Tale I: Spin Class (now with a friend!)
For the very first time ever, I went to spin class and purposefully met someone I know there. (Why, this someone right here. Thanks J!) I’d be more surprised by this news if I didn’t know the real reason why I never want an actual person I know to see me at spin – there’s the uber sweating of course, and the potential for…well, fine. I’ll just say it. The potential for gas. Two super unattractive things in a human being, all combined to a-tempo music. Superb.
However, J recently joined my gym and kindly invited me to spin with her, and this felt like the right time. Minus the fact that I don’t know what friends should do at spin* (do you chat? Do you look over and share sympathetic faces? Do you ignore each other and pretend you’re not possibly close enough to bathing in one another’s perspiration? And what about that dreaded gas situation?) this sounded like a plan. Plus, it was motivating. Nothing like a friend relying on you to show up.
Our instructor was simultaneously amazing at song selection and completely un-motivating. It was one of the quietest spin classes I’d ever been to with some of the best music (hello, “Stacy’s Mom“). As in, the instructor said zero besides, “And now, sprints.” Not even a deadpan, “You can do it.” Regardless, this was still the hardest spin class I’ve ever taken. Not sure if that had to do with J or not.
J and I didn’t chat much, except during the very first warm-up song. We did share some pained grimaces, and I don’t think I accidentally splashed any sweat her way. But despite that, it was still just nice to have a friend nearby. Just in case.
Survey says: I’ll do it again!
Tale 2: Biking to Work
Hm. I haven’t had the choice to bike to work since ye olden days of waitressing, but since I’m in a bit of a holding pattern until my next project takes off, I have been borrowing a desk at a local company. So local that they’re a mere 20 minute bike ride from my house. Yesterday, I figured I’d do a direct compare/contract with spin and try the actual bike, taking my two-wheeler to the office.
Woah. Problem number one was footwear. I needed a pair that I could bike in and not ruin, and want to wear around all day in the office (which basically means a pair I can slip in and out of as I’m prone to curling up into a ball in my chair). I finally settled for a pair of wing-tip inspired lace ups that look more like jazz shoes than something biking appropriate, but I knew they’d be hard to scuff.
There was something very calming about riding my bike to work. It’s quiet, in the sense that there’s no radio or media (you can’t look at your email while biking). It’s almost zen. There’s fresh air at stoplights and the elements are all around you. However, other than that, bike riding to work is also one of the most stressful things one can do.
Seriously. Watching for potential doors being opened on you, worrying about potholes, knowing you’re smaller than everyone on the road, concerned if I fall over I might break my computer or spill my lunch out of my backpack, loud noises…even though I felt healthy and good about my small part in saving the environment, I also felt fraking terrified the entire time.
Survey says? I might do it again. In fact, I probably will. But I bet I will feel just as nervous.
*There was a canoodling couple in the spin class who were totally making out between bikes before the start of class, and I had to wonder if that’s typical behavior.