Spinning for the Over-60 Crowd

Eileen Hopkins (Gramma Jamma)
Grandma’s Point of View

My first Spin class was today. Much like my first Zumba class, I was distracted and headed out the door (at 5:30 AM!) without my workout wear which required a full trip back home to secure said shoes and towel. This made me technically 5 minutes late for my first class. As I walked in, the instructor greeted me with a fake smile and asked me if this was my first time. I answered – Yes (without the explanation formulating in my head that I haven’t even been on a real bike for over a decade!). The fake smile disappeared briefly – and, then, she rattled off the instructions and before my brain had heard any of them moved to the front of the room to start the class – ON TIME!

So, with little knowledge and a lot of foreboding, I try to read the digital screens centered between the two handlebars – no grandkids in sight to read them for me! I am able to just barely discern the numbers (why was it so dark in here?) when I hear the “OK – pick it up – let’s go” and realize I haven’t even started pedaling yet! I blindly start and watch the digital screens creep up remembering vaguely she said to get it up to 90 K – or was that just to establish my starting gear? The second screen does something like measure my wattage. I briefly toy with the picture of all of us lighting up individually like those blinking Christmas tree lights when we hit the magic wattage number ascribed to performing only to realize, upon glancing up, that all others were standing on their pedals going uphill. Whoops, hard to keep up with the team when my bike seems to be following a flat plain! Oh yeah – the gear window needs to be changed. Having totally missed what she indicated was my starting gear and feeling even less informed about where I was to have it set now, I just pedaled. Too easy – no hill on my landscape – so, flipped the gear lever up four notches – ah, there’s the hill! Feeling it, feeling it – flip – down the hill I go – wee-ee – coasting but, wait, no one else is taking a break. I guess coasting means you are still supposed to keep pedaling.

Well, about 10 minutes in and I am eyeing the door, wondering how obvious it would be if this 62 year old dismounted and scooted out – the seat has etched itself into my derriere; I can’t see the tiny digital screens without taking my glasses off; and, the guy next to me just got off and moved his bike over 18 inches. But, I am NOT a quitter – no sir-ee – and especially not with 11 other people watching me!

So – Intervals – 10 of them – “give your all people” – just one minute of intensity X 10! Well, I can do that. With my eyes on the digital screens, I push it with all I have. Faster and faster, 100, 110, 125, 136 – I am flying. Gear down – sheesh, I realize my easy ride is due to never gearing up. By Interval #6, I am getting my groove on, giving it all I have and then some, and I am feeling good, people, really good. Endorphins are kicking in, my breathing is great, sweat is running down my back and I feel like the Queen of the Road! Interval 8 – I avoid a crash of spirit and keep pushing but my numbers are getting slower and that wattage – well , it wouldn’t even light up an LED bulb – but I am sticking to this. Interval #10 – last one – I dig deep, I put the pedal to the metal, and the numbers go up, and then down, then up, then down – I am running out of steam, slowing down but I am so close to the finish, I give it my last gasp and done!

Well, not quite done – the stretching kicks in as the leader of the pack lifts her leg on to her handlebar. Ha! Ha! I say, hoping I haven’t laughed out loud. I climb off my bike using the common sense God gave me, and do my stretches a little closer to the ground. My leader approaches me rather quickly at the end of class and asks me if I am OK. GREAT – I smile. And, I was – GREAT! I shall return!

 This blog posting is not a form of psychological counselling, advice, therapy, or assessment and should not be used as such by any individual. This blog posting is provided only as an article intended to encourage thought and discourse. For specific psychology related services, please contact an appropriate healthcare provider.