A list inspired by the fact that yesterday, on Thanksgiving morning, I attended a two-hour spin class.
#1: Gone to a two-hour spin class.
This isn’t so bad, really. Spin is not a great exercise for me because the instructor will be like, TURN IT UP TO 10 AND DIE ON THIS HILL WITH ME and I’m like Yeah! …quietly turns resistance only up to 3. Meaning, it’s too easy for me to fly under the radar and not get maximum workout benefits because I’m too lazy if nobody is really pushing me. That said, I still like spin, mostly because it’s a great place for me to question my life choices (“Why am I riding for two hours in a dark room with other sweaty people with somebody screaming at me when it’s beautiful outside?”) and also to catch up on the music that the youth are listening to today. I like a good pop song as much as anybody but I have no idea what’s popular anymore. Some of it’s weird. Like, one of the song lyrics was all like “you can’t have this girl because she belongs to me” and I’m like EXCUSE ME IT’S 2015 THE PATRIARCHY HAS BEEN DISMANTLED DID YOU NOT HEAR.
#2: Gone to a yoga cult.
See this post.
#3. Gone to a solidcore class.
This was basically the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I can’t say they don’t warn you, though. If you go to the solidcore website, they have an introductory video where they explain how stuff works (basically they place on you on a device that looks like a medieval torture rack and you have to hold up your body only use your core muscles for like 37 hours and you cry and cry. Also the device is literally called a MEGAFORMER). The video is great because it’s like, “LOL don’t even try this class. I can see you through the screen and you’re a fat slob. Don’t come to the studio. Go be fat on your couch bye bye.” Seriously, the video basically tells you NOT TO COME WORK OUT AT A SOLIDCORE STUDIO. They’re all like, “I know you think you’re in shape, but you’re not, so don’t even try.” I can’t think of a more effective marketing technique.
I’ve only been to one solidcore class ever. My curiosity was piqued by said video of doom, so I headed over there one Saturday with my two girlfriends Emily and Arlene.
Shit got real real fast. I mean, just look at this. I’ve never felt my muscles reach total failure in such a short period of time. Honestly, I just started laughing, and laughing. I couldn’t do anything the instructor was asking of me. Everything hurt. I questioned why I was alive. In fact, did I deserve to live? I thought I was a fit person, but I wasn’t, so like, what’s the point of everything? Was my perception of reality accurate? Was this universe even a thing?
I kept wanting to cry, but it came out as laughing. I avoided making eye contact with Emily or Arlene, because every time I did, we dissolved into giggles, like, is this real life? Did we pay like $35 for this fucking torture? Why did we ever think we were actually in shape? Do you think if we called our moms they would come take us away from this horror show?
#4: Ran a marathon.
I’ve run three of these guys at this point, the most recent being October 2015. (You can read a post about my first marathon, in 2004, here.) This last one, I finished in 3:50 (30 seconds slower than my previous time, wah, but I’m still happy with it).
I trained pretty hard for this one – all the long runs (up to 22 miles), track workouts, speed workouts, tempo runs. I was lucky enough to find an awesome neighborhood running buddy who was a lot more dedicated than I was, so she came up with a great training plan and convinced me to wake up at 5am regularly to run 13 miles before work in the dark with headlamps.
But despite all the training, I didn’t go into the race feeling super confident. I was actually sort of dreading everything. I just remembered HOW HARD RUNNING A MARATHON IS. I also remembered that I don’t like to do anything unless I think I can do it better than the time I did before, so casually running a marathon at a slower pace is sort of out. I had to go all out.
This led inevitably to me running faster than I should have for the first 18 miles. Luckily, my friend Brian, who’s an incredibly fast and good runner, offered to meet me at mile 18 to get me through the last 8 miles. By that point, I was shuffle jogging and breathing hard and just like, just don’t let me die, Brian. Just tell my mom I tried. He gamely tried to have a conversation with me and I was like just shut up. Just shut up. Just run. Just tie a rope around me and drag me to the finish line. At around mile 23 or so, we passed folks handing out mini donut holes and he was like, do you want some and I yelled “DO I LOOK LIKE A PERSON WHO WANTS SOME FUCKING DONUT HOLES?” Basically, I was a gem and a princess.
But I made it. I shuffle jogged up that little hill at the end, a 12-year-old Marine put a medal around my neck and said, “You deserve this” and I started blubbering and thinking how much I love America and I think left there having signed up to join the Marines, maybe? Unclear.
I hope not to do another marathon ever again but knowing me and my masochistic bent I guess I can’t rule it out entirely.
#5: Continued to sign up for Ragnar Relays.
Running for 24 hours? In the dark? In tropical storms or blazing heat? On highways and through muddy, eerie woods? I keep doing it for some reason. Read this post and you’ll get a sense of what it’s like.
Next up on the list? Attending a SoulCycle class now that’s open on 14th street in DC. You can certainly expect a blog post out of that.