I hopped on the same spinning bike I always like to ride. I like the particular location of the bike in relation to the rest of the spinning studio.
It is located at the front of the class, not too far from the spinning instructor. I am not sandwiched between two other stinky people ( of course, I never smell when I sweat…I am a flower!) and I am not too far from one of the many fans that circulate the sweat-infested air in the studio.
Also, I like that I have a view of everyone else and that I am not right beside the speakers that blast, for the most part, the shitty music the play during class. Although once in a while they do play a good song.
I have my routine and try to get to the spinning studio about half an hour before the start of the class to set my bike up, get my water, stretch and pee once more before the start of class.
It’s always the same. But today, the ride was much harder.
I knew from the very start that today would be a grind for me. The lactic acid started building super fast in my quads and I knew that each pedal-stroke would be challenging.
Funny part is, I don’t know why.
I slept ok…my legs weren’t overly sore or stiff. I hadn’t done a class in a few days..maybe that was the reason?
But, I like to think that spinning isn’t only about the physical challenge of successfully completing the class at the pace and intensity established by the spinning instructor. It’s also a mental challenge.
Hell, climbing on the bike in the first place is a huge accomplishment for me. I was never much of an athlete and didn’t really excel in any sport other than maybe tennis. Working out has always been hit and miss with me. I find the effort overwhelming. Guess that’s why they call it a “work-out”!
That was what I experienced recently when my wife encouraged me to participate in a boot camp. Shocking the muscles, I am told, is good for overall fitness. By spinning all the time, I am not utilziing all of my body and only a portion of what my legs can really do. After that class, I almost couldn’t even walk and it took me five days to recover.
Today, my body and my mind just weren’t into it.
Why is today different than other days? (sounds like a good question if you observe Passover!)
Why did I not feel like I had my physical and mental energy at the level I am used to?
Am I getting older? Yes. Do I have a lot on my mind? Hell yea…but we all do, don’t we?
Am I stressed? Yes…but who isn’t and isn’t that what physical fitness is all about? Isn’t it supposed to assist with managing stress?
Today I feel like all those nasty outside influences were the winners of this spinning class. Today, I felt like life was bumming me out and that my struggle to get through class was a metaphor for the feeling I had of struggling to get through life.
Pretty profound thinking, huh? Well, when your legs are burning and you are out of breath…the last thing you want to think about is how your body feels…so your mind starts to think about other stuff. Normally I think about errands and tasks that need to be accomplished. Today, for some reason, my thoughts were bigger.
While I am a believer of living in the moment and not worrying about the future because it cannot be determined or controlled, today…I couldn’t stop thinking about the future.
I was thinking about family, finances, health, employment, world issues. I was at the spinning studio in body…but not in mind.
Shame on me. I am not supposed to be thinking this way. I have worked so hard over the past few years on staying positive, optimistic…always with a smile on my face.
Not this morning.
But, I did get through the ride (thankfully) and was only too eager to get off the bike, stretch and go home.
I guess I conquered the bike. I managed to push my way through…despite the discomfort I had and despite all the negative energy I had swirling around my mind.
As I was walking home to continue with the rest of my day, the sun came out. The day started off kind of dreary.
Some of the sun’s rays hit the leaves in a certain way, highlighting the gorgeous colors they are now turning as we make our way through Fall.
Maybe it isn’t going to be such a bad day and maybe I shouldn’t be worrying about how hard my spinning class was or worry so much about things that beyond my control.
Maybe, I should just enjoy the day, take in the beauty of those red colored leaves and enjoy the feeling of the sun as it warms my already sweaty back!