Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A brief spell in HELL - and I'm going back

Up until I moved to Scotland, I used to cycle everywhere. You can't live without a car over here though. Everything is so spread out. I've therefore become a lazy bastard, and haven't cycled for over 4 years. Hence why I rejoined the gym recently.

Today's scene: Gym, lunchtime, spinning class. If you've never experienced spinning...don't. It is agony: pure, triple-distilled, concentrated agony. It is torture dressed up as exercise. You're probably thinking, he's just saying this because he's overweight and out of shape, and you'd be right. It doesn't mean I'm wrong though. Even the fit fuckers were clearly in distress and wobbling at the end of this class.

Normally when I've worked out, I don't feel it until the next morning. (When I say normally, what I really mean is: since I joined the gym three weeks ago). With spinning though, I already feel it, less than an hour after finishing the class. I'm gonna be walking like a cowboy by tomorrow. Pity I didn't start this class last week - it would've gone well with my outfit.

At the start of the class, you get on the bike, strap those feet in, and turn up the resistance a little. Pedalling away you think, this isn't so bad. Five minutes of this and you're thinking, man, I must be fitter than I thought - I can handle this!

Then the instructor shouts "Okay, everybody's gonna stand up and pump that body forward and back"...hmmm. This turns out to be do-able, but is pretty sore on the upper thighs. Sweat starts to pour. You fight to ignore your body's warning signs as your muscles start to throb, reminding you that you've been far too indulgent for the past, um, ever.

Thankfully, this torture ends and you get to sit down on the bike and pedal normally. Or so you think. No...what actually happens is, as soon as you sit down the instructor starts counting down "Alright, 4...3...2...1...and back up!" and you repeat the process. Again. And again. And again. For 40 fucking minutes.

This horrible, horrible exercise builds to an agonising, brutal crescendo involving sprints (pedalling as fast as you can) with the resistance turned up to high, while standing in a position that doesn't allow you to move your hips - this concentrates all your effort on your legs. End result is you almost collapsing off the bike, or at the very least having to sit back for a spell.

What makes it worse is that you can't stop pedalling. The wheel and the pedals are on a fixed gear, so the pedals can't move independent of the wheel like they do on a bike. In other words, no freewheeling. This means if you decide to stop suddenly, the pedals continue to rotate at full tilt, meaning your feet slip out and you get walloped in the shin by a high-speed pedal, or, as happened in my case, you look like the world's oldest, fattest child learning to ride a bike and wobbling and jerking your body until you eventually slow the pedals down using the only weapon in your arsenal: your weight.

Still, I know I'll be back next week*. I'm starting to notice the benefits of this . :-)

*presuming I can walk.


Summer blathered this crap:

Why would you subject yourself to torture? Have some self-love, man. Why not a sport? RUGBY!

Kav blathered this crap:

I play 5-a-side football (or soccer as you guys call it!) once a week, but I've really been feeling it catch up with me recently - out of breath and in pain by the second half of the match. That's why I rejoined the gym (and started spinning) - will hopefully help me get some fitness back for playing football.

My sense of self-preservation is too strong to allow me to play rugby (ie I'm a wuss).


freshairlover blathered this crap:

Rugby is good!

I love spinning because nothing shapes your ass the way spinning does.

Summer blathered this crap:

Ahhh! I see the need for the spinning now. Very good for you.

Soccer/Football is manly so, you cna have a pass. Rugby = Sexy tho. That's all I'm sayin'.

Kav blathered this crap:

fal: Soon, my shapely buttocks will be able to crack hazelnuts. Using only the power of my ass. Hmmm...maybe not hazelnuts. How about monkey nuts?

summer: TYVM! I'm already feeling better about myself - I'm useless without a bit of motivation, which is why I prob fare out better in the classes than left to my own devices. The class environment makes me push myself a bit more.

My wife loves rugby - she thinks it's very sexy too. She tells me I have rugby-player's thighs (from when I used to cycle alot)...shame about the rest of me though ;-)