I knew I wanted to get in a couple of days of exercise while I'm on vacation this week, but it looked like the days Kim's gym had Zumba weren't going to work for me because of other plans we had for the week. I told Kim I was open to trying some of the classes she usually does, so this morning I found myself going to my first spin class.
For some reason I wasn't nervous before hand. I should have been. Kim told me about the two spin classes she goes to every week and I felt comfortable trying out this one this morning because it was 30 minutes on the bike and then 30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical.
When we got to the gym we picked out our bikes. Kim helped me adjust my bike to where it was comfortable. I was in the back row right in front of a fan. Our little instructor, Marianna, came in and Kim let her know I was new. She went over a few basics with me and said something that came in really handy later in the class - "if you don't want to get out of the saddle that's ok."
Marianna let us know what we had in store for class. Something about timed sprints and climbs and what have you. I didn't know what she was talking about. It was time for the warm up and we started by cranking the resistance dial up a turn.
It wasn't long before she instructed the class to get up out of the saddle and peddle. OMG - it didn't take me more than a second to realize I was going to be in trouble if I kept up with the out-of-the-saddle thing. I managed to get through the 30 seconds and was so so thankful she had told me it was ok not to stand up if I didn't want to. I would have really felt self-conscience if she hadn't and stayed down or I would have pushed too hard and ended up not being able to finish the class.
Honestly, there were a few times during the spin part that I thought I wasn't going to be able to do it. I had a hard time getting my breathing under control in the beginning mixed in with the general nervousness of being at a new gym, trying a new class and being next to Kim who was kicking butt at the class.
I got my head together though and remembered that I needed to go at my own pace. I was able to keep up with the resistance instructions and to go faster or dig deeper with the rest of the class.
Once that 30 minutes was up we transitioned to the next room and Kim and I picked out ellipticals to do the second part of the class. Marianna came over and asked what I thought. I must have mumbled something like "good." She told me I did a great job and that gave me a boost.
Kim and I had a few minutes to chat before we got started and she said a few things that made me feel good. First, she said today's class was a lot harder than normal. Then when I told her that I wasn't able to get out of the saddle, she told me it took her a few weeks before she was able to master the out-of-saddle thing for a whole class.
So next up was the elliptical part. Marianna shouted out incline and speed numbers to the participants using the treadmills and gave those of us on elliptical cues like "you're hiking through tall grass" or "your climbing over rocks" to help us set our resistance.
I've only done the elliptical a few times before today and I always struggled to stay on more than 25 minutes or so. My legs would be too tired and I'd be out of breath. It must have been the spin part prior but I felt pretty comfortable on the machine. There wasn't a point where I thought I wouldn't be able to do it.
I just kept to a pace that I was comfortable with, but I could tell the regulars where getting a really good work out with all of her instructions to increase this and increase that. At one point I almost looked behind me because it sounded like the guy behind me was breathing so hard that surely he had to be on my machine with me.
The 30 minutes on the elliptical went pretty quickly. Towards the end of it, Gracie walked past with the other kids in child watch to head into the gym to play Red Light; Green Light. It put a huge smile on my face when she smiled at me waving as she went past. I was so proud for her to see her mommy working out. I think it's so important for me to be a good example for her.
On the way home I was telling Kim what I thought. I think that if it was a class I was able to go to regularly I would be able to work up to being able to be out of the saddle and to follow all the instructions. I think I would learn to really like it and feel a lot of pride after each class because it was a hard class.
Kim was telling me how much she likes this class because Marianna lets you know what's coming up next. She told us sprints were next and we would be doing five of them and Kim says that really helps to be able to feel like you know you can get through it. She also says Marianna mixes things up a lot. Sometimes instead of the treadmill she'll take the class into the gym to do floor work. It seems like it would be a class that would never get boring.
When I got back to the house I did look up the times my Y does have spin class. I'm not sure I could do an hour class at this point. Maybe if I stayed down and took it pretty easy. Then I could just work my way up.
The other night I was talking to my brother who's training for his marathon about how when I read people's blogs about marathons they always talk about how awful the actual race is - how they hit walls and think they can't finish and when they do they say they'll never do it again. Then two days later they've signed up for another marathon. He says it's about the sense of accomplishment, about pushing yourself and seeing what you can do. I wonder if I didn't experience a little of that today. I do clearly remember at some point thinking I couldn't do it, but at lunch when I was talking to Erick about the class I told him it was great.
And yes, my butt really hurts. I'm sure that goes away after a few weeks of class too.