locations in Sugar Land and in Houston, so I like it because I can purchase a few classes and take them close by home (Sugar Land) or by Joseph whenever I’m in the area of his apartment. I’ve probably taken about… 10-15 classes so far, and I have had the opportunity to cycle with about 4-5 of the instructors. It’s a great studio, and I strongly recommend it for those who have a studio near them! I believe that they still have a special for first-time customers. $25 for a week of unlimited classes! Pretty good deal if you ask me.
The next few few paragraphs are going to walk through my mindset (as a first time indoor cycler) of a class. As a forewarning, there’s a lot of complaining, crying, and confusion.
Okay… it’s dark. Very dark. Extremely dark. Where is everything, everybody? What is everybody grabbing up at the front? Do I do that too? I see, weights. Let me grab a pair before I head to my bike. This seems to be a thing. How do I find my bike? WHY IS IT SO DARK. Where the heck is my bike at? Okay, bike 26, third row. Good, good. Clip in, clip in….. What does that mean? Tad embarrassing so I need to look around. Oh, I see. Clip my spin shoes into the bike. I got it, I got it. Okay, okay…. I’m clipped in, let’s go! (For beginner riders, I do recommend asking for help. They are there to help you!)
“Turn your resistance to an easy 3.” Okay…. turn my resistance to what? There are no numbers. Or any indicator to tell me to turn to 3? What does this mean? Now she’s telling me to turn it to 6? Is there some internal measuring guide that all the cyclers in here know about that I don’t know… I’ll just pretend to jimmy around with the resistance… I don’t know.
Wow, this instructor is something else. Is she a motivational speaker? Reaching new heights? Being a better me? YES. I AM A BETTER PERSON. YES. I AM GOING BEYOND. YES I AM LETTING GO OF MY DAILY STRUGGLES. Did I sign up for a work-out class or a self-help class? Whatever. I like it.
“OUT OF THE SADDLE. UP. DOWN. UP. DOWN.” Oh geeze. Oh geeze. What? When do I go up out of the saddle? Oh crap, everyone is already out of the saddle. Time to get my butt up there. WAIT. WHAT JUST HAPPENED. I’m up and out of the saddle, but now everyone is down… how did that happen??? What did I miss? I’m a teacher for goodness sakes, when did I miss those instructions? Oh, there’s some kind of pattern, I see. How is everyone following along so quickly? Stare intently at person in front of me – she seems to be a pro. WOW THIS CHICK IN FRONT OF ME IS GOOD. I AM JUST GOING TO FOLLOW HER. THANK YOU GIRL IN FRONT OF ME FOR KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
“Okay, now turn that resistance up!” Wait. What. It’s already a struggle getting in and out of this dang saddle. I can’t tell what I hate more… when I’m in the saddle or when I’m out of the saddle. WHY ARE MY THIGHS BURNING OUT OF THE SADDLE, BUT WHEN I CYCLE IN THE SADDLE I CAN’T FEEL MY TUSH. WHAT IS THIS TORTURE. WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF. The struggle is too real right now.
Left. Left. Left Right Left. Wait. No. Crap, I’m not bouncing along with everyone else. How do I get in the rhythm? How is it that everyone can bounce in sync perfectly? What is this madness? WHY IS THIS NOT HAPPENING FOR ME?! Ugh, I hope everyone doesn’t notice how out of sync I am… good thing I’m in the back… Right. Left. Right. Right… Nope, nope, not happening right now. I am just going to bounce along alone in this room. Clearly, I have no ability to indoor cycle like a normal human being. UGH I HATE MY LIFE.
How is the world is everyone in here capable of whooping and shouting for joy? I am dying. WHY ARE YOU ALL SO HAPPY. WHAT CULT HAVE YOU JOINED. I will not whoop and cheer. Let me concentrate on getting out of here in one piece.
Nice, we get to work our arms now. I grabbed the 3lb weights initially because come on… those 1lbs look so dinky. I obviously already lift 5lbs at the gym. I’m all good.
Oh jeebus. I am not good. Why is it somehow insanely difficult. WHY CAN I BARELY LIFT MY ARMS. WHAT IS THIS CRAZINESS. It burns. My arms are engulfed in flames of pain and torture. Stop telling me to pump my arms. Please. Please. Can. Barely. Lift. Arms. Burning. Please. Send. Help.
Okay, okay, I’m getting the hang of this. I got my bounce going on, I fit in with everyone, I can maybe muster a little, “Whoo!” here and there. YEA, I GOT THIS. YEA I AM A RIDER, AND I AM A PART OF THIS COMMUNITY. I AM IN THE ZONE. I’m doing quite well! “OKAY NOW TURN THAT RESISTANCE UP TO AN 8 AND GET OUT OF THE SADDLE! NOW WE ARE GOING TO DO CRUNCHES” …. *cries inside* I can’t feel my legs, arms, and core right now.
“You can do it. Set your expectations and go beyond them. You are powerful within these four walls. Let everything else melt away. Whatever is going on in your life, just ride past it and put it behind you.”
Man, I am feeling inspired to be a better person. UGH I MADE IT THROUGH A CLASS. I AM ALIVE HALLE-FREAKING-LUJAH. Time to clip out? Ummm… embarrassing, why I am incapable of getting out of this bike… my shoes won’t clip out! “Lean on your right heel and turn it sharply to the right/left. It’s okay if you’re stuck, just take your feet out of the shoes and leave them in the bike.” NO. I REFUSE TO BE THAT “NEW RIDER” WHO CAN’T GET OUT OF HER DANG BIKE. I AM GOING TO CLIP OUT OF THIS DANG BIKE.
…. still struggling.
….Okay, I give up. I’m slipping my feet out of the shoes and leaving the rental shoes still attached to the bike. Defeated. Embarrassed. Everyone is probably staring at me thinking, “Ha, look at that poor girl. Clearly a first time rider. Can’t even clip out of a bike.”
*Leaves knowing that my body will hate me yet thank me the next day.*
I hope that there is something in that little anecdote that any of y’all have experience when taking an indoor cycling/spin class. Either that or I am just a hopeless failure at indoor cycling/spin and need to give up. As much as the crying/questioning/complaining, I actually do enjoy taking those classes a lot. I feel like I’m getting a great comprehensive work out, increasing and improving my cardio, and I genuinely want to be a better person from the instructors’ motivational pep talks. I can see how people become addicted to these places. Unfortunately, due to my current financial means (not to mention the fact that my fiance teaches group fitness himself), I am unable to consistently pay for and attend indoor cycling/spin classes. But if given the opportunity and when the time is right, I definitely plan on purchasing passes again. I am interested in trying out different boutique studios, but it’s harder for me seeing as I’m out in Sugar Land for the majority of the week. Perhaps once I’m married and moved in with Joseph in Houston, I’ll have the ability to check out a few studios in Houston.
I love the community and Revolution Studio though. Spin communities are a whole different breed of fitness, I can tell you that. I can see that the instructors and the staff up front have genuine care and concern for their riders, and it’s clear that they have a very loyal, positive, and great following of people. It’s easy as a beginning rider to feel left out and out of place, but I think given the chance, they will open their arms to you and welcome you in.
What are your thoughts? What have you experienced as a first time rider? Anything similar? Different? Any recommendations on different places to check out?
Until the next ride,