Keep Calm and Ride On

Keep Calm and Ride On

I first tried spinning back in 2015. That time, I hadn’t had much sleep, a bit dehydrated since I was out for drinks the night before and not in the best physical condition. Nonetheless, I thought I could do it. How hard can it be? Uhm. Hard. Very hard. And painful.

Without even stretching before class, I pedaled hard and fast and increased the resistance thinking I was invincible. Halfway through the class, my thighs were pretty much gone so I got off the bike to rest outside. As soon as I unclipped my cleats, I fell like a lump of clay on the floor. My leg muscles hurt so much that I was close to tears. Oh and one of my calves was cramping. I drank water and ate a banana to help me feel better. I soldiered on and was able to get home. The next day, I had a hard time getting out of bed and my pee was brownish in color. I was worried so I kept on drinking water to flush it out. My reasoning was that I didn’t hydrate enough and that was why it was dark. I was already on my way to the doctor when I decided to check again to see if there was any improvement. It was like that for another day until it turned normal. I breathed a huge sigh of relief but my leg muscles still hurt and I kept on stretching and stretching. Due to the pain, I fell so many times while on the stairs or whenever my knee was bent because it would sometimes lock. It was close to a month before the muscle pain disappeared. I found solace in other riders who also got “injured” while on their first ride.

Since then, I avoided spinning like the plague.  I was deathly afraid of getting “injured” again.  It was only recently that I learned about rhabdomyolysis. It could’ve been that but we’ll never know for sure. At least I knew it wasn’t just me.

Recently, another friend has been super into spinning and invited me to join her. I figured I had time now and I will just take it easy and not push myself too hard like the first time. For the first three classes, I didn’t force myself to stand cycle (or whatever it’s called). After a while, I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to be able to do what the other riders could and started pushing myself more. After a few more classes, it became easier for me to keep up. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would take to spinning class. Part of the allure was the motivational pep talk from the instructors and the upbeat music. Most of all, it was because I could feel myself improve with every consecutive class I attended. From not being able to do double time sprints or stand cycle, I can do all those now. There’s also that satisfaction of sweat dripping off you to motivate you to do more. Not glistening sweat, but outright drops of sweat all over the machine and on the floor.

I’m now into my second month of spinning and I’m hooked. My friend “recruited” me and I found another “recruit” and we all go and spin together. It’s always good to have workout buddies since you encourage each other to attend class and not skip.  You feel stronger, healthier and look better. What I like most about spinning is you get to build mental strength. You push through the difficult climbs and develop endurance. You have this CAN DO attitude to power through which is beneficial in many areas in life. You just need to KEEP CALM AND RIDE ON.