I’ve been to a lot of fitness studios recently. To be specific, I have been to well over 100 in Charlotte over the past year. I have not worked out in all of them, not even most of them, but I have been actively participating – in some way – in every class. Anyone who has read any of my previous rants probably already knows what I am about to qualify next; I am not a fitness person. I would say I am fairly out-of-shape and I get a lot of anxiety when it comes to participating in a group fitness class that isn’t in a spin studio.
For the past year I have been proselytizing about how I love indoor cycling. I love Flywheel. I love CycleBar. CycleSouth and First Wind are super rad (although I haven’t rode…ridden? there yet). I tell almost anyone looking to get into fitness that cycling is my personal favorite. Not only that, but these places and people take some amazing photos.
When Kelsey O’Neil does that Xena warrior princess yell… or whatever that is…your legs start moving faster guaranteed.
So one evening while Grace was fast asleep and I was busy shoving my face full of a giant cookie from Lincoln’s Haberdashery, I caught myself in a stare down with my Peloton bike. Straight up, wild west style, you know the “DoooOOooooo wooo wooo wooo” sound.
My desk faces the bike, the bike faces me, and the better part of ANY day we are in a face off. So here we are, me with crumbs all over my lap and chocolate on my cheeks, and my Peloton with dust on the screen and sweat stains on its mat.. I simply could not bring myself to get on it. It may have been a month since its last use.
“Tom. Go.” I literally was talking out loud to myself.
“Put some shorts and socks on and get on the bike.”
“That cookie was at least 500 calories…time to burn it off.”
Nothing worked. I spent the rest of the evening and early morning working instead. This is when I realized I don’t actually like indoor cycling. If you say you “like” something, you don’t choose to work, voluntarily, instead of doing it. That is called “avoiding” something. You avoid the dishes, laundry, or changing the toilet paper roll (grace I don’t know why this is so hard for you…) not things you like or even supposedly “love.”
So here I am having a total identity crisis at 3am thinking that I am a total fraud. I work at SweatNET. I tell people I love spin classes. And yet I can’t force myself onto a bike. So that’s when I did the most logical and, as Grace would say, the nerdiest thing possible. I made a pros and cons list.
I am not a person who loves to get sweaty and have my heart beat out of my chest.
I don’t think anyone, ever, in the history of the world has tried to argue that a bike seat is more comfortable than just about any other seat.
You don’t actually physically go anywhere.
It makes for a lot of extra laundry.
Yup. I hate cycling.
As I was struggling to come up with anything for the Pros column besides “it makes you healthy” I decided to stop having a staring contest with my Peloton and started looking at the photos and videos I have taken. Robert, Jen, Shelby, Shane, Brie, Sarah (Flywheel)…Lolo, Shannon, Brit, Robin, Sophie (CycleBar)…Erica (CycleSouth)…These people are game changers. If they were in my house that evening whispering in my ear to get on that bike instead of just talking to myself, I know I would have been on in an instant.
Robert playing nearly every single one of my current favorite songs. Pro.
Almost peeing my pants in Brie’s class but pushing to a PR breaking “400 on the torque board for the first time.” Pro.
Taking my first beats class in Sarah’s baby gender reveal ride. Pro.
Watching Erica get off her bike and shimmy and shake through the room to some badass music offering encouragement, entertainment and motivation. Pro
Shannon’s reactions to just about EVERYTHING…but one ride in particular (she will know what I mean). Pro
Taking Jen’s ride smelling like a hangover and coming in dead last but still getting a high-five going out the door. Pro.
I do not see 6:30AM often. When I do, I am either fishing or spinning.
Riding in Sophie’s class next to her mom when she played the song “I love my momma” and watching her mother cry. Pro.
Getting called out by Shane for my passive aggressive Torq board name “I_want_chikfilet”. Pro
Coming in first place overall for the first time ever in Shelby’s class. Pro.
Riding with Brit and almost feeling like I had rhythm (I don’t) . Pro.
Robert playing The Greatest Showman by request for a friend in her first cycle class. Pro.
And yes @thaifoodrice did spill her entire water bottle during this ride. PRO
Lolo’s ability to break out the worm at pretty much any given moment. PRO
Kelsey O’Neils tribal xena warrior princess scream….PRO
I could tell you entire stories about every single person here. The list goes on. This should be a testament to what these people, and what these studios bring to fitness. This is what I actually knew but possibly never realized. This is why I believe indoor cycling is one of the best places to start in fitness. I hate cycling. I hate getting sweaty. But somehow, somewhere around song #2 these instructors make me love the experience that I am having. Nearly every single time I spend an hour in one of these cycling studios with these humans, I love it. The whole experience.
Except that one time I challenged Mark Sloan to a race and he beat me… That sucked.
So what does this mean? This means you can hate burpees or push ups but that shouldn’t stop you from trying CrossFit or MADabolic. You can hate treadmills, but the people at Tread HAPPY are probably going to change your life. The motions that you do in studio vs out of studio are not going to be very different, but the experience, at least for me, is night and day. You can hate any particular exercise, but I would BET YOU that if you find the right people at the right studio, they will make you love it. Even cycling.
If you ever have any questions about what studios you should try – feel free to ask. They let me have my own live chat button on this website now (I know…big mistake). 🙂