8/52: Spinning my wheels without going anywhere

I have something against treadmills. Why would I run or walk in the same excruciatingly boring spot when I have the option of exploring all the sights, sounds and smells of a neighborhood? So my interest in taking a spinning class was kind of random. Different machine, same problem, right?

Not really, as I learned on Monday night. Add black lights, pounding music and an instructor yelling at me to stand on my pedals and run every few minutes, and there’s no room for boredom. Only time for sweating and wondering how badly my be-hind was going to hurt afterwards. (FYI: No amount of seat padding helps.)

It felt like a return to my step aerobic roots. (Thankfully, pictures of those days do not exist.) No talk of connecting breath and movement, no spirituality — just an intense, heart-thumping hour. Immediately afterwards, I felt wired in a not-so-great way. For the past few years I’ve been using exercise as a way to calm my mind, not to continue the chaos of my work day. The constant stimulation of the class was anything but relaxing. But by the time I was home, I felt energized in a positive way. This was definitely not the typical Monday night energy level I’d been used to for the past six months. While I can’t imagine I’ll make spinning a part of my weekly routine, I can see myself taking a class when I need an energy boost (or after a serious chow-down).

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