Spinning. For those of you not familiar with this particular form of exercise, you simply sit on a stationary bike for an entire hour, pedal at various speeds and resistance, sweat like a slob and go absolutely nowhere. If you have an amazing instructor like I do, she’ll make sure you stumble, not walk, out of class.
“Clear your mind, ladies!” the instructor yells at the beginning of class. I close my eyes to clear my mind. I try to do what the seasoned exercisers do, and that’s “get into the zone”.
“Time to burn off those Girl Scout cookies you ate over the weekend!”
Argh. Girl Scout cookies. I snap out of my zone and a pang of guilt sets in. Not because I inhaled a box of Girl Scout cookies over the weekend – been there and done that – but my own lack of willpower caused me to lie to the sweet little girls standing outside of our local Walgreens trying to sell their Girl Scout cookies.
“Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies,” the girl asks in a sweet, innocent voice. “Sorry, honey, no thank you,” I say. And then I add, “I already have some at home.” The lie rolls off my tongue like honey. Shame. On. Me.
I have no Girl Scout cookies at home, and as a former Brownie leader – as a mother – I should have bought a few boxes and simply thrown them away. But I have no willpower, and mark my word, if those boxes of Peanut Butter Patties were in my possession I’d be leaving chocolate smudge marks on my keyboard as I type these very words.
Back to the spin class. I have to let my cookie guilt go. I try to clear my mind as she yells, “Ok ladies, turn it up! Climb that hill! Make it count! It’s all about you! Just you and the ride!”
Okay, focus, Wendy. Clear your head and forget about the unpleasant exchange between you and your teenage daughter at 6 a.m. Clear the thought of, “Well, with that attitude maybe I’ll just let her walk home from the bus stop after school today!” Forget about your morally repugnant behavior in front of Walgreens.
Instead, think about, “What are you going to make for dinner tonight?” Linguine with shrimp? No, I always overcook the shrimp. Swedish meatballs? Maybe.
I look over at my friend, the one who makes sure I attend spin class twice a week. She always knows what she’s making for dinner and I envy that ability. She also bought Girl Scout cookies the other day from her friend’s daughter, so I envy her sense of philanthropy. The woman in front of her, I notice, is spinning at warped speed. How does she do that?
Mid-thought, I hear the instructor yell, “I said, TURN IT UP!”
Wait, is she looking at me? “Yes, I’m talking to you,” she yells, reading my mind. “Turn it UP!”
I turn up my resistance, wipe the sweat off of my face and continue to NOT focus on clearing my mind and giving it my all.
There is only one way to rid myself of the guilt, and, hopefully, have a more productive spin class. The next time those smiling Girl Scout faces offer me thousands of calories, I’ll pull out my wallet and buy several boxes of my all-time favorite: Peanut Butter Patties. Only then will I have something to spin about.