When I moved here 6 months ago, I was more nervous about finding a new gym than about finding an apartment, a Publix, a bathroom, or anyone who will tolerate my company for more than 6 hours. I’ve been sweating in front of the same good-natured 40- and 50-somethings for 5 years now! They haven’t even noticed that I have 4 pairs of the exact same workout pants so it probably looks like I’m wearing the same pants every day even though I’m not! God bless you, Gold’s Gym. You the real MVP.
So I did what any sane 25-year-old in mediocre shape would do, and bought an employee membership at my new university, where 95% of the workout populace is 18-22 years old, 7% bodyfat, and 100% INSANELY HOT. Motivation? Temporary lapse in sanity? I don’t know, but I’m still here, despite the fact that the leg press is constantly mistaken for a “texting bench” and everyone is tripping balls from too much preworkout.
The plus side to university gyms: a veritable treasure trove of group exercise classes. A very fit person yelling at me to do things I don’t want to do is basically the most exciting thing my inner masochist could possibly imagine. I am terrible at most things, but I could probably pick up a Mack truck if Ronda Rousey screamed at me hard enough (call me??).
These are the events that led to me signing up for my first spin class in 3 years. I now give you:
The Official Carly’s Into That 10 Stages Of Spin
T-minus 1 hour until class, I am wearing one of my trusty four pairs of workout leggings and entering a blind panic about how to cover my other illegal parts. None of these shirts match my sneakers! None of my bras match this shirt! I’m going to be the only ancient troglodyte weirdo who isn’t wearing a full matching Lululemon tracksuit! Siri: best color for camouflaging 6 gallons of sweat??? Should I wear Spanx? If I don’t wear Spanx, will I betray the ancient female secret that some of us have a fat roll when we sit down and/or bend over? I’ve said too much!
2. Pep Talk
I and my grey tank top, grey socks, turquoise sports bra, turquoise running shoes, and faux-casual application of mascara are on the way to the gym. I’m doing this. This is a good thing! This is a healthy and positive and cleansing and good thing. I’m totally doing this. (Am I really doing this?)
I arrive at the gym and James-Bond it around the corner to peek at the gathering crowd. Where are all the terrifyingly beautiful gazelle-girls who can run 47 miles on the calories of a single apple and have probably already poisoned my entire family for daring to place my large, pale chub in a room with them? Why do most of these people look like… people? Just like me? Am I in the right place?
Our instructor is a tall, blonde, handsome dude named Cody. He takes us through each of the 3 positions we’ll use (heyo!), reminds us to drink lots of water, and shuts all of the lights off.
5. Sensory Deprivation
Holy shit, it is super dark in here. I take heart in the fact that since I cannot see my hands, the poor souls on either side of me cannot see my face. It is dark enough that I can almost forget I’m doing exercise and maybe pretend I am still in bed or lost in a cave or something. This is the best.
10 minutes into the hour-long class, I am overcome by a powerful combination of sweat, endorphins, night blindness, and an incredibly sick remix of “Uptown Funk”. I distinctly remember thinking, “HA! This is WAY easier than I remember!”- a sentence that has contributed to more extreme physical trauma than any other (except, of course, “hold my beer”).
We’ve now been in this small, dark room for 6 days. From his throne at the front of the room, our fearless leader chirps “You guys are doing so great! Twenty minutes down!!”
I wish I could say this is the angriest I’ve ever felt toward a tall, blonde, handsome dude named Cody, but living in Florida, it doesn’t even break the top 5. Regardless: BRO!!!! It is dark and loud and I almost forgot that I’ve been in this room since February and you just ruined it! Now that my ass knows we have 40 minutes left, it’s all downhill from here.
(Did I say downhill? I meant uphill, at 90% resistance.)
Every so often, Cody yells “HOW’RE YOU GUYS FEELING???” and, as a unit, we scream “WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” like it’s our first spring break and we’re competing for shots of Burnett’s Grape. Truly, I am feeling “woo”. He encourages us to “leave it all on the bike!” Leave what on the bike? My energy, dignity, kneecaps, everything I’ve eaten since 2004, my social security number, my favorite thong? I’M LEAVING IT ON THE BIKE! IT’S YOURS, CODY! YOU DESERVE IT!!!!!! I am pedaling through these sprints like each downstroke is landing on Ted Cruz’s ridiculous potatoface. I found myself laughing maniacally at least twice, and was ashamed for a second until I realized that no one could hear me over a rousing dubstep version of “Crazy In Love”. In Spin Class, No One Can Hear You Scream.
As quickly as we arrived, now we must depart.
“Slowly bring your resistance allllll the way down… roll your shoulders back and then forward… take a few deep breaths….” We make our way through the cooldown and eventually off of the bikes to stretch. Cody turns the lights on.
Thanks to the giant mirrors that made up the entire front wall of the room, I was immediately assaulted by my own reflection. Y’all, seeing yourself after spin class is like taking Brad Pitt home from the bar and waking up next to Rob Ford. I am a flattering shade of crimson, visually closer to a bowl of salsa than a human being. I am COVERED in mascara- a 2 inch radius from each eyeball- and entirely drenched in sweat from places that I didn’t know were capable of sweating (why would a shin need sweat glands???)
Still blinking, we limp out of the spin room back into the rest of the gym. I am immediately freezing, and seem to have forgotten basic motor skills. Is this what being born feels like?
WHY IS THE SPIN STUDIO DOWNSTAIRS? Am I in Saw XII????
2 flights and 47 minutes later, I am birthed yet again, into the glaring sun and armpit-like humidity of a beautiful day in Florida. I am gulping water, in danger of sweating out a vital internal organ, and- despite the fact that I was unable to accomplish my goal of losing 32 lbs in an hour- grinning like a complete asshole. See you next week, Cody.
Spin Class: Carly’s Into That.