For 45 minutes, or an hour, or an hour and a half, I almost die from turning the resistance knob harder and harder until my legs can’t move anymore. By this point I hope you know that I am not a motivational speaker–I pretty much just try to get through my commutes without tripping and label that a successful day. But in the past few months, spinning has dominated so much of my life that I felt it was time to share some of the things that run (spin?) through my mind when I think I might fall off the bike or that my legs will fly off the bike without the rest of my body…beyond, evidently, wishing violence upon myself. This is not a comprehensive list of everything you need to know before spinning or living by any means, but none of it hurts to try…right?
1. Push Yourself
If you can’t push yourself on a bike, you can’t push yourself in life. Spinning can be a tricky workout, because it is very individualized, which makes it very easy to cheat, especially if you are an idiot like me and drink a lot of coffee beforehand (I don’t recommend doubling up on things that make your heart race). It takes so much self control and determination to keep going, but the more you push yourself, the stronger you get. Plus, it’s only after you push yourself out of your comfort zone that you realize how fast you can actually go.
Courtesy of tumblr
2. Might as Well Jump
Pushing through isn’t easy when the pedals push back and you can’t move your legs anymore. Life kind of sucks too when everything gets harder, and sometimes (not always), it’s better to just go ahead and move on. If you wait for just the right moment, it can be perfect to just leap out of everything you’ve been fighting. You just have to make sure you’re ready before you take the leap…if you don’t have enough resistance to hold you up, you will embarrass yourself, I promise. And yes, I am speaking from experience.
Courtesy of everyone who used this hashtag on tumblr
3. Never ever ever give up
I might be the worst example of this, because most of the time I am too embarrassed to leave in the middle of class (which will be why I won’t be surprised if I ever fall off the bike). If you don’t keep pedaling, don’t keep pushing, then you can never get better. It hurts. It burns. But guess what? You get to leave class with giant thigh muscles, an elevated heart rate and a sense of pride that you didn’t stop halfway through.
Courtesy of this tumblr tag
4. You Do You
Spending an entire ride watching your neighbors “work harder” than you is like spending your entire life on Facebook watching your friends have babies, wondering where yours is (you probably don’t have one because you sat on the Internet your whole life). Don’t pay attention to other people–it is your ride and your chance to feel better about you. It’s not a competition (unless it’s light side vs. dark side, then it’s on). Everyone has a different amount of experience and maybe they didn’t eat a cupcake for lunch like you did. Or, maybe the super spinner next to you is on steroids. You never know.
5. Step by Step, Day by Day
I will ask any instructor who will listen to play Whitney during spin (Whitney/Britney theme night anyone??). One of my favorites is “Step by Step,” which is exactly how to approach spinning. I am not trying to be in the Tour de France anytime soon nor do I consider myself to be a pro spinner. You don’t have to be perfect in your first class or your last class. The best part about anything is that if you failed today (or just didn’t do as well as you think you could have), you can always come back tomorrow and do it better. Nothing (for the most part) is so important that it can’t be fixed by coming back at it with a little more effort, a little less over analyzing, and the knowledge that you can keep getting better as the days go on…as long as you do it step by step (then you can dance like Whitney when it’s over).
Courtesy of the Empress of Dress
Because let’s be real…who wouldn’t want to rock out to Whitney every night?