New Spaces, Familiar Faces

Those who know me know that one of the gyms where I teach has been undergoing some major transformations, both in ownership and in space. During this time, they have been committed to continuing the indoor cycling program, which has not been easy. I decided to ride it out with them, knowing I'd land back in their place if I was meant to be there. After a week with no space, today was our first ride in a temporary room until things get more settled.

Change always interests and inspires me. Even though it can cause me to pause at first, I am usually one of those who embraces it. Fall is my favorite time of year. Changes keep me fresh, give me new perspective and allow room for growth. I hate being stagnant. I have gone through major upheaval in my life over the past few years (maybe another post), and that is very very different...much harder to uncover the positives. But, I think with the right perspective and lots of digging, they can be unearthed even in really tough situations.

But today, I've been thinking more about the smaller changes. Anyone who takes Spinning classes knows there is often a HUGE big deal made over using a specific bike or being seated in a certain place in the room. Students will get flustered, even angry, if someone takes "their" bike or "their" place. They will sign up for a class days in advance, if allowed, just to get their spot. Look, I'm as much a creature of habit as anyone. And, I understand that if you find the place that is just the perfect temperature or the perfect distance away from the speakers, it's hard to give it up. But, I wonder why this sometimes borders on obsession, and why a whole workout can be ruined if someone is "forced" to make a change. I guess, as a species, we are territorial and hard-wired for continuity and makes us feel safe. It makes us feel comfortable. It keeps us balanced. All good, but what does getting stuck in this prevent us from experiencing? If we could just stay a little more open, amazing things may enter. Just for kicks, if I can, I sometimes rearrange the bikes in a room so the set-up is completely different. It really throws people off at first, but, they eventually settle in and often find it to be a good shift.

So, coming into a new space today was a bit challenging, even for me. There were distractions, issues with music and sound and lights. The bikes were different. There was no mirror, which is typical in Spinning rooms, but our old space had one, so the students were accustomed to it. Well, without it, maybe the perspective will turn more inward rather than outward at the image...hmmmm...imagine that?!? So, the only familiarities were the faces in the room...people who have been working out and sweating together for years. We knew who would make noise, who would shout encouragement and who would give me dirty looks after that hill. We were there to workout, but I also knew we were there to support each other.

As I was clearing out the space before I left, I was talking with Petra (once a student, now a fellow instructor) and she made a comment about there being such a sense of community in our workouts at this particular gym. Another student, Vicki, said she also missed the mirror because it helped her connect to others in the room during the ride. I have often been teased that group fitness is so annoying because it becomes too "cliquey," but it's really just that we support one another, that we feed off the energy in the room and that it gets us through the days we really don't want to be there..myself included. You might not be friends with the people around you...hell, you might not even like them, but you are sharing an experience and, whether you realize it or not, this connects you in some way.

Soon, the new space will become familiar, we'll work out the kinks and feel more balanced and "at home." Until then, let's just let it roll of our shoulders, ride hard and leave all the nonsense we don't need in our lives...there on the bikes.

Today, we rode Kick My Ass Hills, Hip-Hop Style. Not all hip hop and rap, but I threw in a good stretch. It has a good beat for slow steady climbs. This is a simple strength ride...after the first 5 minutes, we did not come down to a flat until the last 3 minutes....ouch. Screaming quads, tired hamstrings, tight butts, what's better than that? The hills get progressively longer, slower and steeper and then quicken up again. And, for those who hate to slow down and climb, yet another opportunity to settle in and expand.

1. Aerodynamic Beats/Daft Punk (warm-up)
2. Song 2/Blur
3. Take Me to the Cloud Above (Dub Mix)/ LMC vs. U2
4. Is It Any Wonder? (Tall Paul Remix)/Keane
5. American Boy (feat. Kanye West)/Estelle
6. Buzzin'/Shwayze
7. Callin' Out/Lyrics Born
8. Stronger/ Kanye West
9. What You Waiting For?/Gwen Stefani
10. Don't Stop the Music/Rihanna
11. Hey Ya!/Outcast
12. Faster Kill Pussycat (Club Mix)/Oakenfold feat. Brittany Murphy
13. Where'd You Go (Non-PA Version)/Fort Minor feat. Holly (cool-down)
14. Aad Guray/Deva Primal


gosisterhood said…
Great Ride!! Can't wait to see what you have in store for us tomorrow...

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