Monday, 1 June 2015

Spinning - getting back in the saddle

Normal service has been resumed.

I hate running. It seems so pointless, especially when you have such amazing devices called ‘cars’ who can get you to where you need to go a lot quicker than you can run, with the added advantage of being able to turn up to your destination completely fresh and non-sweaty.

I appreciate that’s a very contentious view, however it’s just not for me. I’ve done it before and I’ve never enjoyed it, neither when I start, or a few months later, when I can run further and faster – it’s just not my thing. I think it’s because I’ve got a rather large chest and the sports bras I have to wear are robust, to say the least. Added to which, I’m not a team player – I don’t think I’m an evil person or a loner at all, after all I have a lot of lovely friends who I care for, amazing sisters and amazing boyfriend, however the thought of doing team based sports holds no attraction for me.

So why would I put myself through that? It’s the same as eating things you don’t like when on a ‘diet’, it’s a temporary thing, a ‘quick fix’, that you’ll never sustain as, in the end: You just don’t enjoy it.

So, about 2 years ago, I decided I’d try spinning – Rather than running from one place to another, instead of using a car, I thought I’d cycle on a bike for miles, whilst remaining in the same place – equally as pointless :-), but in my opinion, 100% more enjoyable. Why? Well, I guess it depends on your instructor and the class, however for me, it fitted my ‘exercise criteria’:

1. I could sit at the back of the class and no one seemed to look at me – Unlike aerobics, where you jump around and people inadvertently are behind you and you’re paranoid about them seeing your butt jiggle. You don’t have that in spinning (especially if you’re in the back row)

2. It’s done in the dark – Hurrah, yet another plus point is that once the lights are off, there’s even less emphasis on my jiggling and I feel much less self conscious

3. You can go at the speed you want – I hate being told what to do, it’s like a massive thing for me. If someone orders me to do something, I’ll do the opposite. In spinning YOU work as hard as YOU want to work, so I get out, what I put in, without feeling out of place.

4. It’s got good music – This is more of an instructor thing, however I like dance music and things that get me enthusiastic. Listening to the music in a spin class is enjoyable whilst I’m doing exercise.

5. It doesn’t hurt my back – I’ve got a lower back injury which can flare up from time to time. So long as I’m careful and bend properly, it doesn’t aggravate it at all. 

I’m actually quite a wimp when it comes to trying new things – Despite being a ‘grown up’, I actually find it quite scary to go to somewhere, on my own. That’s why I’m thankful that my brilliant work friend offered to come with me for the first few lessons. After all, I find things are a lot less scary if you go with someone else. She’s massively into the gym, so going with someone who already knew the ropes, so to speak, was very reassuring.

After not going to the gym for 3 months, I went tonight and now I feel really, really good about myself. I’ve eaten healthy food today and I’ve exercised – that’s despite having a massive stress-out about my job and the meeting with my Boss earlier today.

Dinner was grabbed from Marks and Spencers, but even then I tried to be mindful of what I was eating and went for a tomato and basil chicken breast with some peas and some parmentier potatoes. With a little salad cream on the side, it was really nice and very filling :-)

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