I’m not a big sweater. I’m not one of those people who leave huge sweat marks on the machines, whose clothes are soaked through, or hair is plastered to her forehead. It’s not indicative of how hard I work out- when I was in high school and in my dance troop, I was in practice 2-3 hours a day and it was the same thing. My face turns beet red, and the intensity of my work out can be measured in how long my face stays red afterwards, not how much I can wring out of my hair. The exception of course is our charming DC summers- no matter what time of day, I’ll sweat. Let’s face it, you sweat just for thinking about going outside in this swamp.
That’s one reason I know that spinning is a phenomenal work out. I actually use my towel, and I have to pull my hair off my neck. I’m still not as soaked as many others in class, but for me it’s the biggest sweat-inducing exercise I do indoors. And my face stays red for at least an hour.
I returned to spinning last week after neglecting my class pass and risking losing a lot of money. But that’s not why I went back, although it would be a perfectly good reason. I had started spinning around the same time I began ramping up my running last fall. I had always wanted to try it because my sister, a fitness fanatic, raved about it. And I really enjoyed it, although it was really hard at first. But after five or six weeks, I lost my motivation. It was more that I just really wanted to run all the time- when I woke up in the morning I wanted to go for a run, not drive over to the spinning studio. So that’s what I did.
Then, as I’ve documented, my left knee started hurting a couple of weeks ago in the midst of my Rock ‘n’ Roll training. Knowing the importance of cross training, and feeling like this was the sports gods sending me an early warning, I thought it would be a good idea to go back to spinning.
I’m really glad I did. Today was week two of spinning, and I feel a renewed thrill from it. I was really looking forward to it this morning, despite having to get up at 5:15 am for the 6:00 am class. I love the intense endorphin high and total relaxation that permeates my body all day. My knee also loves it- I can almost hear it sigh with pleasure. But I think what I like best is that I feel like I breathe better all day- more deeply, more clearly, more evenly (not sure if that last part makes sense).
If you live in the Alexandria area and think you want to try spinning, I go to Cycle Studio in Potomac Yards, near Braddock Station. It’s a cool boutique studio that combines spinning, yoga and strength training for a wide variety of classes to grab anyone’s attention and keep you challenged. They also have a nice beginners class to teach you the basics if you’re too intimidated by the uber-fit cyclists in class, like I was and still am. I’ve only done pure spinning because that’s what fits with my schedule (read: the annoying morning person) but I hope to try others eventually. Also, starting just today, Groupon is offering a fabulous deal- either $19 for three classes or $35 for 6. That’s a HUGE savings, so take advantage of it if you’re curious (I swear, I don’t work there).