Monday, December 13, 2010


I’m the first to admit it: I totally have an addictive personality.  I’m a hedonist when it comes to many, many things.  Cheese. Fat babies. Salted caramel. Laughs. Malbec. Snuggles. Baci. Trashy TV. Marinara. Words.  Music that stops me in my tracks.  I can’t get enough.  But never, ever would I think that I’d be one of those people.  You know the ones…with their nerdy shoes, and their towels and their cardiovascular health.  But it sure did happen.

I’m addicted to spin class, you guys. 
Listen, nobody is more surprised than me.  And if you would have told me 5 years ago that I’d drag myself out of my cozy bed 3 mornings a week, throw my hair in a disastrous (DISASTROUS!) bun, brave the freezing (65°) dawn and slog all the way (6 blocks) to the old gymnasium, I would have paused my TiVo’d episode of Six Feet Under just long enough to give you the stink eye from my perch on the couch, and tell you to hurry up and order a pizza already, damn.   But here I sit before you today, a devotee.   I know, you guys.
It started out innocently enough.  I’d just won my work-sponsored Biggest Loser-esque (ahhhh, a story for another time, pets!) competition and wanted to use the cash prize to invest in my health, so I joined my local gym.  I hadn’t belonged to a gym for a few years…ever since I stopped my membership at a swanky Irvine one.  My intentions there were good, but one too many 6am yoga classes staring at some random CEO’s hairy bubble gum got to be too much.  (SERIOUSLY?  You’re a professional!  You have got to know that those dolphin shorts or whatever you insist on wearing flap open when you’re Downdogging and Warrioring and leaping about.  Put on some pants, sir!  My eyes!)  Anyway, I was excited to join a smaller, more intimate gym and love the cozy community of my local one.  So there I was.  I figured since I was starting something new, I should be open to testing myself, so when I got invited to “just try” out a spin class one Saturday morning, I challenged myself to it.
Uh, holy hell, y’all.  What a nightmare.
I felt out of sorts to begin with because let’s face it…I hadn’t been on a bike in 56723920976 years.  At least.  (Well, 10ish.  Since the Tandem Debacle of Independence Day, 1998.)  And I wasn’t much for group classes.  But I showed up, hid in the back and willed myself not to pass out.  It worked.  Barely.
The class was packed and confusing and it HURT, ok?  And everybody was all pedal, pedal, pedaling away like Lance freaking Armstrong and I thought I was going to die dead.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one…I noticed a gent who kept glancing at me in the mirror while I was huffing--and trying not to burst in to tears--with a look of concern through the whole class.  Afterward I found out he was probably mind Jedi-ing me not to drop right dead on his day off…he’s a cardiologist.  (Can you imagine, you guys?! Embarassing!)  Anyway, I was totally spastic, but I survived.  And I even went back!
Fast forward almost 2 years and here we are.  Still showing up!  Granted, I have my whole annoying OCD routine with the seat adjusting and the disinfectant wiping of the knobs and the whatnot, plus my specific personal rules regarding where EXACTLY I sit in class.  Also, I spend the whole time thinking of cake, Italy, that one cute dress, and if everyone else wishes it was over as much as I do, but whatever, right?  I even prance around in the fancy shoes, you guys! Honestly, I have come to really rely on the stress release of it.  And you kind of feel like you accomplish something in that long, tortuous, hideous sweaty hour.  (Well…52 minutes.  You know I mosey around getting myself all situated and then jump my ass off that bike as soon as I can.) 
The thing is that I’m lucky enough to have the best Spin guru ever!  Erin makes every class different and always has just the right music to get you pumped right up.  She really, truly is a Godsend.  Everyone should be lucky enough to have an Erin…she keeps people coming back for more torment because she’s just that good.  And because we’re scared of her. 
So, I’m addicted to it and happily so.  I even thought maybe I was going to be a biker!  (Cyclist?  Street spinner?  What are those people I hate driving next to?)  With a cute little ensemble and jaunty helmet and everything!  But after I went derriere-over-tea-kettle this summer during a pub crawl on bikes, that dream was shattered.  All it takes is one scraped-up elbow owie and I realized I’m destined to stay in one spot.  Riding on a bike that goes to nowhere.


  1. You must tell me of the tandem debacle of Independance Day - 98!

    Way to go on the spin class. - I did it once...and that was enough for me... Totallly hard core brutal, and the pool of sweat that forms around the bike - CRAZY!

    But I completely understand that OCD ritual of it all. I beginning to find that I may have one of my own too, but with Spins buddy: the mightly eliptical machine.

  2. Bri: it can only be spoken of in hushed and reverent tones. (I'll scream the story to you over a champagne cocktail and the Christmas thumpa thumpa music Saturday night, for suresies!) PS: I'm suspicious of the elliptical...I'm always afraid it will malfunction and I'll end up on some whack splits formation!

  3. OMGish, Susan, seriously, you literally make me LOL!

  4. I love that you can continue to go...spinning makes me want to cry and I spend the whole hour sucking on my inhaler! You rock!