Don’t Be Afraid to Sweat…Get Your Spin On!

(*day 3//write31days challenge). 

Yes, this is a room full of stationary bikes. And yes, this is definitely out of my comfort zone.

When I mentioned the idea of trying something new almost every day in October to my friend, she immediately said, “You can do Spin Class with me!!!” I both thanked her and hated her all at the same time.

It actually did sound kind of fun to me, so I decided to try it (but mostly because it meant doing something with a friend, and an evening out of the house). The truth is, I hate working out in front of people. I’d much prefer the comforts of my own living room, my own weights and videos, with just one gawker and distraction in the form of a cute little 5 year old boy, and preferably no mirror with my body staring back at me.

(the deeper issue probably being the struggle with fear of man, what people will think of my lame moves and weak muscles and bright red face).

Full disclosure…When I jumped into the van to leave, I realized I hadn’t shaved in, hmm, ????, so I ran inside and dry shaved just so I didn’t scare anyone with my legs.  (I later regretted that decision as my legs immediately suffered from razor burn. You need to know these details because it’s not all rosy when you jump out of your comfort zone, and also vanity always has terrible consequences).

I met Sue at the gym, and she had reserved a nice little bike on the second row (apparently she normally cycles on the first row but for me, she moved back one row…so sweet.) And just before class started I found out Sue has been doing spin class for 15 years, nothing like going to spin class with a professional.

I made her take a selfie with me before we sweated, because friends don’t let friends take selfies after spin class, I think there’s a rule about that somewhere. (excuse the blur. not a selfie professional).

Let me just say this was maybe the hardest workout I’ve ever done, and I’m pretty sure my legs will still be sore next week, not to mention the saddle sore aspect of all this. But I think I did pretty well, if I do say so myself. I remember thinking to myself that each 30 second burst was the longest 30 seconds of my life. And also that my Lululemon stink free shirt might actually stink this time, for real.

Afterwards I admit, I did feel like I had accomplished something. There is a literal sense in which getting out of my comfort zone this time was an actual reality. It just makes me feel all uncomfortable showing up somewhere in my yoga pants and sneakers, move my body in all sorts of ways in front of complete strangers. But the people here were so serious and really worked hard and there really was nothing uncomfortable about it, in that sense. Everyone sweated puddles of sweat under their bicycles, and there was no shame.

I think mostly I was thankful for the opportunity to join in with something my friend does that I hadn’t known before about her. There’s something about jumping into someone else’s world where they feel most comfortable, and being a part of it. This challenge opened a door I didn’t even know would be good for me to walk through.

And isn’t that much of what stretching ourselves is? Being willing to dive into someone else’s world and be a part of it, even if it’s different than what we are used to; to help us see beyond my own little world and open our eyes to the interests of others, and be willing to join with them and appreciate their life.

What have you tried with a friend lately? I’d love to know….

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