Oh how I was wrong.
I very quickly realized that whatever the people around me were doing, was not what I was doing. It was choreographed and it looked really cool to see them perform synchronously. And then there was me bopping around on the wrong beat. The lights are really dim. There's no monitor to help you gauge how to adjust the flywheel. At Flywheel they tell you to set it between 15-18, over 34, between 25-27 etc. Here, it was all 3 full turns on the bike! Three full turns from where? A flat road? An entirely-to-the left knob? I also learned pretty quickly that I skip a pedal beat each time I try to adjust the wheel, which apparently has never caused an issue in a spin class until I tried to keep up with this bunch.
I was embarrassed. I kept thinking that other people were thinking that I didn't belong in the first row. I was also wearing pants that didn't fit, so that didn't help me at all. You should try spandex on when you find it in your bedroom closet at your parents' house, especially if it still has the tags on it.
I survived the class. I want to add that everyone at SoulCycle NOMAD was very nice and helpful. No one told me I sucked or that I belonged on the bike in the back in the corner. I just felt like I belonged on the bike in the back in the corner. I went back to my hotel, took a shower, wrote two grant progress reports, and went to bed so I could wake up early to trudge to my professional development day ALL THE WAY IN THE FIDI in wintery mix. We stayed in a hotel by our office so people could safely wander home from the company party and still make it to the meeting at the office the next morning, which I was thankfully exempt from attending.
I, instead, returned to SoulCycle on Thursday morning with a mild hangover from the cheap ass wine I enjoyed at the aforementioned company party. You sign up for the specific bike that you want when you sign up for class. After Tuesday evening, I considered asking for another bike that was not front and center by the instructor. I fretted about it. I told myself I didn't deserve a bike in the front and that I would distract the other riders with my inability to do choreographed push-ups on multiple handlebars while following the beat of a song that I'm damn near positive would never play on Atlanta's 94.9 The Bull (which a is a pop country station with an affinity for Luke Brian that is often on in my car.) But I also considered that this was the 8 AM class and the hardcore really good people were probably already on their way to work and that maybe I should just tell my brain to shut the hell up and keep my bike.
I thought about my friend Jen. We met at the tennis court at sleep-away camp when I was 12 years old. My bunk was filled with cliquey bitches and I was sad that I didn't have any friends. Jen told me she would be my friend and told me there was an empty bed in her bunk. Her bunk was for the girls slightly older than me but she said she'd help me talk to the counselors and see if I could move in. I did that week. And I lived with that bunk for two summers after that. Jen is still a fantastic human being. She is a great wife and a great mother. Her kids are the kids you dream of having. They are thoughtful, moral, funny, and beautiful - just like their mom.
Jen started her fitness journey last year. She impresses me every day with her commitment. She looks great and she's trying new things. She recently tried a spin class. Apparently she's been hesitant to go even though the instructor kept telling her to try it. I told her she had to try it. What kind of person would I be if I told my friend that she had to go try spin class, but then I hid in the back corner because I was embarrassed that I wasn't the best person in the SoulCycle room? So I kept my bike, I asked for help setting it up because that thing looks nothing like what I'm used to, and I clipped in. And I did much fucking better than I did on Tuesday. I had a great time. I felt why people are obsessed with SoulCycle and call it a religious experience. I stepped out of my comfort zone and it felt really good.