I, Beefcake

By Michelle Kennedy

tumblr_mcqrcrPaLV1r7rk26I had a real Bridget Jones moment today. I got dizzy in spinning class and almost fell off my bike. The problem is, my feet were clipped into the pedals so I couldn’t really go anywhere. To catch myself, I naturally grabbed onto the gal next to me, scaring the shit out of her. I apologized and felt a familiar level of awkwardness.

My resolution going into 2014, looked like everyone else’s: I vowed to stop eating so much and recommit to working out. Due to a total lack of hustle in the latter part of 2013, I gained six (eight) pounds unfortunately. In my twenties, a gap in workouts simply meant I didn’t feel as fit in my clothes. Today, I gain weight without even thinking I ate any more food than usual (F- word).

So, in a total January 2nd cliché move, I made a plan. To change my current routine, which involves phoning it in at the gym by speed walking to reruns of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the treadmill, I signed up for spinning classes at Sacramento’s TEAMride (5535 H Street) (Facebook,Twitter).

See also: GOTG’s review of TEAMride!

I avoided this place for a year because I heard they make you do arm exercises while you spin. Out of desperation, and the need for a swift kick in the shorts, I swallowed my fears and signed up anyway. Operation “Eradicate Beefcake Status” simply needed a definitive starting point, scary or not.

I’ll begin by saying TEAMride, is a well-oiled machine. As you know from a profile GOTG wrote last year, the four sisters who run this studio don’t mess around. There are towels perfectly placed on each spinning bike, they rent out shoes and have them all ready for you in your own little cubbyhole, and yes, arm exercises are consistent throughout the ENTIRE 45-minute long classes. So, imagine riding a bike to different songs and intervals, while performing various types of push-ups on the handlebars the whole time. I was so nervous in my first class that my nose started bleeding. How’s that for embarrassing? Thank God they turn the lights off in the room. I wanted to cry and leave, but I quietly cleaned myself up and stayed the course. I’m glad I did.

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The room is warm, the music selections rule. Sometimes I keep up with the teacher’s pace, and sometimes I trance out into Michelle’s fantasyland and find myself going really slow. What I usually hear from teachers in spinning class are questions like, “Are you with us, Michelle? Have we lost you?” Yesterday, I actually did hear a, “Go get it Michelle!” To be fair, there were three Michelle’s in the class that day, but a girl can dream.

Even though the push-ups are hard, I am working my core and arms along with everything else, so it is truly a full-body workout. This is perfect for me, because I like to get’er-done in one fell swoop.

It’s easier to phone it in and watch cooking shows on the treadmill, but I don’t get anything out of that. These spinning classes are intense and keep me accountable. When it comes to working out, I operate better in a more regimented setting where people work together. No joke, I’ve lost five pounds in only a few weeks of going about four times a week.  If this sounds like a blatant plug for the place, so be it. My twenty-year class reunion is coming up this summer, and I am certain if I stick with these classes, I’ll be able to bounce a quarter off my ass by June.

Whether it be spinning or another routine, trying something new gets us out of our comfort zones.  While new stuff in the exercise world is usually intimidating, I believe it’s worth it to try. We have nothing to lose, and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives isn’t going anywhere. If you show up to spinning, I’ll be the disheveled pufferfish goin rogue in the back. Good luck.

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