death by spinning

image found on the net (I chose one without smiling faces because while I was smiling during the class, I wanted to die afterwards)

image found on the net (I chose one without smiling faces because while I was smiling during the class, I wanted to die afterwards)

Yesterday, I took a spinning class with my friend. On weekends, Fitness First members can bring in a guest and my friend asked me to join her in a spinning class or take their Yoga Flow class. I decided to try spinning since I’ve done yoga before and wanted to try something aerobic this time and I wanted to see if it would help me with my stamina and endurance. At the same time, we wouldn’t be together on Yoga Flow and since she invited me, I wanted to hang out with her.

So I took the spinning class.

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. My work is pretty sedentary and since the dance studio I go to has moved to a further location and has suspended classes for the time being (they have two shows they are rehearsing for and they just moved so they wanted to focus on that), I haven’t been able to go to dance class for two weeks. The most exercise I get to do is walking and the 15-minute or 30-minute yoga routines I do courtesy of Yogify.

But I consider myself a pretty active person so I thought I could handle it. I was just going to take it easy. If I was tired, I’ll stop. I wasn’t going to push myself.

Who was I kidding?

The class began and I was working out the kinks of the bike resistance — figuring out what was my base work load and what the trainer meant by “add 5% to the load.” There are no calibrations on the resistance knob so I was doing everything by feel. At the same time, the music was pumping (hard-hitting EDM music) and he was shouting over the music so I would get lost.

By the third track, I was getting tired and, to be honest, I feel like my seating position was wrong. I think I might have been too high or too low (it was one of the two). Every time I felt bad, I stopped and just cycled at a very low resistant to catch my breath, drink water, and pace myself and then when I felt strong enough, I joined the class right back.

The class was pretty friendly. Some lady beside me kept making sure I was okay and the trainer always gave me a signal to take it easy if I couldn’t catch up since he knew it was my first time to take the class.

But now I understand what I’ve read about spinning class online — the pressure to keep up with everyone. Also, cycling at that speed really gets your adrenaline pumping and so you want to release all that energy — even if your body can’t do it anymore. It’s a psychological thing and I wanted to see how strong my mind was. I realised that’s half of what endurance is about. It’s not just a physical capacity to withstand pain and hardship — it’s mental as well. I wanted to improve my endurance.

So I did and pushed myself just a little bit. I made it through all seven tracks and the wind down session.

When I was done, I got off the machine and started stretching. Then, I just buckled. My legs, most especially my knees, couldn’t carry my body weight. No support whatsoever. I had to lock my knees straight and walk with my weight edging forward so that I wouldn’t fall down. I still did, though, at the juice bar.

It was scary, not having the strength to lift your own body up — to not be able to stand properly or walk properly, the way I always have. I was sort of freaking out. Lucky for me, I guess, I’m not unfamiliar with my body and how it moves. Maybe that’s the dancing or the constant walking that I do. I immediately found a way to walk that didn’t rely on my back knees or my rear thigh strength to support. I really needed to walk with straight lets, locked knees, and my body leaning forward to take the weight off my back.

I made it home (almost slipping on the parking ramp since I didn’t want to take the stairs for fear of bending my legs) and got to my room without incident. There, in the safety of my bed, I was stretching my legs and figuring out exactly what the problem was and what my legs could handle. That’s how I was able to isolate it with an absence of strength and support from the back of my knees and thighs.

The rest of the day and evening, I was struggling around the house and I even fell four times before I went to sleep. I was online looking at what could have gone wrong. My friend had ACL before and she was scared that it was what happened but we both figured that ACL is not an injury you get from cycling. There was no trauma, no popping sound, and no pain.

I was in absolutely no pain. I just didn’t have strength in those areas. So I went through over 20 blogs and health websites and discovered it wasn’t anything too serious (unless I still suffered the same symptoms the following day) and kept my legs above my chest level when I slept and in the middle of the night, I woke up because I had to pee, and found that my leg strength has returned. I was able to pee without incident and I could stand and walk with the full use of my legs. I was okay. Sore. Now it’s painful but not in the “it-hurts-every-time-I-move-it” painful. Just that feeling when you’ve exercised a body part that never got that sort of exercise before feeling. And no swelling, so that’s a good sign, based on all the stuff I read.

It still hurts to see, though. My butt is in absolute pain.

Maybe spinning is great but I think I’m going to have to work overtime to find a different dance studio. It’s higher impact for sure, but my body is more used to that sort of movement and exercise. This scared me completely and I really can’t push myself this way. I have to find the way in which I can be comfortable to do my fitness regime.

I enjoyed it. I was able to zone out and not think while I was doing the spinning class. But the after effect scared me. I’m going to be walking slowly today and maybe tomorrow.

I’m more of a dancing kind of guy and I’ll probably have worse injuries from dancing than this. But this really scared me and I’m going to have to take it easy for awhile and that’s awful because I’ve got a full work schedule this week.

I’m not the easiest person to find a good exercise regime for.

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