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The Day The Spin Instructor Learned My Name

by anna on June 17, 2009

Looking back, I realized that I made several fatal errors on the day the spin instructor learned my name.

I had seen him walking into the gym with his daughter, and she was so cute that, reflexively, I smiled at her. And when I looked up again, the damage had been done: though people and things continued to spin all around us, as if time had not frozen in that second, he had noticed me. I knew it. For taking notice of his daughter.

Were those halcyon days of slinking into the back row of bikes just as it turned 9:30 am now just a hazy memory? Had I finally, irrevocably singled myself out, made an impression? Would it last? Blast it all! Could just one row of bikes and bobbing asses be enough to conceal me, the woman who had smiled at a young child, from the notice of her doting father? Hardly!

I deceived myself into entertaining that hope, what with the way things are on those kinds of days, people rushing to and fro, the fog of sweat glazing over everyone’s eyes, the fact that I had rushed away before any conversation had taken place. But alas, when I reached my bike–the bike I had signed up for online, at exactly 7:30 am on Thursday morning, 26 hours before the start of class, no earlier and no later, hitting refresh repeatedly until the system allowed me in so that I was sure to get a place in the best class, that bike–#10–had a pair of cages on its pedals! Remnants, they were, from some other, more elementary spinning class where someone–a beginner so new to spinning that they didn’t have the correct shoes yet–had used my bike. My bike, with the scars of its ignominy still hanging off its sacred pedals!

There was no choice to be made: I would have to get them off myself, because Todd, in #9, was busy flirting with the woman who just had a baby six weeks ago and besides, he was no stronger than I, since spinning strengthens your legs to superhuman heights but leaves your arms flabby and vein-ridden. I toiled and twisted at the cages, finally succeeding in pulling off one side, but the left was stubborn and wouldn’t budge. It was 9:28. There were no alternative measures: I would have to ask the spin instructor to remove them for me.

And if the encounter in the hallway, outside of the Kids Club hadn’t done it, well, he would notice me, then, wouldn’t he? Because even if he couldn’t remember my name, there would always be the class sign-in sheet there, my name perfectly rendered in Helvetica for the world to see! No, not even poor handwriting could save me now! He would see the name and match it to the bike number . . . oh cruel fate! that my beloved #10 would ultimately be my undoing! Yes, he would see it there and it would only become a matter of time before he was yelling my name along with all of the others he tortured throughout the class–Marianna! Maria! Yuna! Rebecca! John!–people with rock-hard quadriceps and hamstrings that tucked neatly into their compact derrieres, all covered in the latest lululemon stretch hotpants–

“ANNA! GIVE ME A HALF-TURN OF RESISTANCE AND FOCUS!”

Fuck.

{ 9 comments }

Kerry June 17, 2009 at 6:42 am

So clearly you’re going to have to give up spin class now, and join the ranks of those of us who spend that time lying on the couch watching “So You Think You Can Dance.” Welcome. Grab a can of pop on your way to the couch whydoncha.

I had no idea you needed special shoes for spinning.

Kerry´s last blog post..7 Reasons There’s No Real Blog Post Here Today

Juliet June 17, 2009 at 7:38 am

This is very LA. It reminds me of the summer when my sister had awkward or embarrassing experiences at every single nail salon on the Westside. There was just nowhere else left for her to go.

Juliet´s last blog post..(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Amy at Never-True Tales June 17, 2009 at 7:44 am

Oh, I feel your pain (the ass pain of spinning AND the pain of recognition)! I am a back-row-of-bikes sort of girl myself. Great post! I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while now! I think I found you through the BlogHer site.

Amy at Never-True Tales´s last blog post..Open Letter To…Tuesday

foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) June 17, 2009 at 11:43 am

I was once in a step class for nearly a year with only four other women (we’re very small town here…) and it was with happiness that I’d leave after every sweaty hour knowing the instructor still didn’t know my name, nor I know the names of anyone else in the class. OK, it wasn’t like I hadn’t tried, but those four women were apparently in a massive step clique I had no way of infiltrating. So be it. Anyway, eventually the instructor learned my name. Suddenly my crunches on the box had to get a hell of a lot better, so she said.

It’s never, ever the same when they know. Ever.

foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog)´s last blog post..he’ll always be my beast of burden

The Lawyer Mom June 17, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Haven’t had the instructor-recognition moment. No, for me, it was exiting the Y step class at 6:30 a.m., looking oh-so-lovely, and bumping into a super-senior partner at my law firm. No matter what you do, they always see you sweat.

The Lawyer Mom´s last blog post..If These are "Green Shoots" I Need a Parachute

Kelly June 18, 2009 at 10:47 am

Ugh. I get, “Kelly, stop watching the clock!” Umm, what else is there to do in spin class except watch the clock and pray for it to end?

AKD June 18, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The instructor at my regular Monday night Pilates class knows my name, but how, after lo these many months, can I tell her that she is mispronouncing it?

Tish June 19, 2009 at 10:29 am

…which is why I don’t spin. I’m a maverick. A flabby maverick.

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