"They turn out the lights so it's totally dark. You can't see anyone and they can't see you, so no one cares about how you're doing....
"They'll provide the shoes - special shoes with clips on them to lock you into place....
"The first time I went, I threw up....
These are the descriptors Jason provided as he invited me to join him for a spin class. A realtive newbie to the fitness world, the term "spin class" mor readily brings images like this to mind:
but this hardly seems a vomit-inducing activity. 100 years of sleep perhaps, but vomit, no. Rather, I feared that this is what Jason had in mind:
Still, who am I to shy away from a new experience? And so, on Thursday evening I donned my workout attire and met Jason at a blue-and-concrete building filled with people half my size and thumping music near his office.
Here's something you may not know about me - I am terrified of not knowing what to do. The prospect of going into a class where everyone else has the experience and I have no idea what's going to happen (something with bikes? And vomit?) is incredibly scary. As we loitered near the lockers in unfamiliar shoes with plastic clips under the toes amid fit people in a variety of sweat states waiting for the classroom to open up, I could only recall the last time I felt this level of anxiety and anticipation - waiting in the hotel room on the edge of the Sahara for the sandstorm to abate and the camels to be ready.
This recollection, while a pleasat memory now, did not help my current state as I assumed that if I somehow managed to fall off a camel, I would in all likelihood fall off the stationary bike. And since my feet will be clamped into the pedals, my prostate and broken body will surely dangle from the equipment. And I will vomit.
And then, as happens every time I face this fear of the unknown, the moment comes, Jason leads the wy, and everything is perfectly fine.
Since I was too busy being fit to take photos, I found a visual approximation for you of me mid-class:
Yup, I looked just like that.
As expected by any rational human being, I survived the class. Moreover, I kept up pretty darn well for the first time. I did dye the collar of my shirt purple with sweat, but that's a much more decorous use of the expulsion of bodily fluids than some people do on their first time. If I do say so myself.
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