30 Minutes to Glory

Looking back into my post archives, “rushing out the door” is a common phrase. Well, tonight, I rushed out the door at work to catch the last half of Laura U.’s set at Miramar. I was just planning on going straight home. But I got the urge to check the class schedule for 24Cycle at 7 pm. Pancakes and eggs for breakfast and pasta salad for lunch: I needed the workout. The only class left was at Miramar: at 7 p.m. So it was already in progress when I called up to discover there were still eleven passes left at 7:02. 

“Okay, I’ll catch the last 20 minutes of that,” I told the girl and hung up the phone.

I popped into a vacant–and lock-able–office and changed into my sweats. The two people still in the office talked amongst themselves and seemed not to notice. I brushed past them to rush out and onto the freeway. It was 7:20 when I walked up to the front desk. The 2 clerks were busy with 2 members setting up fingerprint recognition scan.  I looked down and over the counter .  A  pile of red Cycle passes just lay there. So I picked one off the top. The girl saw me and said “it’s already started,” like it was a movie at the Space Theater, where they don’t let late entrants into the show.

“Yeah??”  I replied in a belligerent tone that implied the missing “so what?”

I immediately felt bad about being a bully to (# 1) a girl (#2) smaller than me by a foot and a half  (#3)  lighter than me by a hundred pounds.  In my feeble defense: the clock was ticking and the wheels were spinning somewhere I was desperate to get to.

The front counter people probably don’t get paid much. And with the new ten key phone number punch pad and finger print scan for easy entry, a big part of their counter duties is gone. No longer do they take a member’s card and check photo ID. Now, their most challenging task is greeting a member by their proper name when it pops up in front of them after the phone number entry and print scan. And they’re suppose to wish every member a goodbye on the way past the counter. Personally, I try to find something to distract me: fiddling with my ipod, switching bags from hands to shoulders, adjusting clothing, whatever–to allow them to ignore me on the way out. If  I was tipping them in say, a restaurant situation, then I would expect the cordial treatment. But I find it somewhat demeaning (for them) and I try not to participate.

So, given the nature of the desk clerk’s duties and her overall job description, it was expected that she wouldn’t challenge me much on getting into the class late. In the end, she just said “okay” and I hopped up onto the split stairwell to get to the top floor.

The Miramar location is weird in that all the action happens on the top floor–and the only time a member is below that floor is during entry and exit. They must have offices or storage hidden behind the mirrors and walls.

The cycling room was half full. The few bodies inside were already well into the set, of course. I smiled a broad grin at the instructor: Laura U. She’s a bigger, middle-aged gal, with spikey peroxide blonde hair. Very big hips and brassy voice. She was leading a climb and alternating walking in place when I started setting up my bike. Knowing the seat and bar height settings by heart now really helped me get into the saddle faster. Laura U. is a strict believer in the muscled confusion concept. The theory is that muscles grow to combat confusion. So she led us through a series of seated sprints, followed by standing runs. She’s one of these instructors that makes promises of an end to the drills, but is very cagey about the actual number of drills facing the class.

Laura U. is a true believer. In the middle of one of her grueling seated sprints, she began preaching the gospel.

“You can burn between six hundred and a thousand calories in one Spin class,” she said.

She’s a broad-hipped lady with legs as big as my own. She’s still got some fat left on her frame. But–as she led us through her tough, tiring set–she told us a short story that explains her physique and her motivations. She told us this story in a loud, slightly raspy voice that never sounded out of breath, though she was working harder than anybody else in the room.

“Two years ago,” she said, “I made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. And as of today, I’ve lost 95 pounds. So always remember you can do anything you set your mind to in here.”

So, I only got in about thirty minutes of total spinning. I broke a sweat after only 10-15 minutes, which was good, ‘cuz I didn’t have much time. But I got some inspiration for my continuing efforts from Laura U. At the end of the session, I was happy that I made the trip up. And, I’m on the 1st day of my 5 day furlough tomorrow, so it’s wide open.


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