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Spun Up

Since step aerobics went so outrageously well, I decided to add a spinning class to my cardio regimen.  This is because I hate myself.

Before the surgery, bike riding was the toughest possible form of exercise for me.  It always ended in anger and writhing, which might go down well in the WWE but not so much in the women's locker room of the Y.

But my physical therapist plopped me on top of a bike at the end of my treatment sessions, and I drew back in horror:  Why did she want me to do things to my knee that it already didn't like before somebody went and cut three holes in it?  And while I was wearing khaki shorts with a People Seeing Me knit top?  Give me the decency of Umbros or yoga pants, if you please.  There are few grosser sights in life than a person revving up a cardio machine in a polo shirt and khaki or denim shorts.  Those are golf sweating clothes.  Everything else, tee shirts and jog bras.  You might as well swim in cashmere.

The one thing I remember from that session, other than my utter revulsion at being forced to perspire in non personally-approved persperation clothing, was that even though I was just a month or so out from the surgery, I was able to ride the bike without pain.  Couldn't stand for more than fifteen minutes without... well, cursing and writhing, but I could make that little wheel go 'round.

Well, this spinning business is another matter entirely.  I showed up wearing  proper sweating clothes and an mP3 player in case I got lost in the gym hallway and missed the class and needed company. When faced with my bike, I found a beast quite unlike the friendly recumbent version in the physical therapist's office. This was a unicycle with a kickstand.  The seat was far removed from the floor, so after eyeing it warily for a few minutes, I decided to approach it the same way I approach all new objects: As though it were a horse.  I placed the left foot in the left stirrup, swung over, and was Queen of the Aerobics Studio.

Horses, though, are forty seven billion times wider than a spin bike, and I had to pedal to keep my balance.  This, then, is the Grand Moff Tarkin theory of exercise:  "Fear will keep her pedaling.  Fear of striking her fat blonde head on the faux wooden floor below."

Then my classmates began to arrive.  They'd blown right past acceptable sweaty clothing and right into Specific Activity Ware.  They had their own seats for the bikes, and shorts padded directly on the Seat Padding Area, and shoes with metal cleats which fit directly to the undersides of the pedals, effectively welding them to the Unicycle of Fitness.  The only thing that saddened me about this was that no one had brought a helmet.

Then again, niether was the post-spinning butt pain, an extremely specific kind of butt pain; not in the glutes, not where the legs meet the trunk, but directly on the tailbone.  When does it hurt?  When you sit, that's all.

resistance at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (9)

[...] Hooray for spinning bikes! Share and Enjoy: [...]

Thank you! You often write very interesting articles. You improved my mood.

August 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKouba

Bike seat = 6" wide. Average Human Behind = 18" wide. It's a plot of some kind.

August 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

They need to bring the banana seat back.

August 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEm the Reader

I never understood the logic behind bike seats either. I prefer to use the ones where you stretch out and have a comfy back support.

August 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

I am in Awe. I have walked past the spin room at my gym but never even dared to open the door. I know that it is too high impact for me. Not to mention I have no coordination. Kudos for trying it. I prefer the pool where my fat floats and I can hide my jiggling thighs under the water as I exercise.

August 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelle Belle

While I like to ride bikes, I've never had the courage to try a spinning class. Good for you.

August 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCJ from St. Louis

You write very well.

August 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterArsento

Valuable thoughts.

August 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterArsento
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