I was not expecting that

I went to spin class today. It had been a while since I was “in the saddle” but I felt like the time had come to ease into it. I didn’t check to see who was teaching or text anyone to ask them to go with me – I just went for it.

As I walked into the studio space I remained non-committal and even kept my headphones in (yes, I still have earbuds and I am not yet at the Avatar-esque iPhone seven with no jack necklace level of audio). There was some sort of Latin synth-rave-dance music that I just couldn’t rally support for. My faded gray Nike throwback “just do it” tank was no match for the instructor’s new-tennis-ball yellow futuristic fabric tee in front of me. I would keep my own music probably. The room was too cold. The lights were too bright.

A strange thing happened at the warm up. The instructor introduced himself. Well, sort of. He called out to himself in the third person. If I am being completely upfront with you, he pretended to call 9-1-1 and when he answered (himself) he reported that he needed to report an emergency? A crime? I can’t remember exactly what he said but you need to know this man was reporting that we were going to crush? Murder? Kill, was it? The class set.

Oh, okay, then.

If you are a Walking Dead fan of this season you are likely familiar with the character ‘Negan’ played with exquisite execution by Jeffery Dean Morgan. This instructor kind of scared me and motivated me the same way. (Minus Lucille, of course).

His seemingly steady Midwestern tone, delivered with a smile and borderline calm urging gave way seconds later to loud, barking correction to “shift it and lift it” and “Jump, Jump , JUUUUMMMMPPPPPPP”. I was slightly terrified and I can guarantee that I have never worked so hard in any class I have ever taken, ever.

Sometimes, when I have taken a spin class before, I would glance up at the clock wondering how long the song was or how long I had already been working out. I had no time for that today. I was spent and sputtering for air, my hair matted to my head and my legs threating to buckle under me after each full cycle.

I had walked into that space full of confidence that I was likely mismatched by music alone and had almost skipped out before it began in search of the stair climber or rowing machine. This runs counter of course to all the work I am doing as a parent who tries to encourage an unbiased experience for the kids. I walked out (limped, almost) of the gym a different person today and looking down at the dark gray, soaked “just do it” made me laugh, because I had gotten out of my own way and I had.

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