I was sweating, maybe groaning a little bit. Shit, I can't do this I can't do this I'm going to die, this is the longest five seconds of my life!
"Down!" she said.
"Uuuuugh," I groaned. My feet kept spinning the pedals while I tried to catch my breath, but it was no use.
"UP!" she shouted.
I thought, FUCK YOU, BITCH! YOU AREN'T THE BOSS OF ME! I CAN'T DO THIS! AAAAAAH!.
I stood up again, maybe a half an inch from the seat, and kept my mouth shut. I didn't have enough strength to go further. I was going to die, I was going to explode, I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HAVE FUCKING COUNTED TO FIVE WHY ARE WE STILL FUCKING STANDING?
"Down!" she shouted.
This time I thumped down with an audible grunt. I wondered if I was going to have a heart attack. That would show them. Making me exercise. At least I would have an excuse to stop pedaling.
This was my first ever spin class.
If you don't know, a spin class is where you sit in a semi-circle of stationary bikes while trying to follow the lead of an incredibly toned and muscular woman, while surrounded by other sweating and grunting idiots who thought this was a good idea.
It is the latest in a long line of fitness classes I have joined at the wellness center at work.
Normally, I am not much into these types of group fitness classes, but I keep being drawn in by the idea of free socks, so I keep going.
And I have learned some valuable lessons:
- I hate zumba. A lot.
- Classes that have an "X" in the title are hard.
- Anything with the words "body bar" or "bosu" are also going to be hard.
- Pretty much, any class is going to be hard, and make me feel weak.
- Everyone has a price. Mine is socks.*
I, so far, have managed not to cry in any of these classes.
But I have to keep going.
And it isn't just the free socks.
No, really, it isn't. Not just the free socks.
Spin class was held in the hour before I started work (yes, I came in early for this).
I arrived at 7 AM. They all knew each other, and I had a momentary feeling of being the odd man out. These guys had been "spinning" together for years. But since I almost always feel like the odd man out, I decided that I would pretend I didn't notice the sidelong looks and whispered asides. I would tough it out, whatever happened. It was only 45 minutes. I would fucking WIN this race, damnit.
About 20 minutes in, I was sweating more than I ever remember sweating in my life, and three things happened at once.
- My foot slipped out of the pedal and I was nearly pulled underneath my stationary bike. I saw my life flash before my eyes before catching myself and getting right again.
- I sat hard on the seat, which was not as soft as my real bicycle seat, and I wasn't wearing bike shorts because they are a little tight these days. So when I thumped down on the seat, I think I bruised something... er... delicate.
- I kept pedaling.
And while my conscious mind was thinking, "OW, FUCK, SHIT! OW, THAT HURT! GODDAMN, I HATE YOU I HATE YOU, DIE DIE DIE!" and I was concentrating on not saying any of this shit out loud in front of my coworkers, underneath it all, I was determined, no, more than that, I was CERTAIN I would do this, I would finish this class. Because I have to be in shape. Because I have to be able to escape the zombies.
I'm serious. That was what kept me going and got me through spin class.
I showered and cleaned up, and started the quarter mile trek through the building to my desk.
It was a strange feeling, being a few minutes early to work, so I wasn't really paying attention when I started down the stairs and nearly collapsed. I had to grab the railing to keep from falling, and my wet towel went sliding out of my shoulder strap and fell to the floor. I hesitated in retrieving it, and it actually crossed my mind that I could just leave my wet towel on the stairs, but good sense and cheapness made me stretch down (without bending by legs) and snag it.
My legs had lost all strength, but they didn't hurt at all. This may have been a bad sign.
I staggered to my desk, trying not to look drunk and looking like I was really drunk, and pretended to work for a couple of hours.
It hurt to sit, and I realized that on top of the bruise, I may have chaffed my delicates, too.
At 10:15, I managed to pull myself to my feet again and wander down the hallway. A few weeks ago, I had signed up for a free flu shot at work, and I had almost forgotten. I considered skipping it, but, you know. It was free and all...
Sometimes I wonder if I would get a full frontal lobotomy if they were giving them out for free at Walgreen's.
Anyway, here are some things I learned while getting my flu shot at work:
- Do not wear a shirt that you can't roll up beyond your elbow. Otherwise, you will basically have to strip half naked in front of random coworkers in the Falling Aspen Leaf Conference Room.
- Doctors (or nurse practitioners) do not appreciate it when you make exaggerated grimaces when they give you a shot, even if it really hurts.
- They also have no sympathy when you say, "That hurt!" in a wounded, tearful voice, even though you went to the extra effort to not say, "That HURT, Fucker!"
- Do not, repeat, do NOT realize that you have just allowed a corporation to INJECT SOMETHING INTO YOUR ARM.
I spent the afternoon thinking about how pointless it is to work out so hard when I am going to end up BEING a zombie because I was stupid enough to let them inject the zombie virus in my arm, and that my legs hurt, and my arm hurt, and I want to go home, I won't cry I won't cry I won't cry.
That night I started to feel sick. A little off. Something wasn't right.
My neck was a little swollen, my throat hurt. I had a headache. My bones hurt.
Holy shit, dude, I was joking. I didn't actually think they were making me into a zombie.
And that, my friends, is why I stayed home from work the next day, which was a Wednesday, with instructions to my loved ones to destroy my brain if I started to turn. I couldn't trust them to finish me off at work.