Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Silent Spin

Yesterday morning, still feeling a bit bleary-eyed from Sunday's long day of travel back from the retreat (more details about that retreat in this blog post), I went to the gym.  The sign said, "Spin class cancelled." 

At my gym, we can use the spin room if it's not being used for a class and if we're experienced spinners.  So I got myself set up, turned on my iPod, and . . . complete quiet. 

Full confession:  I haven't used my iPod since a grueling New Year's Eve cross-country flight, and I'm fairly sure I haven't charged it in 2 years.  So, I wasn't really surprised when it didn't work.

I had spent the whole week-end eating very high calorie food at the retreat center.  I needed a work out.  I thought about ditching the spin bike and getting on a treadmill or some other machine.  But in the morning, I hate being surrounded by all the screens broadcasting news shows. I decided to hop on the spin bike anyway, even though I've never done a spin class with no music.  My goal was to last half an hour.

At first, I spent time saying (to myself), "I can't believe I'm doing this with no music."  I decided to keep the door open and the lights on.  For part of the time, another member of our class joined me, and we were mostly quiet--just the noise of our bikes, spinning away.

I expected to hate it.  But it was OK.  And then, I started to really appreciate the experience.  Time didn't pass as quickly as it does in a normal spin class, but it wasn't torturously slow either.  And I even approached a semi-meditative state once or twice.  I tried to pray, as I often do throughout the day, and because there weren't very many distractions, I was able to stay focused on praying.

In the end, I spent an hour on the spin bike.  I left the room sweaty and happy.

And then, after my shower at the gym, I realized I forgot to pack a top for work.  Yes, a skirt, but no top.  I thought about going home.  I was supposed to have a 9:00 appointment, so I worried that rush hour traffic would mean I'd miss my appointment.  I thought about the stores that are on my way to work.

So, I put my work-out shirt back on and said a prayer of thanks for microfiber that hadn't absorbed too much sweat.  I stopped at Ross, but they don't open until 8.  There was a dollar store next door, so I popped in and asked, "Do you sell t-shirts?"

Yes, they do, and yes, they only cost a dollar.  I bought the extra large, although I did wonder if it was a youth XL.  The tag seemed to say that it was an adult XL, so I bought it.

That shirt will leave my closet as quickly as it entered, but it worked for one day.  Happily, the appointment that I had was not an appointment where I needed to be wearing interview type clothes--and it got rescheduled several times, so I needn't have worried.

I was pleased at my capacity to just keep rolling even as I encountered situations that could have sent me catapulting into a bad mood.  And because I could quickly strategize, I improved my mood.

It's not a skill I always have, but it's a skill I often have, and it's one of the coping skills I'm most grateful to have.

1 comment:

inab said...

Is that the same as : when life deals you lemons???