I took my first spinning class ever yesterday.
After my regular workout I walked by the spinning room & found out that there was a one-hour spinning class starting in about 5 minutes. I know if I’m going to get serious about this triathlon thing, I better start actually training at some point. So against my better judgment, I walked on in. Hey, at least I’d have something to blog about, right?
As soon as I got there I felt out of place. I’m a tall, skinny guy with tiny legs & I’m surrounded by women who apparently have been cycling their entire adult lives, our cycling instructor who’s legs were big enough to kick down some buildings & old men in khakis who looked like they were there to watch the previously mentioned women attendees.
Before we got started the instructor made sure to ask if there were any newbies to the course. I, of course, like a sucker raised my hand although he could have probably just picked me out by noticing my epic struggle to get the seat & handlebars to a comfortable position. [Is there a comfortable position?] Anyways, he goes on to tell me that there’s no pressure, it’s going to take a while to get used to it, and that I shouldn’t worry about keeping up with the advanced cyclers around me.
Now I know I said I wasn’t going to be competitive to start out, but my competitive side tends to come out when somebody talks to me saying that I shouldn’t worry if a bunch of girls and old men wearing dress shoes outpace me.
So we started off our ride through the mountains of Lake Tahoe,
[Begin Tangent: I'm not sure who decided that a video of outside scenery is a good idea for a cycling class. The views they capture are never actually that interesting, it doesn't seem like the camera is moving nearly as fast as I'm pedaling & while this was my first time, I'd imagine that if I actually go again on a somewhat regular basis, I might be tired of the same ride. End Tangent]
Anyways, we’re biking up the mountain and I’m determined to keep pace with the instructor, girls & old men in fear that I might thoroughly embarrass myself. We go through a couple of intervals of sitting back in the saddle & pedaling fast [check out my new cycling vocab] & then bringing it up out of the saddle & standing up while pedaling slower. After about 5 of these, I’m about out of gas. I feel like we’ve biked the whole rocky mountain range so I check my watch hoping we’re at least 1/3 of the way done. I check my watch and almost swear.
5 minutes has passed. Literally just 5 minutes. I was so mad. 5 minutes!
I was tired as all get out from my previous workout. My legs were sore already. I was drenched with sweat. I was terribly thirsty & I had 55 minutes left of this hell.
I looked over at khaki shorts next to me still going strong and I just got even more mad. I just started mumbling to myself
“There is no way Khaki Shorts is going to beat me. Not happening.”
So I put my head down and just pedaled away. I blocked out khaki shorts, the league of ironwomen & our building kicking cycling instructor and just focused on the techno remixes of Miley Cyrus & Taylor Swift [Seriously, they were playing this. Does this motivate anyone?] I tried to ignore the waterfall of sweat I was producing & ignore my increasingly dehydrated body. Luckily I was in the back of the room so people wouldn’t notice my dazed pathetic look of exhaustion & despair.
[Note: If you ever go cycling. Ever. Bring 12 towels & 3 Water Bottles. Seriously. At least bring more than you think you're going to need. I had 1 very small towel that fell off my handlebars in the first 5 minutes & 0 water bottles. This poor judgment call left me incredibly soaked at the end of the ride, while simultaneously parched and I became that guy at the water fountain that uses it for a minute straight and looks like he wants to take it home with him.]
Fast forward 55 minutes & several too many Miley songs & I somehow made it through the hour long class.
Like I said, I was ready to quit in the first 5 minutes. But I sat down, ignored distractions [including khaki shorts] & focused on the end goal and I actually did it. I’m actually much more confident going into saturday too because I’ll only have to endure 30 minutes of hell instead of 60! That’s only half! Simple, right?!
I have a feeling that’s how I’m going to be about this whole triathlon thing. I’m pretty hesitant to go into it right now and it seems like a big challenge, but starting is the hardest part. After that, sure there’s a lot of hard work, but if I focus on the goal and not all the things I want to distract myself with, it’s pretty doable. I’ve already gotten over the first barrier, signing up and starting to train so hopefully I can go full speed ahead & use this blog to keep me accountable and go kick some tail.