A flashback, Ride-style

So, I kept good on my word and hit up the 6am Group Ride class this morning at my gym.


I struggle to get there as often with my commute being what it is, but I made it happen today. It’s important enough to me that I’d rather battle traffic and/or scramble to get out the door at my usual time if it means an awesome sweaty workout was had in advance. And to be honest, I need Ride in my life as cross-training. And, not gonna lie – I love it. Especially when it’s taught by my favorite instructor. 😉 Annnd I’m joined by my sis and Scott. All the better.

What struck me this morning was that the release that we rode today was from Group Ride Fall ’08 which, as I sat there riding the first track, I realized was the first release I ever rode, Group Ride-style. Talk about flashback city!

Back in 2008, my sis and I had just joined our gym together and were excited to finally share the same gym again and to be able to workout side-by-side again. We were both SUPER intrigued by spinning, but also slightly intimidated by it. So we pinky-swore that the first time we took the class, we’d do it together. Coincidentally, this was also our first experience with any BTS classes – and man, it left a lasting impression. To this day, I contend that no other group fitness class compares to the style of BTS classes, they are intense, they keep you motivated, and they have incredible music and technique. (and no, BTS did not pay me to say this, I just firmly believe in their program!).

But back to our first Group Ride class. It went something like this:

…Oy. This is a dark room. I’m kind of intimidated. I don’t even know how to work these bikes…<enter spin instructor who promptly showed us both how to get our bikes calibrated>

…This is just the warm-up?? I’m dying. How am I gonna make it through the whole hour?

…My legs are on fire right now, she wants me to turn up the resistance again? Whoa, everyone around me is doing it like it’s no big deal, why am I dying right now?

…Whew. Are we done? Finally, my legs are so wobbly. <—this was during the track right before the climb…I stupidly thought the class was wrapping up, boy was I mistaken, we had the climb track left, the steepest one!

…What is this?? There’s more? I don’t think I can push any harder, holy sh*t.

Fast-forward to today’s class. The very same release that I rode back in 2008.
…I rode with passion.
…I rode like my life depended on it.
…I was sweating buckets.
…I embraced the interval track and pushed it, knowing it was a short-term pain/long-term gain kind of track.
…I looked forward to that climb track at the end and climbed as hard as I could.
…I was not afraid.
…I did not doubt that I could do it.
…I loved it.



It’s amazing what a flashback will do for you, mentally. I feel grateful for what the past few years of spinning has done for me and really dig how far I’ve come with spinning. It’s major cardio killer, which has totally improved my endurance and ability (mentally) to push myself beyond my limits. It’s been awesome to share it with my sis, and now with Scott and my “Kick friends” (those friends I met while training to be a Group Kick instructor) who regularly join this class on Wednesdays. There’s something to be said about workout friends, wouldn’t you agree?

So now I challenge you – flashback to the first time you tried a particular workout. Think about how you felt then. How different/out of your element it made you feel. And then flash forward to the most recent time you took that class, or did that workout, or whatever. How does it compare? Kind of a cool feeling, right?


17 thoughts on “A flashback, Ride-style

  1. That is a great feeling! I’ve been trying a lot of new classes, and have plans to try a bunch more over the next few weeks. It’s intimidating at first, but each time becomes more familiar, and hopefully less awkward. 🙂

    • Totally! It’s always walking in the door the first time that’s kind of intimidating, until you realize that truly nobody else is really paying any attention to you, and then I’m fine and ready to rock ‘n roll. I can’t wait to hear about these new classes of yours!

  2. LOVE this post sis!!! (the flashback/holy shit part made me giggle. so true) I was thinking the SAME thing and the fact that I was at the very beginning of my divorce journey and felt meek and scared and so not ready to move on…I think this is my next blog post, now that I think about it 😉

    • Haha, well – it was EXACTLY how I felt that first time we took Ride together. I was totally overwhelmed by it all! And yes, it was also a very big bonding moment for us – you were so very fragile then and I just wanted to be with you as much as I could to help you get through things, keep your mind occupied, etc. And hell, if that meant torturing myself in Group Ride, so be it! 🙂

  3. Girl, I have no freaking clue how you do Group Ride at 6am! And what is it about those climb tracks that you somehow look forward to them? The pain???? Are we that insane? (wait…don’t answer that one).

    My flashback: first ballet class. I was 10 years old. My best friend talked me into it. Of course, I had to start in the beginners class with freaking 8-year olds! I was sooooo shy, so intimidated, embarrassed, you name it. But once I put my hand on that barre and learned how to do my first plie…that was absolutely it for me. That’s what I felt I was meant to do.

    By the next year, I was in the same classes with my friend.

    • Wow, I LOVE this flashback memory of yours my friend – you describe it with such passion and awe. I can totally imagine you standing at the barre as a child and it just hititng you that THIS was what you were meant to do. Awesome.

  4. Interesting comparison. It’s amazing how the same workout can feel so different. I joined the gym in January ’09. The second day there I was on the elliptical when the owner came and told me spin class was starting and she wanted to set me up on a bike. I said, “No thanks!” She said, “I think it would be a good class for you.” I relented. I felt like the biggest, most out of shape person in that room and I nearly died, but I LOVED it! It was my first really tough workout. Now, I am certified to teach!

    • What an awesome flashback – especially since it was that moment where you first started your journey towards teaching the very class that scared the pants off you the first time you took the class.

  5. The first time I tried a yoga class (freshman year of college–2003/04), I knew I looked stupid. I wasn’t very flexible (ironically, before the class, I thought I was very flexible), had no balance, had ants in my pants, and couldn’t clear my head for peanuts. They had us do an inversion where I ended up basically supporting my entire body weight on the spot where my spine connects to my head (I thought I was going to die), then attempted to support my weight on my bent upper arms in some sort of bird pose. I didn’t know how to breathe properly and got dizzy from holding my breath in certain poses. I left sore and achy, feeling as if I had been hit by a truck, yet strangely invigorated and calm.

    I went to a yoga class a few weeks ago, my first actual class in a while, and I was astonished by my improvement. I could get into all of the poses, hold all of the poses, breathe throughout. Granted, I didn’t have to stand on my head this time, but I’ve had a bit more success with the bird pose. I am more flexible, have greater balance, and can get my brain to focus. It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to see such improvement.

    • That’s awesome! I am so glad that, even though yoga is still hard for you, it’s a totaly different experience for you from the first time you tried the class. And arguably, no workout we do should ever become “easy,” it should always feel like a work in progress which is exactly what you describe here. Way to go!

  6. My 3 mile run last night was my short run for the week. A year ago today, I could barely run 2 miles, and was running at a 14-15 minute pace.

    I ran 5 miles at a 11 minute pace on Tuesday, 3 miles last night at 11:10, and felt like I was dragging my ass. Running at 14min/mile now feels slow.

    Thanks for this perspective! (And an excuse to open my old training log!)

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