Herbietown - Spin Class

Spin Class

6 months ago, I joined a gym and started going to Spin class.

If you haven’t done Spin class before, I can imagine how your opinion of me just changed. I can imagine this because I remember exactly what I used to think about Spin class before I tried it:

From the outside, all you see is a dark room crowded with fat people pedaling furiously to some really loud, really cheesy pop song while being shouted at by some anorexic psychopath. They LOVE Top 40 music. They drip their disgusting sweat all over everything and they don’t even seem to mind. It’s as if no one told them that exercise should be a peaceful experience enjoyed outdoors communing with nature.

I NEVER imagined that I would grow to love Spin.

Nothing about Spin has changed*, but I can appreciate all the things I used to hate. The room is still dark; but i like it because i don’t want to look at anyone. The music is still loud and cheesy; but now I know who Lady Gaga and Kei$ha are. The class is still sweat-inducing; but I don’t notice any smell, maybe because I’m high on endorphins. I don’t find it disgusting or sad anymore….I find it invigorating.

I find the quality of the classes varies by instructor. The difference between a decent workout and a religious experience all comes down to the person leading the class and their ability to integrate the workout and the music.

My favorite instructor is Joe. I don’t know how he came to realize his particular talent, but the man has found his niche. Sprints, hills, flats, cool-downs are all choreographed perfectly to changes in the tempo of each song. You don’t know euphoria until you’ve climbed a hill during the first half of Freebird, crested it when the guitar solo starts, and ended in a full flying downhill sprint as the song crescendos.

I don’t think Joe is a happy person. Most artists aren’t. There is nowhere for him to rise. If you’re really good at playing the piano, you graduate from kid’s recitals to Carnegie Hall. If you’re a really good baseball player, you go from American Legion to AA to the big show. But if you’re a really good Spin instructor and you teach the Wednesday class at Equinox, you’ve reached the peak.

Joe recently announced he was taking some time off. I was devastated. We had just finished the workout and as we transitioned to cool-down and stretch, Joe put on Whitney Houston’s And I Will Always Love You. He then announced his decision. He has a dramatic flair. Despite the post-Spin euphoria, I had to fight back the tears.

I see Joe around the gym sometimes. We usually say hello and sometimes we talk about road races. It’s strictly professional. I’ve never let on how enthralled I am by his work, I think because I’m embarrassed at how great I think he is. Also, I don’t want him to think that I’m hitting on him.

But I do think about him sometimes. I imagine that without his weekly class, he is going crazy. When he hears a new song on the radio he can’t help but pair it with a Spin workout. He probably fantasizes about teaching class at awkward moments, like during work meetings or sex.

I wish he’d just come back. His successor did a nice job with Allanis Morrisette’s You Oughta Know, but the rest of the class was uninspired.

Joe, come back.

*Actually, one thing has changed. My gym is generally filled with attractive people, so the scenery is better
**I have no idea what goes on at Carnegie Hall, but in my mind it’s some kind of fancy music place where the most refined musicians play to sold-out crowds every night