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Indy Gets Fit
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.

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby

January 26, 2013 | 01:37 PM

"Where's your booty going?" chirped the super peppy Hip Hop Fat Burn instructor as he slid across the TV screen. "My booty (pant) is going (pant) to fall off," I croaked.

"You're ghetto FABULOUS!" he hollered, executing a move best described as The Rerun from What's Happening."

"Ooof" I replied, executing a move best described as "The Elaine Benis from Seinfeld full body dry heave," or, for our older readers, "The Ralph Cramden Hucklebuckle."

About two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk eating potato chips washed down with microwaved coffee left over from the day(s) before, compiling information about gyms for an upcoming feature in our Health &Fitness Guide.

I pitched the idea of the Health & Fitness Guide, then set to nagging all my coworkers to participate. Emily embarked on a 10 day juice fast, then took a boot camp class.

I ate the potato chips, washed down with coffee, Cremora and Splenda. I do go for the top shelf Splenda, but the powder isn't even "real" Cremora; it's generic. Two apples and a grapefruit sit rotting on the corner of my desk – "Still Life In Fiber."

Last weekend it was my task to visit some gyms and attempt to take photographs. I went to B East to shoot a spin class last Sunday morning. Aside from the whole early morning exertion part, it didn't look that hard. The room was packed with what looked like regular people. Howard Lebwith was there pedaling away with a smile on his face – and he's 80.

Talking about it with Joanna, our ad sales exec and ardent spinner the next morning, I repeated the observation. She repeated what she's been saying to me for a while – a year, maybe three: "You should come take a class."

In a follow up email to Romaine Gordon, B East's fitness guru, I mentioned the class actually looked fun. She repeated the invitation she's offered me periodically – for a year, maybe three. "Come take a class as my guest."

Joanna and I continued to talk about it, and I raised my classic concerns – I'm afraid for my knees.

She said, "You can go at your own pace."

So I said, "Okay. Sign me up."

We talked about it some more (It was only deadline day, so we had plenty of time to chat).

"I think you'll love it," Joanna. "All the energy and music, it's you."

I said "Okay. Sign me up."

After years of refusals, Joanna apparently didn't believe me. After the fourth or fifth time she extolled the benefit of the class, I said for the fourth or fifth time, "Okay. Sign me up."

"I'm signing you up!" she said with a look . . . a look I couldn't quite figure out. I would later realize it was a look of enthusiasm, excitement, and pure evil.

"We have two bikes next to each other near the wall," she told me, walking away chuckling ominously. "Is it in the smoking section?" I asked. "Near the AED?"

She laughed some more.

As days wore on, Joanna would offer little tips. They were, for the most part, scary little tips.

"Be sure to come early, so they can fit you with the special shoes," she advised.

"Whaddaya mean, 'Special Shoes'?" I asked, visions of gutter balls and Lysol prompting a shudder.

"They're to lock you in," she said blandly.

"Whaddaya, mean, 'LOCK ME IN'? I thought I could go at my own pace," I queried, somewhat hysterically.

The spin bikes operate with a flywheel, Joanna explained. You can go at your own pace . . . sort of, she said, walking away, that ominous chuckle trailing behind her.

"Do they have BRAKES?" I yelled after her.

The chuckle turned into a cackle.

By Friday morning, I'd pretty much forgotten about the class, juiced about Saturday night plans to venture upisland to see Van Halen and Pat Benetar cover bands. I regaled office mates about the plan, doing a little "Panama" riff, when Joanna reminded me.

"You better not drink, you have spin class at 9:30," she said. "People with hangovers sometimes puke."

At this point, at THIS POINT, as opposed to, say, four days earlier when I was all "sign me up, sign me up," I ask, "Well, how long is the class, anyway?"

I learned it was an hour long, which didn't seem too horrible. I have a stationary bike in my basement gym that I can ride for 30 minutes, no problem. An hour shouldn't be that bad.

"Hey, it'll be over in time to get to the firehouse for the pancake breakfast," I point out.

"You won't be able to walk," Joanna intones, cackling. "You'll probably have to type standing up on Monday."

Friday wears on, punctuated by tips and and more cackling.

I don't need to bring my own water, Joanna tells me. They have great water there. I wonder if it's infused with Osteo-Biflex and Advil.

The "tips" culminate with a capper. "Don't plan to do anything romantic Sunday night," Joanna, who I thought liked me, warns. "This whole area . . . " she says with a sweeping gesture to the crotch. She doesn't finish the thought, just shakes her head solemnly before walking away.

Chuckling softly.

Where's my booty going? Tonight it's heading to Smithtown for some 80s rock. Tomorrow morning? It's apparently headed to Pain Land.

Stay tuned …

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