Thursday, September 04, 2008
The Night the Inmates Took Over the Asylum - Thursday 9/4/2008
It started out to be a day like any other. I wrote at the diner. I worked. Had lunch at my desk. Worked some more. Drove to the gym and had my hand stamped to secure a place in the Spinning class.
I've take Spinning with two different instructors and I like the more aerobics-like one best. The road bikers seem to disdain this one a bit. They prefer the one where you are practicing skills that will get you past other bikers in a pack or up a big loooong hill.
Not going up big loooong hills is kind of the reason I come to a spinning class rather than hit the Angeles Forest Highway for my work out. That and the air conditioning.
Oh, yeah. And the music.
Anyway, a bunch of us are waiting and waiting. The door to the bike room usually opens about ten minutes before the class so we can get in and warm up a bit. At 5 o'clock one of the other waiters goes and asks to have the door opened.
The manager, who looks so much like a Looney Tunes caricature of a body builder that the appropriate music plays in my head every time I see him, comes over and obliges. The instructor is running late.
About 10 people file into a small room with a couple of dozen stationary bikes in it. Blue lights hang from the ceiling. The room is kept darkish, like a nightclub. Three sides of the room are glass. One opens to the rest of the gym, where people work out in bright circumstances. The other two are overlaid with black and white photos of Lance Armstrong riding in the Tour de France. His yellow clothes and helmet are the only color in the images. The Eiffel Tower is over my right shoulder.
After about 5 minutes, one of the people in the class says she doesn't teach here, but she does teach spin and she'd be willing to run the class. We all encourage her. When she says she doesn't have any music, but we could sing, we laugh. The fit and committed looking rider next to me says she has a copy of the instructor's music in her car...she uses it to run to.
So a few minutes later we're off! The woman leads us in a really challenging class for the remaining 50 minutes.
At one point the manager comes by and does a cartoonish little double take when he sees the gym member on the lead bike, which faces the rest of us from the front of the room. But he has the good sense not to make her stop. Better to have a room full of satisfied members than cave to the insurance policy.
At the end of the class, we all applauded the leader and the woman who had the music. It felt great that we didn't just blow off the work out or scatter to the elliptical machines in disappointment.
I might just be hooked on the Spinning. It really encourages you to take charge of your workout and challenge yourself.