It was the end of September ’18 when it hit me like a tonne of bricks that I really needed to get my ass in gear because my wedding was just 10 months away. Up until this point, I really hadn’t done much by way of exercise apart from the odd HIIT class here and there and even that’s a stretch.
It was around the same time that my friend Nathalie had messaged me to see if I wanted to come out to a spin class in the next few days. Intrigued, I signed up. Cardio was “never my thing” but I figured that with the help of some loud music, I would love it. To be honest, I literally just needed something…ANYTHING…to get me into shape. Correction…wedding shape!
Cue the seriously lame part of my story. I was doing some chores around the house one day when I picked up the vacuum and began to make my way through the house. I bent down to pick something up, turned to the right and…POP…I couldn’t stand up. For someone who’s never put their back out before (umm…hello, this doesn’t happen in your 30’s does it?!), I had no idea what to expect.
Low and behold, I could barely sit comfortably in an office chair for the next two weeks and getting in and out of my car was an absolute joke. My method of getting out of bed in the morning was rolling myself to the right and practically throwing myself off the bed until one foot hit the ground and I was able to push myself up to a standing position. Putting pants on was an absolute chore and I often needed my fiance’s help to do so! Needless to say…ouch.
After a few physio visits and a whole lot of “ow ow ow’s”, I was cleared to ‘start working out again’. Hah. Seeing as I had missed the class my friend invited me to, I reached out to RIDE and booked myself in for another one.
At that time I had no clue that I would be sitting here almost 6 months later absolutely obsessed with RIDE and everything it offered.
For anyone who has never been to a spin class (that includes choreography and heart pounding music), I suggest you try it at least once in your life. It’s fucken fun.
For anyone who’s been to a class, gotten completely discouraged and never gone back…I hope the next little bit of my post helps you out.
As my friend (and seriously wicked instructor) Barb likes to put it, for probably the first 20 classes I looked like a wet spaghetti noodle on that bike because I had absolutely no friggin’ clue what I was doing. I remember messaging her and asking a million questions about how to “properly” ride with the rest of them. With that said, here are my tips to you:
- Listen to the beat. The whole point of these classes is to RIDE to the music and RIDE as one. You’re not here for your own god damn dance party, you RIDE together. I’m not gonna lie, the first number of classes were overwhelming. The instructor was giving direction by saying things like “3-4 turns, right foot leads”. Well, to me that may as well have been Greek because it didn’t click, I didn’t get it. I think I was still trying to figure out how to snap my spin shoes in at that point.
- Don’t try to be a hero. If you think you have it, chances are you probably don’t unless you’re some sort of a coordinated superstar. It took me a solid 10-20 classes to finally understand the coordination and the importance of the tension and the beat. Trust me when I say that it is better to sit down, find it in your seat than look like that wet spaghetti noodle we talked about earlier.
- Don’t ever put yourself in the first row until you absolutely know whats up. Seriously, you will feel so much more comfortable by watching those in the front row and riding behind them. I looked at A LOT of butts and legs to figure out what to do with my own before someone *cough cough* made me RIDE in the front row. I’ve never looked back! Seriously, it helped a lot. Honestly, take your time, work on your strength and coordination and then be a fucking superstar.
- It’s not just about the legs. Your core strength is EQUALLY as important in this whole process as being able to pedal. Just because you’ve ridden a bike before, doesn’t mean this is going to be a walk in the park. My core strength was basically non-existent and being able to hold my body up and out of the saddle took quite some time. I’ll actually never forget the day I successfully made it through a run without having to sit down. It was a GOD DAMN MIRACLE but it felt SO good. It was then that I knew that all of my prior classes were starting to pay off.
Trust me when I say that you get better with every single class. Practice does make perfect and I’m not saying I am. You build on that coordination and you build on that strength. Before you know it, you’ll be in that front row having the time of your life.
Now, for me it’s not just all about the fitness part so listen up.
One key word that comes to mind when I think of RIDE is: community. Call it whatever you want to call it from the outside looking in but for me, it is a place I look forward to being in every single day. It is an hour out of each day where I am able to disconnect from the outside world. It’s where I can just enjoy the time to myself surrounded by a lot of awesome people.
The girls (and guys) at RIDE have been fucken fire. I won’t mention individual names for the fear that I leave someone out but you all know who you are and you all know that you make walking through those doors so awesome. I’m sure I’m speaking on a lot of people’s behalf when I say that too.
The instructors are all so unique and carry their own styles, its honestly amazing. Some of them even theme their classes to certain artists or genres of music which is so fun. That alone gives you so much class selection. The front desk staff are all so helpful and welcoming, it’s infectious. They’re just amazing. Last but not least, the acquaintances and friends I’ve been able to make (at a place that I thought was going to be pretentious) are the best EVER. You know who you are.
And if you’re still reading this far down, I want to wrap up by saying that this whole RIDE journey has inspired me to maybe, possibly, hopefully teach one day. The impact that RIDE has made on my life is undeniable both physically and mentally. If I can create that same meaning for someone else, well sign me the fuck up!
Since October 15th 2018, I have attended 154 classes. That’s 154 classes in 187 days. If that doesn’t scream “hooked” than I don’t know what does. I’ve really only missed classes to injury, travel or illness otherwise you can find me there every single morning before work and on weekends.
If you’ve read this far and are feeling a bit more inspired, come RIDE. I promise you, you won’t regret it.