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Training Day 5 of 112-Spinning-#sitonit

These are four pictures taken of me AFTER spinning class on Friday (I’d like to say “today” but I’m a day late in my posting-damn!).  It was taken by my photographer-in-crime these days, one Ms. Christy Perros.  The blue marks on my body indicate all the places I experienced pain or muscle soreness over the course of the 60-minute work out.  But DON’T let this discourage you!

Let me explain a few things that you might not understand.

1) The heart on my heart? I had terrible heart burn and was thinking to myself, “How is this possible?  I didn’t eat anything bad for me today.  In fact, I deliberately took the Lean Cuisine pizza that had NO tomato sauce!  I smelled like garlic the rest of the day at work, but at least no bad tomato sauce.”  And then, as I continued to go over the foods I ate for the day I had my a-ha moment!  GRAPES!!  And not just a few grapes, but 1/2 a bag of them.  Grapes, while sweet and delicious, are full of sugar and can be the kiss of death to someone susceptible to heart burn-not unlike the delicious, sweet, white wine that they produce that I love so much and also gives me heart burn.  Whew!  Glad I figured that out.  Lesson Learned:  NO MORE GRAPES PRIOR TO A CARDIO WORK OUT!

2) The mark on my stomach is because at one point I was working so hard, I thought I would win the famed “Purple Bucket Award (PBA).”  PBA, you ask?  PBA is a long-standing expression used in my family, compliments of my aunt and uncle’s friend, Larry Grow.  A recipient of a PBA….has just thrown up.  Now, I didn’t actually receive a PBA while spinning, but I thought I was pretty darn close.

3) The dots on my back and neck?  I have really weak muscles in my back, which I had to go to physical therapy for this summer.  Because of my weak back, I tend to compensate with my neck-totally ridiculous! So if my neck and back end up in a position that they are not used to and/or results in strain…well I end up in pain.

4) My arms (elbows) and wrists?  Really? Well….I don’t have much upper body strength and for a decent portion of the class you end up with a lot of pressure on your arms.  And when they are weak and pressure is applied for a long time…well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out there might be some issues there.

5) The rest of them…I think that’s just normal wear and tear of spinning.  On a daily basis you don’t use those parts of your legs and tuckus the way you do in spinning-so those “points” are expected.

So I must have hated this right?  Oh, hell no!  I loved it!  I’m a cardio whore.  Always have been and always will be, which is why it took me so long to lift weights! Hey, I don’t like the pain, but it’s just my body adjusting to something it’s not used to-and if you’re a good cardio whore like me-the more pain the better, cuz it means you’re working and burning!

I have been on a spinning bike about 6 times in the past two months.  Prior to that…about 5 times in my entire life.  It’s just my body’s way of saying, “You need to be mindful.”  And here’s why….like running, body form in spinning is really, really important (Lesson Learned).  You get into a spinning class and get on a bike that has been used by a handful of people before you, and you need to make sure that the seat is adjusted correctly (both the right height and the right distance from your handle bars) and that your handle bars are the right height (in conduction with your seat)!  And then on top of that, you need to make sure your back is straight and aligned properly while also being relaxed, and that your arms are bent slightly, but not too much. Oy!

So there is a lot to be mindful of when spinning.  It isn’t easy, but it is terribly rewarding-especially when, like last night, you have finished your second climb up the mountain, the very steep mountain, in gear 10!  Most things in life worth having, don’t come easy-and a great spinning work out is one of them.

Oh, one more thing. If you look at the picture again, you’ll notice that I don’t have a dot in my, for lack of a better term “crotch” area.  And thank God!  Had I taken this photo two weeks ago, I would have.  The key to avoiding that kind of pain?  Invest in these:

No. This is not a version of the mask from "Scream," these are the padded interior of my bike shorts!

After wearing two, thin pairs of running shorts for four spinning classes, and, after doing to my body what I thought was long-term damage, I ponied up the cash to buy a pair of LINED/PADDED bike shorts.  I got them at Two Wheel Tango bike shop in Ann Arbor.  They were only $50 (you can spend a lot more money on them than that) and even though when you are walking around you feel like someone shoved a towel down your pants, they are sheer bliss on the bike.  Number 1 Lesson Learned:  If you are going to take a spinning class, you NEED to get a pair of these shorts!

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