Friday, September 28, 2007

SPIN CLASS - MBA or M Div required

One of the things I've always wanted to do was take a spin class. Hunched over their machines, dripping in sweat and looking like they might keel over at any moment, these cycle warriors seem to be the ultimate fitness fanatics and I wanted to be one of them; at least once anyway. After weeks of observing the dedication required, I decided to take the plunge. I was sure all that great indie rock blasting from the cycle room was just what I needed to keep me motivated.

Imagine my surprise when my instructor, who shares the name with a despised ex-colleague and who also, if you play the name game, rhymes with muck or better, a curse word which truly described the old office mate's personality, announced this particular class was his 3rd Annual Christian Ride. Gulp. It was like Sunday school all over again. "Children, God is everywhere. In the trees, in the birds, in the spin class..." Kumba ya just wasn't going to do it for me and I silently debated fleeing.

Luckily, his choice of Christian music wasn't half bad and if I ignored the lyrics and concentrated on the guitar, I was OK. How bizarre to have an entire genre of music be completely foreign. Then again, I don't know much about Scandinavian Death Metal either. Regardless, my instructor got me and my machine sized up and in-sync and off we went. Tunes blaring, pedals in motion, I was excited and nervous all at the same time.

Spin classes work like this; ride for a given span of time, at a certain level and gear and at a specified frequency. How naive of me to think you just pedal. I decided my instructor must be in banking. Either that or he's devised a clever system that keeps his class moving (despite wanting to stop every moment) with non-stop number crunching. Yep, we were constantly calculating our base number, adding percentages, time intervals, degrees, and gear changes. I was so busy trying to figure out my base number and how many rotations of the knee it was and then how many more rotations it would be if I gave it 10% more and how many it would total for the 30 second challenge, that I was oblivious to the obvious issue at hand...pain!!

Just when I thought I couldn't take it any longer, my instructor would instruct us to take it down a few degrees and shift gears by 10%. I'd be doing the math and next thing I knew, it was time to do something else. It was amazing that an hour of my life could whiz by so quickly. At points during the ride my head and body seemed to have separated and focused on their own specific tasks.

It wasn't until I got off the machine that I realized how hard my body had worked. I was wobbly-legged for a good five minutes. After that came the pain. I ached for the rest of the night and into the next morning. But all the indoctrination and math didn't dissuade me from trying again.

The meek are supposed to inherent the earth; but only if they skip Spin Class.

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