Last week my Thursday Spin teacher announced it was her second last class and though I’m happy for her to be moving on, I feel like it’s the end of an era.
I know some of you are thinking, “It’s just a Spin class. What’s the big deal?”, but for me, and more importantly for “Sex & Samosas”, Spin has helped me keep my sanity (those of you who know me, insert your own jokes here). And let’s face it, I’m not complaining about the fact that my butt isn’t dragging on the floor behind me like it would if I let gravity have its way with it.
It’s time for me to let you in on a little secret…the chapters in “Sex & Samosas” are plotted out to replicate a Spin class though this is something that I suspect no one with the exception of me, would notice. There are 9 chapters that sync to the tracks of the RPM Spin class I became addicted to more than 8 years ago.
After a painful breakup with my partner, I decided instead of wallowing in self-pity, I would renew my membership to my gym and take up Spin class (mostly because the classes were finally included in the membership price- “free” is my second favourite F-word!).
I’ll never forget that first class…I had no towel, no water, and no idea what to expect.
It was a small room and all the bikes faced each other in a U shape. I climbed aboard, yelped a “whoa baby!” as my tender lady bits came crashing down on the seat. The teacher just smiled and asked me if I needed help adjusting my bike. I can only remember some of what happened during that class. The rest is a blocked out blur. It took every ounce of composure I had not to grab the water bottle from the woman sitting next to me or to scream out obscenities between tracks when everyone else was woo-hooing and asking for more.
After the class, I went up to the teacher and shyly told her it was my first time.
“Did you like it?” she asked, barely a bead of sweat on her forehead.
“I think so,” I mumbled, still wiping away the rainfall of wetness from my hair with the back of my t-shirt sleeve. “But there’s just one thing…”
“The seat?” she said instinctively.
“Yessss! It really hurts!”
“Oh, don’t worry, Honey,” she said calmly, “You’ll be desensitized to it in no time.”
“Um, I don’t want to sound ungrateful,” I said making sure we were alone in the room before finishing, “but if there is one place I don’t want to become desensitized, it’s down there.” (Those of you who know me, insert your jokes here).
Call me a glutton for punishment (I’m a glutton for chocolate too), I did manage to go back to the class and not only did I learn to love it, I started to find I couldn’t live without the rush afterwards. My body started to take on a new shape, I felt healthier and I found myself looking forward to each class.
I knew everyone’s name. We became like one twisted, sweat-soaked family of hard core bikers in no time.
My teacher, later that year, would help the other people in the spin room decorate my bike on my birthday.
I zone out on the bike.
My mind leaves my body and goes into that clear space above the noise of my everyday worries, my personal angst and my pressing life obligations.
In that open zone I am able to compose tweets, write poems, finish chapters and more importantly, refuel my drive.
There are some days when I simply don’t want to go to class. I want to sit at home, eat chocolate, watch mindless television and do nothing.
I had nights like that when I was selling the toys too. I simply didn’t have the energy to put on a smile, talk about clitoral cream and sing the praises of warming liquids. But somehow you dig deep and you rise to the occasion…not unlike what happens when you use said warming liquid! 🙂
I’m sure my Spin teachers are the same.
I know they must have days when they don’t want to teach, don’t want to get on the bike and act happy and fit for everyone but would rather sit at home, eat chocolate and maybe try out some of that cream. But they go to gym, they teach the class and somehow they inspire people at the same time.
I’m one of those people.
Every time the teacher shouts, “What did you come here for?” and asks you to dig a little deeper, I dig down on the bike, rise into that clear space in my mind and compose new story lines and align my goals.
Every time the teacher yells: “You’re stronger than you think!”, I peddle past the rejection letters from agents and build up motivation to keep my dreams alive.
And every time the teacher screams, “Push your limits and get to the top!”, I climb up the mountain to a padded seat at the peak next to Oprah where I flop down in a sweat and tell her all the struggling was worth it.
It may sound corny (because it is) but it’s true.
Without the dedication of these teachers I might not have found my way back to myself as Leena did on her journey and so many others do on a regular basis.
To my Spin teachers I’d like to express a deep heartfelt thank you from my tight little bottom to the bottom of my heart.
Now if you want a lesson on how that warming liquid works…the teacher is in.