Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I keep telling everyone that although I'm not running, probably not in great overall shape, that "I am going to spin class!" I say this defiantly, excitedly, as if the person I am telling should immediately recognize 1) how awesome spin class is and 2) how awesome I am for going.

In sum: I go three times a week at the UMass Rec Center. Classes are 1 hour. There are usually 20+ girls, myself, and perhaps one other guy, either very skinny or very overweight and always wearing a far-too-large tee and peddling in the far back, dark corner. I sit in the front. I wear my triathlon shorts, biking shoes (the spin bikes have optional clips) and have been known to break out into giggles when Jill - the stocky, middle-aged, but rather attractive in a she-could-kick-my-ass kind of way, spin instructor - somehow expects us to turn the resistance up "one more full turn" so we can begin our ladder of "2 minute sprint repeats!" I'm laughing because 1) I literally cannot comprehend working any harder than I already am and 2) because indeed, spin class is awesome. It truly is this hard. Sometimes, after perhaps an 8 minute hill with increasing resistance every 30 seconds - a workout, by the way, in which the first time I did it I categorized as in the "Top Five Hardest Workouts of All Time' (... currently my top ten is 70% spin class, 30% everything else... but I digress) - after a particularly hard hill, or sprint session, or something - puddle of sweat beneath me and we've only been going for 20 minutes - I sometimes find myself, yes, giggling, or also often proclaiming "I love spin class!" Needless to say the girls in the class either a) hate me or b) find me irresistibly attractive, albeit in a "silly- dumb-boy" kind of way (but I'll take it!) Perhaps not needless to say though, is that I am not attracted to any of these girls (I'm not!) YES, many or them are technically attractive. Some, you might say even exceedingly so... (I mean, we're all crammed into this small, dimly lit room together... they are wearing tight spandex and sweating profusely)... but the truth is I haven't noticed them, or at least this is not what I pay attention to. To me, these girls are my enemies. (And I guess this should make sense to all you stupid runners), but I sit there spinning away, (sometimes on the point of passing out) and I look over and I see a girl in pink spandex with matching stripped socks and piggy tails, and - I tell you - she is hardly even working. She's peddling at what has to be faster than my pace and isn't even breathing heavy. Now I know that the resistance system is all anonymous. That we have the option to not turn a "full turn" only do a "half" or a "quarter" or a "nothing," but I see this girl (and trust me I keep a good eye on her) and it looks like she is turning the resistance at the same rate as me. In fact, the longer I've been going to spin class, the more I've noticed that all these girls seem to be doing the work I am, or more. Who are these girls? And how do they all seem to know each other? They talk to our instructor, Jill (who is worst of them all, by the way, an unstoppable force of power and pain), as if the whole hour workout, which kills me, is just a social event. They relate and make plans as if they were in a sorority, or some type of secret society or something. (Maybe when I get excited and giggle, the few laughs I get really are just at me, not with me? Hmmm...) Anyway, the point of the above rant, is that spin class is truly awesome. Or it could all be in my head.

Well, the below results - a 2 minute PR on the first NCC Biking Time Trial of the season - says otherwise. Keep it coming ladies. Now if only this could translate to running...

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