review of spinning (at the treehouse)
May 12, 2007
Most winters I backcountry ski a couple times a week, which, in addition to being about as much fun as you can have in the snow, works pretty well to keep me in shape.
This winter (2007), the Wasatch backcountry has been a death trap. And since I have some plans for riding long distances on bicycles this summer, getting fat over the winter is just not a good option for me.
Enter Spinning, a form of torture that works faster than waterboarding. Seriously. After a few minutes of spinning with the queens of death at the Treehouse, I’ll tell you anything. What do you want to know? No kidding, spinning is the hardest formal exercise I’ve ever done, it kicks my ass like nothing else. I hate it and love it and avoid it and seek it out and before it I dread it and during it I want to die, and after it I feel like it was the best workout I’ve ever had.
Clearly I’m conflicted.
I don’t think I need to get into great detail about what spinning is (that’s what the Internets are for.). Let’s just say this—a roomful of fixie stationary bikes, a disco ball, music from the 80s (someone needs to tell the Treehouse that music has been produced since 1989), and Satan leading the class up front. On the other hand, you control your own bike and resistance, so you can always cheat by turning your knob to the left while everybody turns theirs to the right. Not that I’ve ever done that. Because that would be wrong.
Tell you what, I’ll save you some trouble, and review each of the 3 spinning instructors I encounter 3 days a week. Because Kim is teaching this semester, and I take my kids to the bus stop on those days, when I do make it to spin class, it’s always the 5:30am class on Monday (taught by Trish), Wednesday (Whitney), or Friday (Eve). The time, 5:30am, deserves its own review by itself, but that’ll have to wait.
Monday morning at 5:30 is a tough time to get anybody motivated. Although, I’m not really motivated by the instructors, I’m motivated by being fat, and by getting dropped by my friends on bike rides.
Trish is very sweet, maybe too sweet. She works you hard, but makes it seem like she’s teaching you your ABC’s. As I go into oxygen debt, my bile rises, but she’s so sweet that I just suck it up and keep my head down.
Hate-ability—5 (and even then, only for a second)
I went to Whitney’s class this morning. Sometimes I comfort myself in spin classes that are kicking my ass by thinking that at least I could beat the instructor out on the real road. Unfortunately, Whitney has actually beaten me out on the real road, and her husband toys with me on the trails. I would put a frame pump in Whitney’s spin bike spokes, but they’re solid metal discs, and I would just end up making a fool of myself. Er, more of a fool of myself.
This morning, Whitney had us doing interval after interval (after interval after interval). As in, sprint for 3 minutes, recover for 3 seconds, sprint for 3 minutes, recover for 3 seconds. And so on. She also made us dump out our water bottles and she turned off the ceiling fans. I have reported Whitney to the police.
Likability—8 (damn her)
Hate-ability—6 (because she just chats and smiles while she grinds you into the ground under her stilleto boot, like a mouse in a really bad animal snuff film)
Workout—9 (although, sometimes I get the feeling I’m actually doing permanent damage to myself)
Eve teaches on Fridays, which is good, because I feel like I need all week to get ready for her. Sometimes, when I go to the gym to spin by myself, because I missed the 5:30am class (well, it IS at 5:30am, for hell’s sake), I see Eve walking around the fitness floor, and the hair rises on the back of my neck, and I get this terrible “fight or flight” feeling, and my palms get sweaty.
I’ve never actually looked at the class descriptions, but I think Eve’s class is supposed to focus on Strength. I’m pretty sure Eve is who Bridget Gregory was based on. When I’m in the middle of Eve’s Friday spin class, I have to constantly fight off the urge to rush the stage and knock Eve off her bike. Two things prevent me—first, my eyes and ears have filled with my own blood because my heart has exploded like a supernova, and so I wouldn’t make it more than a couple steps before passing out, and second, there’s no question Eve could take me in a fair fight. Or any fight, really.
Likability—6 (because even though I’m sure she’s a terrific person, I can’t get over how much I want her to die during spin class)
Hate-ability—9 (I think I’ve been pretty clear about this)
Workout—10 (whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? Yeah, whatever. I’m not sure this is even legal. Eve makes me want to punch myself in the face over and over)