Yesterday, I decided I would take a spinning class. People have been spinning for years and I’ve never done it, so this would be my chance [spinning: an indoor cycling class with various phases (warm-up, sprints, hills, cool-down, etc.) led by an instructor].
People started trickling into the class and greeting each other and having conversations. This was a bad omen – it meant they probably all knew each other and had been doing this for a while. My foreboding increased when the instructor came in and asked the new people to raise their hands.
“Have you done spinning before?” she asked me (of course the other new girl had).
“No,” I said.
“And this is the class you choose to take?” she replied.
At this point, anyone with sense would have picked up her water bottle and hand towel and quietly excused herself – my dog is dying, my pastor needs help with her iPad – something!
So instructor comes over and introduces herself – Nellie (I shall later refer to her only as Demon because I believe that’s her true name) – and helps me set up my bike.
“Now,” she says, “you don’t worry about the rest of the class. If you get to a point where you can’t keep up – just put your gear back down to 10 or 8 and coast. They can get kind of crazy.”
Ok – that seemed cool. I would learn later that it wasn’t “they” who were crazy; it was she!
So we get started – at gear 8. We’re pedaling along nicely and then Demon says, “Get your heart rate above 100!” I look at the screen on my bike. My heart rate is about 75. I start pedaling with more intensity, trying to raise this heart rate. It required a lot more intensity, but I finally got the numbers to about 100. Then, Demon says “Go to gear 10!”
I switch to gear 10 and immediately my heart rate drops. Pedaling just got harder too. I pedal harder trying to get the heart rate back up. The stupid thing seems stuck in the 80s. So I’m pushing and pushing, and then she say, “Ok – out the saddle!” The saddle? I look around and everyone is now off their seats, pedaling hard. I decide to try this and nearly fall over. So now I’m trying to keep my balance and get my heart rate back up while pedaling harder, and she shouts “Gear 12!”
I look up at the clock. It’s 7:10. We are supposed to go till 8. I. Am. Going. To. Die. And I didn’t even get to say bye to the boys after their swimming class.
Suffice it to say, I spent most of the class sitting on the bike, pedaling hard between gears 8 and 10. Demon kept doing things like making us do arm and shoulder exercises while riding (She seemed not realize that the class description said it’s a spinning class, not full body workout). And she kept saying “Sprint!” This is where everyone pedals as fast as they can, as though all the demons of hell, not just the one in our class, are chasing us. But the reason why she really deserves the name Demon is that at about 7:40, when we’re dying, Pharrell’s “Happy” comes on. And this woman proceeds to tell us “Work, work! You’re happy – don’t you hear the song? You’re happy!!” Happy????? Demon, I tell you – D.E.M.O.N.!!!
But I persevere. It’s now about 7:48 – I can see the end. Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” comes on. She tells them to get their gears up to 20. I put mine to 16 (I’m coasting, remember?). And…we’re to go slowly. Wonderful! I actually am doing this. Standing too! This must be the cool-down period, I tell myself. I’ve forgotten though, that stupid Proud Mary doesn’t keep rollin’ slowly down the river. That song gets really, really, really fast at the end (listen here). And of course what does Demon do? “Sprint!!! Get those gears up to 22!!!” I confess – I sat down and pedaled as fast as I could – at gear 8.
We finish the class, and I go up to Demon (don’t worry – I didn’t have any sharp objects in my hands).
“What’s the class I should take before this one?” I ask her.
“What do you mean?” she says.
“There must be an introductory class,” I reply.
“No – you need to come back to this one,” she says.
“But I sat pretty much the entire class,” I say. “This can’t be the class for me.”
“Did you pass out?” she asked?
“Did you get a good sweat?”
(I am dripping – I had to go home and blow dry my hair! That has never happened to me after any workout) “Yes,” I say.
“Then I’ll see you next week,” she responds nonchalantly, as if she hadn't almost just taken me to death’s door.
As I turn to leave, she says “Oh – you might want to sign up for my Insanity class – the girls in here all come from there. If you wait to sign up just for spinning, you might not get a bike, but if you’re early and sign up for Insanity, then you’ll definitely get a bike, cause you can sign up for both at the same time.”
I look at her. If she thinks I’m about to sign up for any class with her called INSANITY, she must be a little crazy for real. But I go ahead and ask – “What do you do in Insanity?”
Yeah. So I'm NEVER taking Insanity.
Now this is the point where I should show you the spiritual lesson I gained from this experience. But I’m not sure I have one. I do know that I need some padded bicycle shorts before next Monday – so if anyone has a pair to lend, please call me at … Ha!
Here’s the lesson – it may seem that God is trying to kill you. But He knows you and what you can do. You don’t have to be at the same level as everyone else around you – He wants you to go at your own pace, and He’ll guide you through. He’ll push you so you get the workout you need, so you get the results you want. The goal is to get to 8 o’clock. It doesn’t matter if you do that while at gear 8 or gear 16 – when it’s 8 o’clock, you’ve ALL made it, and He’s gotten you to the end - salvation.
Fortunately, He doesn’t offer an Insanity class! Lol.