This morning I woke up in just enough time to head to the spin class I’d been planning to attend for more than a week. Actually, today’s spin class has been years in the making. I’ve wanted to try spinning forever, but was extremely intimidated by the proximity of the bikes to each other. When I was over 300 pounds, I was worried that I’d spill over into my neighbor’s personal space. Not a great feeling.
There was the time, back in August 2011, when I went into the empty spin room and spent 5 minutes on the bike. I know I didn’t even get “out of the saddle”/stand up on the bike, because I had no idea what I was doing. I also didn’t change the tension at all. I do remember that I felt the pain in the pubic bone that comes with spinning.
So I prepared for that pain by buying some padded spin pants that had a skirt overlay. I’d first seen them on Emmie’s blog, and because I was convinced I was eventually going to try spinning, I decided the investment was worth it. I remember in August 2011 that I was embarrassed to wear them in public because of how tight they were. The skirt was almost indecent because my big booty was causing it to ride way up in the back, barely covering. Here’s the post from December 2011 where the pants showed up again. This time, I actually missed the spin class because I was fooling around with the fit of the pants, trying to camouflage how tight they were on me.
I haven’t tried spinning in all this time, but today was the day. My gym offers lots of spin classes Monday-Thursday: at 5:45am, 9am, and 6pm. I figured the 5:45am class would be packed, as would the 6pm, and since I was off, 9am seemed like the ticket. Because I’d heard all the horror stories about how much the spin seat hurts the pubic bone, I decided to wear the padded, skirted pants even though they were way too big. Like at least 3 sizes too large!
Anyway, back to the class. I got there about 10 minutes early, just to make sure that I had time to chat with the teacher and make sure I had the bike all set up. I found out that the seat should be set so that it’s in the middle of my hip when I’m standing up next to it. I also made sure that when I sat on the bike my legs were still slightly bent, not completely straight. The teacher showed me how to change the tension, and told me that I could stay a “half step behind” if I wanted to; meaning I could take it a bit easier than the rest of the class since it was my first time. You guys know that there was no way I was going to take it easy, right?!
The class itself was so great! The teacher started off the class with Pharrell’s “Happy,” which couldn’t have been more perfect! In fact, take 4 minutes right now and listen to it. It’s guaranteed to make you feel fantastic!
The teacher immediately turned off the lights in the room. I’m not really sure why – maybe so that we wouldn’t focus on how we looked in that room which was surrounded by mirrors? At one point during the class, I caught a glimpse of a girl in the mirror across the room and my first thought was how good she looked on the bike, how confident she seemed as she pedaled. Only, she didn’t look like any of the women in the class. I went one by one trying to figure out which one she was, until I realized – SHE WAS ME! I can’t tell you how amazing that felt. That I thought that I looked great during an exercise class is a new first. That and the fact that I wasn’t the biggest girl in the room. And I wasn’t worried at all about being too big for the bike – there was plenty of room on either side of me today. NSVs abounded!
I felt empowered by how strong my legs were, and how well I kept up, even when we were “climbing.” Climbing is when you slowly increase the tension in the bike higher and higher to mimic climbing a hill or mountain. Sometimes these climbs were done “in saddle” (sitting down) and other times the climbs were done while standing the entire time. She also had us go on “mixed climbs” where we alternated between sitting and standing as we increased the tension. I really enjoyed how the teacher used the music to help us get through the tough parts of the workout, and I can see that a really great playlist can make all the difference.
To be honest, the worst part of the entire class was when we were “in saddle” because my pubic bone just killed me. I kept squirming and moving around as I sat there, trying to get in any position that would relieve a little of the pain. I can’t imagine what it would’ve felt like without the padding in my pants! I’m still slightly sore right now, 8 hours later, as I write this. Everyone says the pain goes away and you get used to it the more you do it. Still, I’m going to have to dig out that bike seat cover that I’d bought a few years ago, because I will take any extra padding I can get. Even with the pain, I absolutely loved the spin class!
This is the photo I posted on Instagram this morning. See how big that smile is in both of those photos? That’s because I felt so accomplished, so proud. I finally did something that I’d been wanting to do forever. And not only did I do it, but I loved it. I was good at it. My strong legs took me through the entire class, and while I was “glowing” within 10 minutes, I felt beautiful.
Today’s Adventure in Fitness was amazing! So much so that I’m going to start going to spin classes at least once a week. And I’m going to treat myself to a session at Soul Cycle sometime soon, to check another thing off my Fitness Bucket List.