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Blog Listings

Indy Gets Fit
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Indy Gets Fit
We're doing it this year, and we mean it! As The Independent rolls out its new Health & Fitness guides over the next few months, we're not just going to be writing about fitness, we're going to be getting fit, and sharing our experiences in this blog. Feel free to respond, jeer, praise, or share your own tips in our comment section.

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50 Shades of Spin

August 19, 2013 | 05:42 PM

This week I will finish 25 classes since June! Haven't done the

math, but that was a LOT , upping the ante to three and even

four classes per week with the result of -- drumroll please -- a

10 pound weight loss!

This is quite impressive, considering the rest of the time I'm

pretty much sedentary, shackled to my desk or at a beachside

watering hole sucking back mudslides, or on the couch

watching "Rizzoli & Isles" so inert I could be a sofa sculpture.

But not at Romaine Gordon's B-East Real Ryder Fitness Studio.

She is THAT inspiring . . . or intimidating, I'm not sure which. I

just know that when she tells us to turn the tension knobs on

our bikes, I do it. When she says, "Get up!" I do it. When she

hollers "Haul ASSS!" I try.

And when that "Hey,hey,hey. . . Hey,hey, hey!" song comes

on, I AM, indeed, "the hottest bitch in the place."

Temperature-wise.

I'm learning to embrace the sweat, the soaked T shirt and

bandana, sweat in places I never knew could sweat, like my

knees and elbows. It's good for me. And if some mornings after

class I have to drive directly to the beach and suffer the raised

eyebrows of onlookers as I stagger to the water and jump in

fully-clothed, hey. I'm cooled off.

Speaking of hot … few classes go by that I don't remember

what Joe Gaviola said at my very first class. "Spin is like sex.

Once you get the hang of it, it's fun."

All I can say is, I'm mighty glad – and especially for my

partners' sakes -- that the learning/mastery curve for physical

intimacy is way shorter than the spin cycle.

Imagine if it weren't?

Imagine saying to your lover, "Yeah. Sorry I couldn't pop up

like you wanted me to. I should get it in a couple more

sessions. For the time being I'm gonna have to stay in the

saddle."

So I don't get Joe's reference.

Unless, of course, he's talking about the way Romaine and

other instructors goad us on. I can't have been the only rider

having an inner titter upon hearing James Park exhort: "Show

me! SHOW ME HOW YOU LOVE IT!"

I mean, come on.

And there is no way I am the only one who equates Romaine's

seductive urgings to en flagrante pillow talk (ok, screaming).

A typical oration -- even that word right there –oration, doesn't

that remind you of something dirty? A typical inspirational

oration can sound like climbing the path to climax.

She'll start all soft and sultry, with, "Find your pace."

And repeat, "Find your pace," sweetly at first, becoming a

little more insistent, a little more urgent.

Next she'll get a little Christian Grey and direct riders to get

out of their comfort zones and commandingly instruct us to

"Move!" and

"Stay on it. Stay on it. Stay on it!" as we pant and sweat and

struggle to please.

She'll soften next, showing some mercy.

"You can do it," she'll say.

"Don't back down. Don't back down" comes next as she tells us

of a challenge up ahead.

Pedaling hard, sweating hard, pumping and panting and

swearing, we'll hear her voice begin to rise, taking us to the

next level.

"Stay on it, stay on it, stay on it," she croons, then yells before

the final direction, offered at the top of her lungs, "Now…

PULL MY HAIR!!"

I don't think she actually says that last part, but that's what I

imagine.

Sometimes Romaine makes us do the talking. She'll count out a

ten second rest, then we have to count out the ten second

interval, pedaling as fast as we can and shouting out the

numbers in descending order.

That's probably one of the hardest things we have to do, but

it's designed to really up the cardio output, counting down

"Ten. Nine, Eight… "

It should come as no surprise, reader, that I'm one of the

loudest counters.

I'm not saying I did, and I'm not saying I didn't, but one

morning, when it was our turn to count, somebody bypassed

ten, nine, eight, seven and six, and hollered out, "Five!"

And the rest of the class dutifully, and probably gratefully

followed along.

It's Raining Men . . .

July 09, 2013 | 05:11 PM

. . . or maybe I should say, sweat. I committed to upping my cycling ante from two to three classes a week and last week decided to try sessions led by three B-East guest instructors – James, Roland and Dan. They did not disappoint.

Each has a distinctive instructional style and pairs it with an ass-kicking array of music. For the Tuesday afternoon class, Roland kicked a kind of old school club style. I walked into Dan's (really) early Friday morning class to the theme song from Shaft, while James offered an eclectic mix to inspire and goad. Just when I thought I couldn't go on during Sunday morning's challenge James flipped on Wagner's "O Fortuna," and I was riding Valkyrie style.

Dan got me through another challenge with The Who's "Teenage Wasteland" and Roland always delights, breaking into an adorably off-key chorus of a song on his set list. It didn't hurt that on the rare occasions when I lifted my eyes from the loved/hated red tension knob on my Real Ryder that I could spy dudes who are all handsome as heck.

It was easy to like the guys, since I pretty much disregarded all their directions (as I have been known to do with most men in my life.). Some of the challenges, like standing races, where you're out of the saddle and pedaling fast, I just can't do. I can come out of the saddle, but only at Steve Austin speed, and even that I can't do for very long -- though way longer than when I started. I keep thinking "by this time next year,' and seeing how far I've come I know it's possible.

Like all the instructors at B-East, the three fellows assured riders that there are no "have to's" and no judgment. You do your best and then, with their encouragement, you do more.

I don't feel bad because I can't do stuff that lots of classmates can. That's because I know I can do stuff they can't – like use my AARP card to get discounts on menopause meds. Be jealous.

With all the grey and humid weather last week, most of my friends were complaining about feeling sluggish and cranky. It's the barometric pressure that does it, and most summers I am miserable from the humidity. Not this year! I'm getting to the point where the positive after effects – better mood, clearer head, more energy -- of each class last.

Oh, and ( drum roll, please) adding the extra class, I lost five pounds in two weeks. That hasn't happened in years.

I mentioned this to James and he suggested that I consider changing up my routine and trying some of the other classes B East Studios offers to add weight training to all the cardio I'm getting on the bike. Never say never. For now, though, I figure I'm getting weight training every time I haul my big hinder from the car to the studio.

The Hills Have OYs!

June 14, 2013 | 02:33 PM

"Ah, that's hill music" I tell my nephew Nick when he sends

me a Youtube of a new band he likes.

"So now you equate all music with spin class?" he asks, adding

in a Darth Vader voice, "The transformation is complete."

Confession: Like lots of locals, I've been swamped with extra

seasonal work, plus a wedding and a graduation. And, like lots

of people, when the schedule gets hectic, exercise is the first

thing 86'd.

I didn't make it to spin class for over two weeks. When I finally

got back there last Sunday, I thought for sure I would die. Kim,

a spin buddy at B-East, tried to make sure of it, telling cycle

guru Romaine Gordon that I wanted an extra-hard class.

Arriving on site I found all kinds of new things – the lighting's

been changed and there is a huge array of new instructors on

tap for the summer. They're even selling cool bracelets.

Romaine was all about the hills – actually one big honkin' hill.

One big honkin' hill, ridden on "Romaine Time," which is

comparable to Jupiter time. That means when she says "just

20 more seconds" to a particularly excruciating challenge,

those seconds are not measured the same way as they are on

Earth.

But that's okay. I found a new way to cheat. Renovated lighting

in the Amagansett studio renders the cycle room super dark.

It's awesome. I can completely slack off and . . . NO ONE CAN

SEE!!!

Of course, this makes people's auditory senses more acute . . .

so I guess they can hear my occasional sob all the way across

the room. But, hey. At least I'm not the pedaling embodiment

of George Carlin's "The Seven Words You Can't Say," like my

spin buddy Joanna. She looks all nice and sweet, but in the

dark and on the hills . . . if you listen carefully, it'll curl your

hair.

I really thought, after two weeks off, class would be

impossible. But, I didn't die!! All these months of getting

stronger, and some of it stuck. The class was tough, but I

walked out of there with a bit of dignity intact – or as much

dignity as one can muster, sporting a sweat-covered skeleton

designed bandana and a soaking wet Sons of Anarchy T-shirt.

And I couldn't wait to go back Wednesday morning.

There I met Kerrie, who also had a fondness for big honkin'

hills. I learned about "THE SURGE."

Once again we were set on a hill, meaning you turn the bike's

tension higher and higher as the hill gets steeper. This has

gotten manageable and, in fact, is a huge source of satisfaction

– seeing that a tension setting that was so high I literally

couldn't push the pedals around at first has gotten to be my

new midpoint is very gratifying.

So I was feeling pretty badass, until Kerrie introduced me to

"THE SURGE." That's when the tension's at level eight or nine

or ten, and you attempt to attain a race speed.

I'll tell you, I learned a lot of new words from Joanna during

that segment of the class.

And just when it seemed like I couldn't go on, Kerrie busted

out the Van Halen, blasting "Panama," which happens to be my

favorite VH song . . . and I SURGED.

Can't wait to go back.

I think I pulled something

April 16, 2013 | 09:55 PM

People are saying I look like I've lost weight. Could be so. Some of my clothes are less tight and when I am riding at spin, my big, fat stomach is less in the way. It must be less big and fat.

I can't report any numbers, much as I know people like to read them. I don't have a scale. It broke when someone . . . um . . . might have thrown it against the wall.

Someone who starved and starved for an ENTIRE day and eagerly looked at the scale the next morning to find . . . no change.

Someone who drank gallons of water and ate even less the second day and eagerly looked at the scale the next morning to find . . . no change.

Someone who got on the scale, then off, then on, then off, and nothing changed.

Someone who moved the scale to a different part of the bathroom and got on and . . . gained a pound!

I neither confirm nor deny that someone was me.

I know people want to see a number and I suppose I could use that giant professional scale Romaine has in the bathroom at B-East. But I think someone could really hurt herself trying to throw that thing against the wall.

I ran into Howard Lebwith the other day and told him how he was one of the people who inspired me to try spin. I'd gone to take pictures at B-East and saw Howard, who is about a million years old, pedaling away with a big smile on his face. I figured, if he could do it, so could I.

When I told him I was spinning, he said, and I quote, "It's harder for you because you have so much weight to move." I'm stealing his parking spot next time I see him at Wal-Mart on senior citizen day… all that weight makes my accelerator foot swift.

My friend Jimmy is also a bastion of encouragement. Speaking of the bevy of lovely, trim, young ladies at the classes, he noted that, due to my size, I am working harder than slender spinners. "Pound for pound, you're getting the better workout."

New goal: get strong enough so I can pick up Romaine's giant professional scale and throw it at Jimmy.

So, I'm continuing to take the classes, eat delectable lettuce and chicken and quaff delicious, thirst quenching water, often without vodka.

I've taken about 14 classes so far, and I am getting strong . . . and flexible! Just the other day I dropped an earring on the floor and bent down to pick it up immediately! Usually I let such things rest for a couple of days, and weave their way into the bedside rug until I step on them barefoot on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Well, actually, I don't bend over to pick them up then, either. But I do engage in an energetic round of aerobic hopping and swearing.

Hey, remember that first blog and discussion of the flywheel on RealRyder bikes? (Scroll all the way down this page, it's probably still there.)

I was scared after Joanna told me you lock your shoes onto the pedals to keep from falling off. The flywheel seems to work in such a way that, you push down on the pedal and can.. should someone be a little lazy.. get a couple of free rotations, without making any effort. It will just go on its own.

Or, you can make it rotate. The warriors don't just push the pedals down; they pull them up, too. And that gives a whole new aspect to the spin workout. Different muscles are engaged in pulling the pedals up.

I know this because, one morning I was in the zone, and noticed that I was pushing AND PULLING the pedals. I was so proud and excited by this feat of strength and body awareness, I had to sit back and rest for a while, reveling in my athleticism.

The Moment? We Owned It

April 02, 2013 | 01:02 PM

"How ya like me now?" Romaine sang along to the music. Two bikes over my nephew Nick mouths the words, "Frankly, not very much at all." I can just hear his Jim Gaffigan impression – "This is a really bad time to ask that question."

Next to me, Joanna drops an f-bomb. I've known her for years and have only ever heard her swear twice – both times during spin class, both times at Romaine.

It's Easter Sunday and an "out of the saddle" class at B-East. That means Romaine has decreed we stand up and pedal for the full 45 minutes (which turns into an hour). She calls a five second rule, you can only sit for five seconds to "rest."

Of course, I can't do it. Ten classes in since the end of January, and I've gotten stronger, way stronger. I can stay out of the saddle more than 10 times longer than that first class where I tentatively stood up for a total of eight pedal rotations. But 45 minutes? Fuggedaboudit.

After class Nick suggests a signer I might enjoy and plays one of his songs. "That sounds like hill music to me," is my derisive reaction.

"So now you equate everything you hear with spin class?" he asks.

Apparently so.

When the lights are turned low in the studio, I feel like there's no one there. It's just me, the bike, the music and Romaine's voice, running up and down in timbre from the seductive encouragement of "remember why you're here, what you want to accomplish," to a full volume "TAKE OFF!"

I rarely do what she commands. But that's okay. When she's in seductive encouragement voice, she reminds us all that we need to know our limitations and spin accordingly.

I'm getting to know the music and that helps – you know where a song is going and best of all, you know when it's going to end. Remixes and dance party versions of songs I know feel like a betrayal.

She played Eminem's "Lose Yourself" for one five minute segment of class. I know the song is five minutes long, because I looked it up.

I lasted the ENTIRE time out of the saddle.

I don't know what instructions Romaine was giving the other riders. All I heard was the music and the occasional mention of "How much longer." It all sounded like Charlie's Brown's teacher sampled over Eminem's hit – "wah wah wah wah wah three more minutes wah wah wah wah."

Pedaling out of the saddle is supposed to strengthen your gluts, but I don't know. My heinie hurts like hell afterwards, but during, it's all thigh action.

In fact, it's all ONE thigh action.

I'm beginning to worry I am unbalanced. Mentally? Emotionally? Well, yeah. But physical imbalance is not something I expected.

At a recent class, Romaine challenged us to set the highest tension we could handle on the bikes. "It should be hard to get those pedals around," she said, having taken us, incrementally, up a "hill" resembling Mount Everest. "Get to your 10," she said.

I think I hit 11 by mistake. I pushed and pushed and the pedal wouldn't go. I had to retreat. By then, I began to feel like a stroke victim. My right leg could push and my left just kind of dragged along. What could this mean?

If spinning improves your glutes, down the road, am I going to end up with a single bun of steel? Just one pert and powerful buttock?

That would look strange.

Speaking of looks, all apologies to the people who had to bike in the row behind me that time. Usually I pick the row against the wall, out of deference to other bikers who may glance up and be forced to view my buns of hamburger. But that one time I didn't. Sorry about that.

After Sunday, the agony was rather evenly dispersed, so the concern about a lopsidedly muscular derriere was allayed. In the car on the way to Easter dinner, I treated Nick to a song I thought captured the essence of our hour-long class, a la R.E.M. – "Every Body Part Hurts."

I can't wait to go back.

Not THE BALLS!

March 05, 2013 | 02:14 PM

Oh, dear God. She's got the balls. OhsweetbabyJesusMaryandJosephinheaven, THE BALLS.

We're about halfway through the most intense ride I've had since I started spinning at B-East. Each class I've been able to do a bit more, learn a bit more.

Today B-East's guru Romaine Gordon is leading and she likes hills. Like, Alps hills. She urges us through challenges, up the hills, with increased tension on the Real Ryder bikes till we can barely pedal. We finally hit the tops of the hills, and spin the tension back for the race down to the bottom. The interval is – pump with the tension at its highest, then release it and race as fast as you can.

Then, repeat.

Repeat a lot.

During one blessed recovery, I spy, through a fog of sweat… THE BALLS.

No, God. Please, no. Not THE BALLS!

You say you think spinning doesn't do anything for the upper body? Au contraire, mi amigos.

Romaine's got THE BALLS. Batwing busting, Granny arm robbing little spheres of anguish. We hold the squishy balls in our hands, squeezing them tight as Romaine takes us through a series of intense upper body exercises.

They go on for a while.

They go on while you are still pedaling. Note I say "you" and not "me." I have yet to master the "walk and chew gum" mastery of pedaling plus upper body workout, so I just do the balls.

Romaine lets us "recover" from the balls by doing a couple dozen pushups. Never ever did I think I would have the following thought go through my mind, "I can't wait for the pushups."

When the upper body segment ends, we can break for a minute and have a sip of water.

It tastes like it comes from God's personal fount. I can just picture it – She extends her hand and Michael gives her a bottle.

"Not Poland Spring," God chides. "Be an angel and bring me my Hamptons Water Company water. It's vapor distilled and infused with electrolytes. Then, Michael, drop and give me 20."

God knows what tastes best.

Two days after class and my batwings are still sore. (Bat wings on me are known as triceps on fit people.) They're not "injury sore;" they're "I had an awesome workout" sore. More of those dreaded Balls O Pain, and my wings will be a lot less wingy, or batty, by sleeveless season. Less than 12 weeks till Memorial Day.

I can't wait till next class.

Bouncing Through Class Five

February 20, 2013 | 10:59 AM

I hate stretching. I mean, I really can't stand it. I have no patience for that namby-pamby relaxation crap. Back in the days of Jane Fonda and pastel legwarmers, our aerobics class always ended with a 10 or 15 minute "relaxation" and stretch.

On second thought, the relaxation was even more excruciating than the stretch part.

"Relax your toes," our instructor Gail would croon.

"Relax you instep," came next.

"Right, right," I'd think. "Instep, heel, ankle, I got it. Let's get this show on the road." By the time she got to "relax your scalp," I was on the verge of an impatience aneurism.

Yet another thing I love about spin class at B-East: none of that stretching hokum. We do the basics, then get on with our lives. There was just one problem after the most recent class – during the final stretch my spine sounded an awful lot like Fred Astaire tap dancing on bubble wrap.

So I figured I better add a (BLECCH) stretch routine to my fitness plan.

Sunday provided the opportunity to try one of the numerous DVDs I have in my rarely used exercise collection. It was 20 minutes of breathing and unadulterated boredom, but I made it through.

I also made it through, last week, two solid hours of dancing Friday night and 45 minutes on the machines in my basement gym last night. I took a page from Rachelle's "intervals" book, and strived for seconds of highest output, followed by "recovery" periods of lower intensity output.

That's how she instructed us during the last class. Mixing things up, Rachelle directed us to "reach your 10" pedaling hard and fast in the saddle, then recovering in the stand up pedal.

I was scared to try pedaling fast, scared I'd fall out of the bike, scared I'd lose control. Next to me Joanna was a blur, up on the stage Rachelle was flying -- and talking at the same time! -- urging us on, while at the same time reminding us to find our own "10."

"Listen to what your body's telling you," she commanded.

My body was telling me, "I don't wanna." But Rachelle's got a talent for combining music with the intensive segments of a class, and it's great at transporting you past the pain or fear or laziness and into a groove.

I found my 10 (or what passes for it so far). With trepidation, I achieved speed.

For the most part, it felt great. There was a measure of flipping and flopping going on with this non-taut body, though, but I was determined to keep going, thanks to Rachelle's encouragement. I was also determined to schedule a shopping trip ASAP.

Another way to spell determination?

Sports bra.

Can't wait to go back tomorrow.

Sail Or Drown

February 12, 2013 | 03:31 PM

Sail or drown. "You gonna sail or you gonna drown?!" With all the verve of a Baptist minister testifying, Roland led us through the class.

Sleekly clad all in black, he taught the class from the saddle. Casting enthusiastic eyes on my GF Carey, he exclaimed, "You're racing to me. It's just you and me." She responded, pedaling harder.

Me? My big victory was getting on AND OFF the bike ALL. BY. MY. SELF!!

The first class I couldn't stand and pedal. The second class I did it for (an embarrassing) eight rotations. The third class? Twice as many.

What I am loving about spin class at B East in Amagansett is the continual sense of accomplishment and the surprising array of ways instructors keep us engaged.

Roland's class was completely different from earlier outings. He focused on "races," timed intervals of highest energy output, followed by laying back. He urged us on, on a Sunday morning, and yep – it felt like church, and cyclers were taking care of their bodies.

This time around, the intervals included sections of riding sideways, bending our bikes and bodies to one side, which works the abs. It feels a little awkward, and out of balance, this list. It's another challenge to master.

Lots of people do the sideways ride with a hand behind their back, using just ne hand to guide the lean. I tried it, now confident I wasn't going to fall off the Real Ryder.

Getting a little cocky, I did a little arm exercise during that portion. What was I thinking, I wondered, when Roland began to put us through a series of upper body exercises. I was soon thinking, "Who's a bad ass?" when I was able to completed 40 pushups!

Rachelle led the next class. Her targeted intervals last Wednesday morning focused on riding in and out of the saddle. I did it! Lasted an entire 30-second interval standing up. It wasn't impossible.

Music was an integral part of the class, with the instructor directing us to move our bodies in cadence with the beat.

Picking popular dance music made a difference, I thought. In fact, proprietress Romaine Gordon has a blackboard in the foyer where people can make musical suggestions.

I knew some of the songs, so I knew how long they'd last, how long I'd have to keep up a pace. I've mentioned this before, but interval "sprints" are totally doable when you know they're only going to be for seconds.

Classes are 45 minutes long, but I have yet to have that "what time is it?" feeling. Each time I'm surprised when we reach the cool down phase.

I didn't get out to class last weekend, thanks to Nemo. What I did do was shovel a huge section of the driveway, something I never had the endurance to handle before.

I am getting strong.

I'm going back tomorrow.

It All Revolves Around Me

February 07, 2013 | 04:37 PM

Lest readers deduce, based on my whining, crying and kvetching about ass pain, that spin is too difficult for an average person to master, I think it's time to tell you a little something about me.

This week I turn 55. So far, in three classes I think I was the oldest woman in B-East.

I am easily 50 to 70 pounds overweight, depending on which table you use.

I have not exercised in over 20 years! Not with any consistency and definitely not in a class with other people and an instructor. I am extremely sedentary.

Despite all these red flags, I enjoy very undeserved good health. I don't get sick and have only taken antibiotics once or twice in my whole life.

At my last checkup, with a new physician, it was clear he was surprised by my blood pressure and blood work results. "You're very healthy," he said.

"You want to stay that way," he added before launching into admonishments about weight loss.

The point of this confessional?

To ensure readers that – I'm old, I'm fat, I'm far from fit, and I can still do spin. Check with your doctor, of course, but you probably can, too.

The Second Spin

February 05, 2013 | 10:51 AM

Joe Gaviola was right, spinning is just like sex. If you take your time, get to know what (who) you're riding, and change positions deliberately, when it's over, you can't walk or sit for a while, but you're bathed in euphoria.

Go too fast, try to show off or do too many things at once, and it's all elbows and knees, and somebody's probably gonna get injured.

I met Joanna for a second spin at B-East in Amagansett Wednesday morning. Romaine, the spin diva, offered me more tips. Key among them: You're not going to fall off the bike (which, given my personal experience, kinda kills the sex analogy).

Once I was in the saddle, having clipped in the special shoes ALL BY MYSELF, she pulled it all the way to one side, then to the other to show me that I would never fall off -- and got her own workout in the process, I imagine.

Feeling more secure in the seat, I was ready for the next challenge. Romaine showed me how to increase tension -- similar to changing gears on a regular bike -- and how to use increased tension to "come out of the saddle," meaning pedal standing up. "I want you to try to do that this class," she said.

Rachelle led the class, which was focused on "intervals." Intervals entail changing speed and tension, riding in the saddle or standing up. You work your way, incrementally, to a maximum energy output, then back down, only to work back up to a peak (returning us to the sex analogy).

Rachelle counted off the intervals which could be just seconds long. (Now the sex analogy hits real close to home. Ouch) I came out of the saddle SEVERAL times! I could only last a few rotations, but felt super victorious, confident reaching down to change tension and getting the feel of my bike.

Years and years ago, my son was in a summer soccer league. He was just in kindergarten, which I thought was a little young for organized sports, but who was I to say? I dutifully brought my beach chair down to the field at Springs School to watch him "play."

And play, the little ones did.

Not, soccer, though.

About half the kids actually kicked the ball up and down the field. The other half chatted with each other, or sat in the grass playing with dirt as the "goalie" did cartwheels or threw her arms out and spun around till she got dizzy and fell.

They all had fun, in their own way.

That's how I felt at spin, like the little girl goalie having her own form of fun, mostly oblivious to the rest of the field.

You can be as engaged with other spinners as you want. Although the room can be full of people, the lights are kept dim, the music loud, and the teacher's voice keeps up a steady stream of encouragement and guidance.

Pacing myself, I often pedaled in what seemed like slow motion compared to other riders. But nobody was looking. The environment lends itself to intense concentration, and visualization. Some moments it's just you, the instructor's voice, and the imaginary hill you're climbing. You're in your own world, just like the cute guy in bike 32 is in his. You close your eyes, breathe deeply, and just . . . keep pedaling.

As with the first class, I was surprised when it was over. The time flew, I mastered a new move, felt more confident in the saddle, and toddled around in a thick cloud of runner's high euphoria for hours afterward.

I did still need Joanna to help me off the bike . . . Baby steps.

Speaking of steps. I headed out to Gurney's for a yummy Roman Bath muscle pummeling Wednesday afternoon. Arriving at the spa, I stood at the top of the stairs for a while. Why couldn't they install a T-bar like they have at ski resorts? Then they'd be perfect.

On Thursday I went to the middle school for an interview . . . more stairs. I was inspired to workout Thursday night, back with the hip hop "ghetto fabulous" DVD, a piece of cake compared to spin.

Friday morning I considered using the elevator instead of climbing the stairs to our office. I was wearing jeans I rejected a week earlier because they were too tight and uncomfortable.

I'm going back Sunday morning.

Gurney's Inn
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