As many of you know, I have recently embraced physical exercise again. After my Pilates class last week, I felt inspired to try something new on Sunday.
And try something new, I did.
I decided to try Spinning.
For those of you not familiar with Spinning, it basically resembles about 20 gerbils on their own stationary bicycles, pedaling ferociously and in different positions, with differing intensities, in a supreme effort to lose weight.
It is not a pretty sight.
I cannot tell you what exactly made me decide that this was a good idea, but I vaguely recall a engaging conversation with my husband, and some words in the neighborhood of "Don't take the class, you might hurt yourself."
Now, I know that these words, however well intentioned, were not hurtful. But, damn if he doesn't know how to push my buttons after 19 years. So what did Maria do?
She walked into the Spinning class with her trusty neighbor (who is a Spinning junkie, for real) and got herself and the bike adjusted, strapped in, and began warming up.
In the row in front of me, was a 250 pound woman, with confidence to spare.
Class began. The music was pumping. And I held on. I pedaled. I sweated. I glanced at the clock looming ominously red, overhead. But I could not lift my behind off the seat.
I changed the tension, and try to stand. I quickly found out that you must REALLY jack up the tension in order to lift your arse off the seat and not eat the floor in the process. I found a little more success, but not enough. Throughout the hour, I did manage to try to lift my behind, but it was certainly harder than it looked.
And ahead of me, my 250 pound sister made it look easy.
I can't tell you how I survived that hour. But dagnamit, I will not walk away from a dare. And my poor husband saying those words to me were equivalent to the triple dog dare in A Christmas Story.
Of course, I had different problems after the completion of the class. Mainly, how to walk without looking like a cripple. And how to sit on a chair without wanting a visit from the Grim Reaper. I also looked like I had walked into a shower, fully clothed.
All in the name of burning anywhere from 700 to 1000 calories in that hour. Totally justifies the amount of humiliation and pain, right?
My neighbor looked at me with a look of amazement and doubt that she was dealing with a completely sane person. And slight admiration. She could not believe that I hung on, pedaled with intensity and determination for an hour, and was still upright.
My husband was astounded. And worried. Guessing.
Was I crazy? Did I feel okay?
I am a little bit crazy. I have never walked away from a challenge, real or perceived.
I felt okay, for the moment. But I had a sneaking suspicion that I would soon be in the need of some pharmaceuticals. Pronto.
And later on that night, as I stood in the hot shower, wincing in pain, I described what I felt like.
He laughed his hearty laugh.
And it was almost worth it.
What will make it worth it will be when I can do that class without sitting when I should be lifting. When I see the excess weight drop. When I am as strong physically as I feel mentally.
The pain did not do enough to deter me. I called my neighbor yesterday. We will be trying the 5:30 AM Spinning class at least twice a week during the summer.
No more excuses.
Just putting your money where your mouth is.
That and my twenty year high school reunion in a year.
I have time, right?