One – Anticipation: Starting the day prior, when I make the decision to go Spin, excitement and positive energy flow through me. A decision made is like 90% of the job done, right? I’m so fit already.
Two – Delaying Tactics: That snooze button just looks so inviting, I have to press it twice. Or three or four times. Maybe I can count these as reps?
Three – Pre-workout Cardio: Holy crap, class starts in 20 minutes and I just got out of bed gaaaah! 10 minutes of dashing and flailing ensues.
Four – Preparation: Setting my neatly folded towel across the handlebars, dropping a chilled bottle of water into the slot, adjusting the seat height and foot straps and all that… oh yeah, I’m an old Spin pro, no need to worry about me, kindly instructor. I am ready. I am able. I got this.
Five – Warm-up: This is easy. Here we go. Good cadence, good beat, just pedaling… nothing to it. “Turn that resistance knob to the right about seven times…” –wait whaaat?
Six – Regret: I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. “Turn it to the right a couple more times, and climb that mountain!”
What have I done?
Seven – Anguish: How are we only ten minutes in? And why does it look like the hands on the clock are frozen?
…oh, wait, they’re moving backwards.
“The LifeCycle Misery Engine 6.66 is the finest in our line of torture methods and satanic ritual implements.
The 35-pound weighted wheel acts as a millstone, grinding up hopes and dreams into the victim’s delicious tears.”
– taken direct from the LifeCycle website product description, before that model’s site was removed. Honest.
Eight – Confusion: What the heck are Sprint Tabatas?!
Nine – Despair: Oh. Those are sprint tabatas. “We’re gonna do one more set, but add a little resistance first!”
My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?
Ten – Second Wind: We’re halfway there. I just have to not die for like thirty more minutes… and then I can die.
Eleven – Second Anguish: “Okay, turn that resistance up and pick up the pace! Now we’re starting the high intensity part of the ride!”
…what have we been doing this whole time?
Twelve – Spirit Journey: My soul no longer wishes to be present in this physical body, and so it vacates the premises in search of assistance or relief. Sadly the vision quest ends with the instructor shouting “Going back for more hills!!! Turn that knob to the right and give me a hard, hard climb!!!”
Thirteen – Resignation: There is no point in looking at the clock. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, nor is there an imaginary finish line at the top of this imaginary hill. There is only more pain, more burning in my legs, more stabbing betrayal by this bike seat, and another hill.
“Turn it to the right and give me your best effort!”
Begrudging groan and hopeless acceptance.
Fourteen – Nirvana: Awareness of self is destroyed and I am become nothingness. A disembodied voice that sounds like my own assures me it’s best if I’m not present for what is happening to my flesh husk.
Fifteen – Cool down: I didn’t know those knobs could turn to the left to reduce the amount of human suffering in the room. Is this for real? It feels like a trap, but I tentatively follow along through various stretches.
Sixteen – Stockholm Syndrome: I am standing in a puddle of liquified pain squeezed from my corpulent mass as if by a wine press. I clean off the equipment and hobble out to my car. And then, in the sunrise, I hear my voice say, “That was awesome! Can’t wait to do it again!”