“What a crappy day”, one girl moaned to another. We had just emerged from the dark basement studio onto the soaked city street.
“Are you kidding? This is the best day ever!” my inner voice retorted. Rain or no rain, sun or no sun, this was an awesome ‘Mother’s Day Off’.
It’s Mother’s Day weekend. Among many gifts, my husband has thoughtfully given me this Saturday off. That’s right. No housework and no parenting duties with the exception of nursing. It’s like winning the mommy lottery. How oh how would I spend this lovely gift of time? Brunch?…Spa?…Nap? Nope. At the top of my list – a spin class at Quad!
Last time I mounted a bike, I was five months pregnant. My growing belly eventually made first and third position regrettably uncomfortable. That’s when I hung up my padded shorts and spin shoes. Metaphorically speaking that is. I never did invest in either. For months now, I’ve been dying to get back. Nothing beats a high-energy sweat session with Quad owner, Micheline.
Their busy weekend schedule includes a noon intro class. This class offers more instruction and less intensity than the other sessions. It’s suitable for beginners or say, a new mom easing back into a workout routine. Of course I skip it in favour of testing myself with the regular class. C’mon y’all know me by now, LOL.
At 10:45am I was on my bike ready to go. A feat in itself! I admit, I did need a brief refresher on set up. But once the music started it was on. I easily fell back into the groove of pace rides, sprints and hill climbs. Oh it was good. The music screamed in my ear. Sweat stung my eyes. I revelled in the man versus machine battle waged against the 40lb wheel.
First position ride it out. Second position work those legs. Third position, ugh, is that my belly folding onto itself?!
If I were to grade the workout, I’d give myself a B-. My effort was earnest for sure. On the other hand, my sprints weren’t all too speedy and my form definitely suffered. Weakened core muscles made good posture a challenge. See, on the surface spinning appears to be all about the legs. In fact, it’s deceivingly a full body workout. Ever see the buns and triceps on a cycler? And as with many activities, proper performance relies heavily on core strength. Micheline was there dutifully reminding me to relax my shoulders, engage my core, and create small circles that come right from the hip.
Forty-five minutes later I was sweaty, spent and felt alive! I could sense the oxygen infusing my body from head to toe. It’s an almost euphoric feeling. So while my classmates complained about the weather, I was on cloud nine. I walked happily through the rain peeling my post-workout banana and loving this ‘day off’. I even welcome the tricep and calf soreness that will surely follow tomorrow. I already feel the crotch bruising. Ouch!
As great as it was to get back in the saddle literally and figuratively, LOL, there was one slight downer. Actually, not quite a downer; more of an eye-opener. I conquered the comeback but I didn’t experience the same thrill I had in the past. I left class feeling revived but also feeling a bit of ‘been there done that’. Spinning was my thing a year ago. Perhaps this new stage of life calls for new athletic challenges. It should come as no surprise that I already have one in mind <wink>
One final thought: I found this very telling. Given the chance to do anything I wanted today, I chose to spin and write. What an affirming insight into my passions.
Given a day off, how would you choose to recharge?
GOOD TO KNOW: Spinning is an excellent cardio and strength training activity. An intense hour-long session can burn up to 800 calories and thoroughly work the legs, glutes, core and parts of the upper body.