I went to the Y today and worked out hard and long. I needed the sweat, and the woman who teaches the spinning class is a cross between a pretty little flower child hippie and a Nazi Death Camp Torturer. She pathologically cheerful and she brightens any room she enters. She’s always happy, smiling, and did I mention she is always so cheerful? Sometimes she really very cheerful and there are the other times when she totally cheerful.
I’ve taken Pilates classes with her that left people lying on the floor moaning in pain. I took a Yoga class with this woman that caused the joints in my body to pop so loud people across the room could hear them. So today was the infamous Spinning Class, which is like a stationary bike class, but they teach it in a closet. Yes, a closet. They had the bikes set up in the corner of the gym at one time, but for reasons which escape me, they took the smallest broom closet they had, and put the better part of a dozen stationary bikes in it.
As a guy taking what is mostly chick classes I feel obligated to pretend I know everything there is to know about all things mechanical, when the reality of the situation is I’m as mechanically reclined as anyone alive. Seriously, my talent with screwdrivers always involves vodka and orange juice. Friday I took the spinning class and the pregnant instructor was taking it too. This is the woman who was six month preggers and teaching step class. We all thought it was going to be easy because she was showing but it was brutal. That’s one thing I can say about the Y here; they hire some of the most dedicated and hardworking instructors ever released from their duties as interrogators from CIA terror prisons. Anyway, we’re about two minutes into the class Friday when I hit a serious bump in the road, but I’m on a stationary bike. It sounded like a gunshot in that damn closet. Turns out I hadn’t tightened my seat down so when it fell… The Pregnant woman was a little startled but she didn’t deliver. I swear to you that daughter of hers is going to be born doing gymnastics.
Anyway, back to today, where the neat little smiling and cheerful, did I mention this woman is cheerful, hippie chick, cranks up the tunes, and we begin an hour of what has to be considered premeditated attempted slow homicide. For those of you who have never taken a spinning class the stationary bikes have a knob that raises the level of resistance of your pedaling. You can breeze through the lower levels, or you can crank it up and it seems like you’re biking Everest into the wind. The Cheerful Keeper of the iPod has us cranking it up, and then she’s got us standing up, sitting down, up, down, up, down, up, down, and all the while the woman never stops smiling and being cheerful.
Did I mention this woman is as cheerful as the Spinning Class is long?
But really, let’s look at this thing for a moment. What exactly does anyone join a gym for if not to get pushed, and pushed hard? What are you paying for if not a great work out? You want to step out of a class saying to the person next to you, “Gee, that was easy! I guess I’m in great shape after all!” No, if you’re trying to get in shape you have to find someone to challenge you. You have to find someone that will put you to the test, and put your body through something you cannot do on your own. (or why else would you be there?) By the end of the class my legs feel like they’re made of rubber. I’m sweating quarts of water out. I feel drained, but at the same time I feel that workout buzz you get when your body has been pushed hard. The instructor is a happy woman, and she’s happy with how hard we pushed, too. She’s urges us to come to her next class, which is at 5:30 tomorrow morning, but that seems to elate her. This is a woman who can take great pride in her work, and her work ethic. She’s pushed a closet full of people to their limits, and she’s done it with a bright and beautiful smile on her face.
Did I mention…nevermind, I did.