I went to spin class this morning before work.
Maybe it was residual bacon-and-cheddar-waffle-guilt talking. Maybe it was my promise to myself to not step on the scale until Saturday. Maybe it was an attempt to realign my chi after a challenging yesterday.. but whatever it was, I managed to pry myself out of bed and to the gym just in time for an 8:30 lift off before work.
And lemmetellya, I felt great! The instructor was definitely different, and I found it interesting to feel a differently styled work out. Also, there was only a fraction of bikes occupied versus the Saturday. I found that challenging because the instructor was definitely watching each of us and providing feedback while we were working. Now, I don’t know if I want to commit to hitting this class weekly as well, but I can say that my body and brain are both appreciating the activity this morning.
Some of you may wonder – because I’ve been asked the question a few times over the past weeks – what is this “spin class” of which I speak? Well, simply stated, it’s a group exercise class led by an instructor where everyone is on stationary exercise bikes in a dark studio with music with a strong tempo. The instructor gives direction like whether to ratchet up the resistance, stand up on the pedals and “run” or sprint. The thing I really love about it is the low-impact nature of the bike, the fact that you can go at your own pace but still challenge yourself – this is aided by the dark.. the dim room means I’m not focused on my neighbor. I’m working at my own pace, not comparing my work to the person who happens to be on the bike next to me. I like the music, and I like losing myself in the work.
When I’m on the bike and the instructor is simulating a hill for us, I imagine this one hill in Hopewell, just north of Washington’s Crossing State Park that kicks my ass every time. I don’t know what the grade is, but it looks and feels pretty steep. I haven’t been able to get up this hill yet without stopping. One of my many bike-related goals this season is to conquer this specific hill. I have lots I want to do on the bike this year, and I’m forming plans of attack now. I’m also setting some additional fitness goals for myself – like running my first 5k in early August. I’m going to add more treadmill (as opposed to cowbell) in with my workouts, but I do need to be cautious of my knees and make sure I’m taking care of myself in the process.
Speaking of training plans, I’d like to become a bit more focused on this. I’m happy that I’ve been going to the gym as much as I have, and I’m definitely feeling better for it! But, it’s becoming increasingly more important to me to chart a course for progress – although I do recognize it’s not in my best interests to be too rigid here.
Question: Do you work out? How do you decide what you’re going to do, when, and for how long?