New Year, Same Me: The Constant Struggle of Group Exercise

With the start of 2015, I joined the masses and promised myself that I was going to get my hiney in shape. Sally and I marched ourselves to the nearest gym, walked in and then proclaimed, “SIGN US UP!”

Side note: I enjoy working out – and by working out, I actually mean watching Dance Moms. I once attempted running a mile in 8th grade and passed out – literally fell over — and I took that as a sign to never run again.

I drove to the gym, which is located 4 blocks from my house because #babysteps. I had decided earlier that day that today was the day to test out a spin class. I know spin classes are tough, but what I walked in to was beyond spin class. Everyone was wearing neon spandex, a majority of the class had muscular thighs the size of Texas, and the machines looked like hovercrafts.

Before I continue, let me paint a picture. I am 5’2” and have absolutely no muscle – lifting a gallon of milk can sometimes put me over the edge. I practiced ballet for 15 years, but that is about the extent of my athleticism.

But, back to the spin class. I walked to the machine in the back corner, strategically avoiding mirrors and other humans. At the time, I figured this was going to be a nice, somewhat difficult 55 minutes of constant movement. BOY, WAS I WRONG.

Before starting the music, the instructor said, “Are you ready for some torture?!” Immediately, the crowd ROARED with enthusiasm.

Sally looked at me with a perplexed face and questioned, “Did he just say what I thought he said?” Before I had a moment to process what was happening in front of my eyes, “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” started blaring over the speakers and every single person in the class was standing on their toes, while riding their bikes AT A RESISTANCE LEVEL 16 OUT OF 20.

I thought to myself, “This won’t be too bad. This can’t be that bad.”

People. It was THAT BAD.

26 minutes into the class, between holding back the vomit and tears, I looked at the instructor and mouthed, “Helllllppp.” He instantly jogged over, looked at my machine and preceded to turn the resistance up BECAUSETHATMAKESSENSE.

But here’s the thing: as I tried to make eye contact with everyone around me to beg them for support, no one else had the look of terror in their eyes. They were actually enjoying this.

At one point, two fellas in the front were dancing (while spinning). People were clapping along with the music. Others were screaming, “WE WANT MORE!”

No, we don’t. We are really O.K.

The instructor then briefly paused and said, “We have 5 minutes left in class. We can either do one song and stretch, or two more songs. Let’s vote. Who wants to do one more song and then stretch?”

Simultaneously, Sally and I belted, “ME. WE DO. WE WANT TO LEAVE.” No one else agreed, so along with already dubbing ourselves as slackers, we also had to endure 10 more minutes of torture.

I was so pumped when the last song came on that I started belting the words to “I’m Every Woman” by Whitney Houston. The endorphins finally kicked in and I let my crazy make an appearance.

I’m every womannnnnn – it’s all in MEEEEE.

People looked. People stared. I had my eyes closed.

Anything you want done baby – I do it naturalllyyyyy.

I don’t think I will be making a guest appearance at that class regularly. But if there is anything that I gained from this experience (besides embarrassment and a sore body), I now have a wonderful idea: Karaoke Spin Class. Take that, Shark Tank.

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