By: Chrysa Smith


One of my exercise goals is that once the thirst, the sweating, the burning is done, that full functioning of my body will return. I’m still waiting.

Two days ago, after some encouragement, and the desire to rise to a new challenge, I joined a friend for a spinning class. Well, it wasn’t just any spinning class. It was a SoulCycle class—-the pinnacle of spinning. If you haven’t experienced it first-hand, let me clue you in. It’s like a nightclub on steroids, mixed with masochistic tendencies and wrapped up in a trendy package for the adrenalin -addicted female masses. Sound like fun? For the female masses I’m accustomed to? Hardly.

I knew I was in trouble when I walked in and they handed me a pair of shoes with cleats. The only time I’ve touched these was to pick up after my son’s soccer games. I’ve always enjoyed riding my bike, though, so I journeyed on. I stepped into a dark room lined with rows of stationary bikes (or so they seemed) lined up like toy soldiers. Not too bad, until the attendant came and clamped my cleats into the pedal clips and locked me onto the bike. That was my first lightbulb moment—if I had to be locked in, was it because I’d want to escape? Well, sort of—but not until the first five minutes had passed.

It was then when I realized that all of the other women in the class were up and riding their bikes STANDING, unlike this gal who couldn’t STAND upright off the bike seat for more than 90 seconds. OMG! The strength needed in your core and legs for this effort made me feel like I was about to climb Mt. Everest. Tried as I might, I just couldn’t maintain the standing biking position for very long at all.

Meanwhile, everyone around me was busily following the instructor’s directions. A lean, mean spinning machine, she was so tightly toned, you wanted to poke her to find out if she was real. Part DJ, part robo-woman, she sat up on the main bike and yelled out moves we were to do. You mean we needed to do more than cycle in sync with the pumping music? Well, yes.

Hands on the various handlebar positions, women were bobbing and swaying, left and right, up and down. And it was then that I realized that spinning may not be my best sport. Thank God for the lack of light, so no one could really tell that I completely wimped out, sat down. No one, but my inner thighs, that is. For they took the brunt of the wimping—absorbing every bit of shock from the frenetic peddling and the anxiety that came from fear of being ‘found out.’

I hate these type of experiences. My friend is quite trim and toned and young—perfect for this experiment. And her friend? Well, the Pilates instructor on Day 2 claimed her to be ‘wickedly strong’, so that didn’t bode well for comparison. So, long story short, they both stood and pedaled for the full 45 minutes. And I faked it.

I did get the benefit of 45 minutes of peddling, but not the intense core workout it was meant to be. If my core were stronger, I could see where it could be an incredible 45 minute workout. But I don’t foresee that happening any time soon. If I do, you’ll hear about it.

So my friend and I went to Pilates today (which I’m pretty in sync with), with sore thighs and all (at least me). And she invited me to go with her again right afterward to another spinning class. I politely declined and felt proud that even though I don’t think I’ll put my spinning cleats on again anytime soon, I tried something new. And even though it wasn’t completely appealing to me, it did make me realize just how much I did like Pilates—and how good it feels to do the things you are good at.

So I’ve gotta go get some rest tonight—-Zumba @9:45 tomorrow morning!