Believe it or not, up until... this morning, I hated spin classes. And it's taken me also up until this morning to admit that to myself and others, but hey, I did it.
So, why the hate? It's not the act of spinning (indoor-cycling, if you're like "whaaaa?") - that I actually LOVE. I'm on the bike 2-3 times a week in the gym and everyday to ride to and from campus. But the classes, my friends, are muuuuuuch different for me. When I ride alone at the gym, my rides don't last for more than 40, maybe 45 if I'm feelin' myself, minutes. I'm either listening to a new podcast or jamming out to music that will pump.me.up because, let's be honest, spin workouts require some serious energy.
I think what I didn't like for so long was the intense vibe of the classes. The lights go dim, the music blares (I once needed earplugs), the bikes are practically touching, the instructor yells. Is that all necessary? Sure, maybe it's fun, but... I don't know. It seems like a big show. I just want to workout. Yes, please push me and challenge me, but don't freak me out. Maybe that's just me.
Another thing that's kept me out of the classes is mostly my own doing - I haven't (until now) figured out my pace in each class. Being the Type A/go-getter that I am, not reaching or exceeding the instructor's challenges in each class was just not an option. 85 RPMs? Yeah, watch me push 95, thank you very much. Sprint? I'll go 'til my legs fly off.
My personality type + the intense vibe of the class = an absolutely e x h a u s t e d (and I mean, like, almost fainting) Haley. Does that make sense?
I've wondered why almost everybody else raves about these classes when I'm over here fearing them. Maybe that's just me... yeah, it is just me, I realized today. My mom takes a spin class twice a week at 5:45 AM (mhm, for realzies) and I've taken it with her before - my experience then no different than what I just described. When she asked if I wanted to go with her this morning, my mouth said yes and my whole entire body wanted to scream "OHPLEASENO". My mouth is just too darn close to my quick-to-speak brain, I guess.
I spent a good hour last night praying and pep-talking myself because I did NOT want to back out and my body really craved some cardio after sitting on my azz for a few days thanks to antibiotic-induced tummy pains. I can and will do this. I will pace myself. I will push myself, but I will back off when my body needs rest. This is nothing to fear. This is nothing I have not done before and nothing I cannot accomplish. I WANT to conquer it.
What exactly am I trying to conquer, though? Myself? My mind? The class? The instructor? All of the above. My goals: trust and challenge my body. listen to my thoughts. drown out the intensity and the "show"-iness. take the instructor's demands with a grain of salt.
Today's class was one of the most mindful workouts I've ever done. Seriously. I felt my heartbeat exceed what I felt was enough and I slowed down. I heard the instructor scream "faster! harder!" and I ignored her (ha). I listened to the music, felt the beat, and had fun. ACTUAL FUN in an environment I didn't think fun could fit.
My takeaways from this remind me a LOT of what I'm learning as I study and practice Intuitive Eating, and I'm stoked to continue learning and growing stronger in both Intuitive Eating and joyful movement. Both are a journey, both are worth the challenges.
:) what is challenging you lately? Comment below!
Makes 6-8 bars
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup NuttZo nut & seed butter (I used Peanut Pro and Power Fuel, both smooth)
1/4 cup honey
1 flax egg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
~1/4 cup Blueberry Chia Jam
Oil, for greasing
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a baking pan (I used 8x4) with oil.
- In a blender or food processor, toss the chickpeas, nut butter, honey, cinnamon, and sea salt. Pulse until smooth, with only a few chunks for texture.
- Remove the blade (carefully, my friends) and stir in the flax eggs.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and top with spoonfuls of jam. Using a toothpick or knife, swirl the jam around the bars.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes (less time for larger pans, more time for smaller pans), or until edges are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool slightly before slicing, serve immediately, and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.