So Dizzy

There’s a point on the bike when I get light-headed. This usually occurs after a set of up-and-down intervals: four on the seat, four standing, four double-time standing and back down to the seat, for example. When I’m up there, heart pumping at the top of what all the instructors refer to as “the red zone,” it feels dangerous. It feels like I’m alive, but I could easily keel over and die right there on the gym floor. That’s the way I want to go, if I have my choice. Doing something I really love, something you can only do if you’re alive and in the moment to the fullest possible extent. If I did expire that way, it would be a real nightmare for the instructor and assorted front desk flunkies, but hey, I’m on the automatic deduction program: membership dues come right out of my bank account. So if I do die on the gym floor, at least I’ll be paid up.

Rode with Cody tonight at Mission Valley Center. Think I’m going to really like him as an instructor. Caught him once before he went on an extended Thanksgiving vacation. He’s an animal, disguised as a skinny, effete guy. He showed up to find only 8 of us there for his class. The San Diego River runs right through the flood plain of Mission Valley, and everybody was saying it was flooding up over its concrete banks. I dunno, I never saw any signs of flooding, and I came in from an exit west of the gym and left from the eastern-most on-ramp. Whatever. The unsubstantiated rumors guaranteed me a spot. I’m not complaining.

Cody rides low to the ground. His knees look like they never get to un-bend. But he was in a nasty (albeit smiling) mode of self-flagellation. He kept exhorting us to help him work off the “whole can” of Turtles he ate after Thanksgiving Dinner.

“No,  seriously, the whole can,” he repeated for emphasis.

There’s a part of me that believes working out is just another form of self-loathing: that we flail and thrash the resistant weights about to force our bodies to change–to achieve our mind’s eye ideal for ourselves.

Cody personified that belief tonight, and I salute him. Two of the females bailed out at the 45 minute mark. It didn’t faze Cody.

“Come on,” he said at the 50 minute mark, “who wants to burn another 100 calories with me? We’ve got ten minutes left. We can do this…”

I look through open doorways of other group exercise classes and I just don’t see the same level of effort that I sense all around me in a Spin class. I’m not knocking those other classes; I just want to be in a class where I feel light-headed from the extreme taxation I’m forcing my body to endure. I’m proud to take time wiping up the sweat that drips down off my shoulders and arms onto the hardwood floor during my work-out.  That’s why I spin. Again and again.


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