36 days to 50.

Tonight I went to one my favorite spin classes of the week. I’ve been spinning (going nowhere on a stationary bike in a roomful of exercise fanatics with dance club music and a disco ball) for almost twenty years. This is not my first exercise obsession. It started with high impact aerobics in the eighties. The instructors would put an LP on a record player (yes, a record player) and we would all jump up and down and hope the record wouldn’t skip.

After a few years I fell in love with the next exercise phenomenon, step aerobics. Step aerobics was all about complicated dance moves while constantly stepping up and down up and down on a rubber step. I did each of these for years.

Then I discovered spinning. I knew right away that I LOVED it. I still have yet to find a 45 minute class that gets my heart rate up as high for as long. Is it hard? Yes. Does it hurt? Every time. Do I want to get off my bike and walk out of the class? Almost every time. Like Kundalini Yoga, staying on the bike when it is difficult is like staying in complicated situations in life. I just stay on the bike. I know I’ll get through it. The fact that I am still doing this is a room full of 22 year olds is amazing to me.

I found out tonight that one of my favorite spin instructors is leaving to go to a spin studio where they pay a lot more. Studios tried to seduce him a few years ago and he didn’t go. We lost a few great instructors then but I was so thankful that he decided to stay. In our gym, as in life, people leave. They move on. They get married, move to Vegas, become engineers. It used to really upset me, to lose a great instructor. I always feel a special connection to anyone who can consistently give so much of themselves. I know how hard it is to stand up in front of a group of the elite exercise fanatics in the competitive city of Los Angeles and give them everything you have. I’ve always been distraught when we lose an instructor I love.

So I know that I have grown when today I just went up to my spin mentor and thanked him for all his years of service. “Congratulations”, I said, “I am so happy you are moving on to something that will be better for you. I’m just grateful that we had you here this long.” He put his hand to his chest, I’m sure he will hear a fair amount of complaining from people, his new studio charges $26 a class. I’m not complaining, I am happy for him.

I’ll find something else to do with my Thursday evenings and my Sunday mornings. I may even skip the gym altogether once in awhile and go have brunch with friends.

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