Tag Archives: group cycling

Episode 1: In which the Slug tries to go to the gym… with predictable consequences

So… on Friday night I joined the local leisure centre… because I get a discount due to the Boy’s swimming lessons and it means that I can now go swimming with or without the Boy without it costing money (5 swims and my membership is recouped)

Also it means I can cycle at night indoors all through the winter…

To be honest that pretty much fits my needs, a bit of cycling, some swimming and maybe the occasional Pilates class.

Anyway, they insisted that before I could use the facilities I had to attend the gym induction even if I had no intention of using it, in case I did accidently use it…as if !

As mentioned in my previous post, Saturday morning (whilst the Boy was slowly drowning by instruction) found me stood in the Gym next to a chunk of muscle called Alex who was explaining how it all works and talking me into a gym based training plan as he convinced me that the reason the cycling wasn’t causing me to lose weight was because I need to do some resistance based training to improve my muscles and get them burning the fat better…

I only have to do this twice a week for about 25 minutes with an optional 3rd visit which this week happens to be 30 minutes of swimming

Last night after dinner (having only had lettuce for lunch I suspected I’d pass out if I tried it before dinner) having left time for my digestion to work I headed the 5 miles over to the local leisure centre, turned into the car park, drove past the lit front window of the gym where you could see people pounding away on treadmills and stationary bikes…in fact there were a quite a few people in there, a lot of people, in fact it seemed to be heaving… and then kept driving past, out the car park and back home again…

Yep.. I bottled it… take 2 to follow… hopefully it’s quieter…

Tuesday I was all fired up. I was going to do it this time. I am a strong confident woman, I am going to be Queen of the treadmill… I am going to own that Gym…

However it took me some time to get to this point, the drive to work had me all wound up in a knot of anxiety about being such a feeble coward…

It was just before I left work for the day (in Reading) that I realised I had accidently booked myself in for the Group Cycling this evening instead of next Tuesday… and they charge you if you cancel within 4 hours of the booking (or just don’t turn up) and I am far too tight to incur additional costs…

So I went to Spin Class instead… this time with the computer… and although I can’t keep up with all the class do I held my own most of the time (and cycled over 10 miles at a sweaty rate)

But sadly I am still at this moment a gym virgin…still too scared to pop my weights cherry…

Trial by Group Cycling

It takes all the courage I have to walk into a room of strangers, even a small room, when wearing exercise gear… small rooms called Judges chambers when wearing a suit no problem… even a lecture room full of 20-60 year olds I can manage if I’m either attending or the one giving the lecture on an area where I am the expert… but a small room full of thin athletic people… no way José…

Yet here I am on Tuesday night walking into a small dark room with disco lights and introducing myself to an intimidating fit 20 something bloke with hairy arms and muscles all over.

He is very welcoming explains how to alter the seat and the handle bars and then nothing more because suddenly we are off…

And boy are we going at pace…everyone furiously pedalling whilst Mr A shouts instructions from the front I try to keep up with everyone else…except…

How am I meant to tell how fast I am going when I can’t turn the computer on… or possibly it is already is on only I can’t read it because its so bloomin’ dark… what’s that?  Up a gear, oh and now you want me stand up and pedal furiously at an even harder gear…

Standing up scares the pants off me, as do cages on bike pedals… I should have run out the door the moment lovely Hannah, who did the quick intro to the facilities before the trial session began, asked me if I had proper cycling shoes…

Mr A shouts at me to turn the pedals the other way up whilst at the same time calling to the group to ease off and take a drink… a nice (but annoyingly slim) lady next to me kindly jumps off her steed and quickly plops my feet where they are meant to be and adjusts the straps… hell now I am caught and truly stuck… no escape I am here for the next 30 minutes now

My knee is starting to ache, but it’s nothing compared to the pain that is developing in my crotch area… it’s not until you try someone else’s bike that you realise how much you take your own saddle for granted… I don’t want to stop, I’m embarrassed enough without making it worse by wimping out in front of these strangers.

Yes I am fat and unfit but I am not a quitter I can do this, I’m not in the business of handing people reasons to despise me on a plate… but I have no idea how much longer this will go on as there is no clock in the room and I still haven’t worked out how to turn the computer on… and I have no way of judging if I’m going fast enough except by comparing where my gear lever is in comparison to the bloke next to me and making sure I’m pedalling as fast  as he is…

Eventually I have to give up with the standing bits of the session otherwise I’m going to collapse and plant my face in the handlebars… I just  tried to keep up with the speed of everyone else… and then its over…I finished… god knows how and the sweat is pouring out of me… of course I had forgotten to bring a bottle of water with me… and everyone else had small handtowels…

That was sheer hell… yet as I fall out the door I shout see you next week