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Indoor Cycling Class Revisited: A New Mother's Journey Back

I was introduced to spinning very briefly about a year ago and recalled it being a good workout (good, as in, it looks more like fun than work), although apparently my memory omitted a few things.
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I had a baby two months ago (claps for self) and while it has been a joyous experience for the most part, I have arrived at the point where I feel I need to "get it right, get it tight." I decided that hitting up an indoor cycling class would be a good place to start. I was introduced to indoor cycling very briefly about a year ago and recalled it being a good workout (good, as in, it looks more like fun than work), although apparently my memory omitted a few things.

Since becoming a mom, the world mostly looks the same, but there has also been a newfound level of enlightenment about life -- think 1950s, Charlton Heston as Moses, after he returns from Mount Sinai. I am mostly relating to his transformed grayed, catatonic, "you have seen some shit" appearance, but that's what wisdom (and in my case, giving birth) does to a person, I guess. Perhaps I can attribute this to my altered view of indoor cycling or maybe I just forgot a lot of the cultural quirks, but it is a wonderfully strange enigma.

First off, a person with my coordination ability has no business attending an indoor cycling class, but I gave up silly things like self-respect and dignity in my 20s. However, given the dark, nightclub, pop music blaring atmosphere of the studio, I was pretty much transported back there... hey 20s! Indoor cycling class is like working out in a club, minus all the "fun" and somehow with even more black lights. Normally when I looked this stupid (in "da club" as they say), a Long Island could be blamed, but no such luck in this case. And to be honest, half the time I am not sure if I am supposed to be "dropping it like it's hot" or riding a stationary bicycle. Oh, the tales those bikes could tell.

Coming from a mostly yoga-centric workout regimen, I am used to calm, "let it go" types of vibes; indoor cycling class is the antithesis of that sentiment. Instead of finding a calm, "sacred space," indoor cyclers are more encouraged to tap into that hidden rage often reserved for yelling at trash cans in the corner of a bar after you have had one too many and your friends have mostly left you (to keep up with the nightlife parallels). Forgetting where I was, I made the mistake of talking to my instructor before class and letting it slip that it had been a while since I had tried it.

Lucky for me, once class started she wanted everyone to "welcome" me seeing that it had been a "looong" time since I attended a class and oh, I was the one in the "back"... lovely, thanks. While that was bad enough, the class then all screamed some guttural "yeahs" and one person just yelled "fuuuuck." I am still not sure if that was a positive response or if she wanted to beat me up after class. Unfortunately, thanks to all the Tool I listened to in the '90s, I don't have a whole lot of pent up rage these days (thanks MJK). This must be why I ran out of juice 15 minutes in and wanted to barf up that pumpkin ravioli I had for lunch.

Vomit and rage aside, I kept pedaling that mother and when the instructor yelled "right" (as in the foot that was supposed to be pedaling down) I was not even close. Also, I will admit that whenever she said to reach down and turn up the resistance, I faked it... apparently I DO still have some dignity left. At one point she started mixing in "push-ups" on the handlebars and I think I started to weep openly. The highlight of the "ride" though was definitely the often obscenity-laden words of encouragement doled out by instructor; I now know what an angry, drunken Yoda sounds like... thank you.

Finally, at the end of this adventure, I hopped off my bike and carefully avoided the girl that yelled "fuck" and booked it out of there to hopefully dodge any comments by the instructor (aka angry Yoda) on my "performance." I am not sure if I was so elated to be off that friggin' contraption, the fact that I could actually feel an ab muscle for the first time in 11 months or if it was the shear spectacle of the whole experience, but I was already excited for my future next class... until next time, bike (my new favorite four-letter word).