Monday, August 04, 2008

The Quest for Self-Improvement

First of all, thank you all for your love and support. It means a lot to me and yes, I'm doing well.

So well, in fact, that I've joined the Crunch gym near my apartment. As many of you know, I've been losing weight slowly and returning to normal Jen-size this year after a nasty bout of weight gain from a medication I took, and so far I'm down about 43 pounds from my weight when I moved to New York, got a new doctor, and got off that medication.

That means, most of the people I've met here in NYC have no idea what in-shape-Jen looks like. I was never skinny, but I was the captain of my tennis team and always an athlete. Softball. Field Hockey. Tennis. Skiing. More tennis.

So, let's suffice to say that having gotten a little bounce back in my step, I decided to take the self-improvement project one step further (and one step closer to self-love, if we are Oprah fans) and join the aforementioned gym. Yesterday.

Today I decided to start balls-out and go to a spinning class.

I was eager to get there and get the bike set up. So eager that I had forgotten to bring my little gym membership card and was there 15 minutes early, sitting in the spinning room by myself. Well, with one dude wearing headphones and stretching, so literally not by myself. But mostly. But if I had burst into flames, or some other such random catastrophe, at least there was the possibility someone would react.

Eventually the instructor arrived and helped me fix the bike so that it was high enough for me, adjusting the handlebars and the saddle. Ouch. That thing hurts the ass-bones.

At this point, she returns to her seat and says to me "Oh yeah, do you like loud music?"

"Uh, yes?" I say.

"Good. We got ourselves a virgin here." And Ludacris slams out of the speakers and into my ears and I start riding. More resistance. Stand. Sit. Kanye. Stand Sit. Stand and bounce. Sit and sprint. Stand and sprint. My legs are burning, my lungs are burning and I just pedal and try to banish any thoughts except "just keep going..." Rhianna. Prince. Nice.

There are times when I have to sit because I am having trouble keeping up. Either I need more air or my legs start to feel unsteady. So, I take a few minutes and ride slower sitting down, take a sip of water, and I get back in it when I feel it.

About 45 minutes into the class, which had been posted as a 45-minute class... She turns to me and goes "This being your first time, I should have told you. This class is an hour."

I wanted to die.

At this point, though, I resolved that I was going to push through and finish the class. Damnit. But I did take it much easier in the last 15 minutes. My brain had been prepared for 45 minutes of AAAAAHHHH! Not 60. Nope. But I never stopped pedaling and I never got off the bike. This, the instructor told me, was most excellent and she said even people that come the class all the time stop pedaling and take breaks. I kept going, even if I was sitting.

That made me feel rather proud of myself, I must say. For not having done any real strenuous exercise in months, or maybe longer, I was able to pull a 60-minute spinning class off and still have the strength to walk the 3 blocks home... I have since been either on the couch or in the shower. I have to make dinner, but I also do not want to move.

If I can move my legs, I think I'll go back Wednesday. If not, there's one Thursday, but there's also a yoga class Thursday - Virgin Yoga - a class on the basics since I haven't done yoga in ages either.... Or there's pole dancing. Anyone done pole dancing? That might be too much.