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Spin Classes. We’ve all heard of Peleton, Soul Cycle NYC, and the many other stationary cycling classes that have been trending on social media, especially during the pandemic. These classes often have a cult following of loyal class-goers who ride daily.
I’ve always been interested in trying out a spin class, so when I received an invite from the Zoom Cycle Huntsville team via Instagram DM, I jumped at the chance to attend their four-year anniversary class. I couldn’t wait to give group stationary bike riding a try.
Though I was admittedly intimidated by the idea of riding a stationary bike for 45 minutes straight, I’d watched plenty of spin classes on Youtube and Instagram reels, which helped to ease my anxiety a bit. There’s something about bicycles, loud hype-music, energetic instructors, choreographed moves, and special shoes that strap in to the pedal, that really levels up the fitness experience- at least, that’s what I was telling myself as I prepped for class the night before.
I woke up Saturday morning, excited and ready. Though, I didn’t eat breakfast. On the drive over, there was a thick fog on the road and the superstitious part of me wondered about the significance of trying a new fitness class on a thick foggy morning. I was also hoping the parking would be easy, since I would arrive later than anticipated and I’m fresh off of the boat from Honolulu, the capital of no parking- no matter the time of day. The parking, as it turned out, in Downtown Huntsville on a Saturday morning, is plentiful and pleasant (As if I needed one more reason to love Huntsville. The ease of parking. You can add that to your list.)
You’re gonna need water, ma’am.
I arrived to the studio about seven minutes prior to class. The studio, located in Downtown Huntsville at 201 Jefferson Street North, is a small modern storefront that houses a reception desk, open cubby area for personal belongings, a stationary bike studio, and kid soft play area for studio-goers with children. Since it was an anniversary celebration, there were balloons and a nice buzz amongst attendees in the reception area.
I felt that it was a great vibe and I could see myself attending class regularly. I was welcomed warmly. My class registration was confirmed, a staff member asked my shoe size, handed me special shoes, and noticed that I didn’t have any water with me. He insisted I take a water bottle, on the house and commented, “You’re gonna need it.” At that point, I regretted not having eaten breakfast. I knew in my bones, joints, and muscles that I was NOT ready for this class.
From reception, I found an empty cubby, put away my belongings, and nervously entered the studio where a sea of stationary bikes awaited, many of which were already occupied with class-goers peddling slowing, ready for the upcoming class. The dim studio lighting reminded me of the thick fog on the way over. Indeed, I was not ready.
Just as I was starting to second-guess my decision, I was promptly greeted by a friendly instructor who energetically asked me if it was my first time. I confirmed that it was, and she went into action. She instructed me to select a bike, where to put my water bottle, and showed me a few key things to to know. She also taught me how to click in to my pedals and how to click out. All of this, she did with a big smile and while making me feel at ease. Up to this point, I was feeling nervous with anticipation about the shoes clicking into the pedal. I asked, “Can’t I just wear my regular shoes?” She laughed and said, “Nope, it won’t work with regular shoes.” So, I reluctantly clicked in and mentally prepared myself for the ride.
Riding with Two Chainz
The light’s dimmed, the room turned black, the blu lights made our white clothes glow, while Two Chainz loudly proclaimed, “All I want for my birthday is a big bootie ***!” The bass kicked in and I looked around the classroom to the sea of co-ed faces already in the spin zone, focused on the instructor, ready to ride out; and I thought to myself, “Okay! We’re doing this, let’s go!”
Ya’ll, spin classes are very involved. If you like extra, going up and down on a bike, while coordinating your forearms to different positions on the handlebars, to music, with different resistance levels and speeds, then this is for you.
Twenty minutes into class, my clothing was drenched, my legs were spaghetti, and I was dizzy. The rest of the class was still in the riding zone. As they transitioned between each instructor, the lighting changed, the music changed, we peddled, continuously, sometimes fast, sometimes uphill, always to music- never stopping- I thought about the breakfast I hadn’t eaten.
I planned my exit.
It was during the third instructor transition, during the extra-fast ride portion of the class (where you peddle like a bat out of hell), that I started to plan my exit. I decided I was going to click out of my pedals during the next instructor transition. I waited. Peddling at my own pace, which the instructor insisted was acceptable at all times. No judgement. I desperately wanted to keep up with the other class participants, but I knew that at some point, I would need to end my first class before falling off my bike and landing on my face.
I found my big break during the next transition of lights, music and instructor and I clumsily clicked out of my pedals, and stumbled out of the studio, feeling grateful I had opted to share my class experience in written word, and not video.
My departure from the studio was not graceful. But, I managed to walk out without falling and I happily plopped myself down on a bench to catch my breath. I was drenched. My water bottle was empty, and I felt accomplished, despite my early departure.
It was a humbling experience for me, having owned and ran a fitness franchise for the past six years. It was a great reminder to keep moving, keep going, and to push myself to get out of my fitness comfort zone.
That was the first fitness class in ten years I had not completed. That alone, will bring me back to Zoom Cycle Huntsville.
Overall, I get the charm and attraction to spin classes. You immediately want to ‘get it’ and do well in class. I love how sweaty you become, immediately. The group fitness atmosphere and shared ride is appealing. The music and lighting keeps you both distracted and in the zoom. Plus, the Zoom Cycle Huntsville team was awesome in making first-timers feel welcome.
It was a sweaty ride. It was a new experience. I will return. Next time, I will be prepared and will have eaten breakfast.https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/1890952.rss