Indy Gets FitWe'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.
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.