I took a spin class once…and hated every last second of it. Let me make sure I’m clear: I.HATED.IT. I couldn’t get off the bike and out of class fast enough and then I precisely wrote the whole thing off. I was bored out of my mind for 45 minutes that day, and my hiney hurt so bad for an entire week, I wasn’t sure I would ever walk straight again. I could be convinced to do almost any other form of exercise, but not that.
Fast-forward a good nine years. “I think you should try it,” my friend, Linda, said to me, referring to a spin class she takes not once, but twice, a week. As I started to protest, it became clear that she wasn’t interested in my excuses. Next thing I knew, I was slipping my feet into the foot straps and pedaling away.
I now find myself on that bike every week…not once, but twice. And for those of you who love a good list, here are a few lessons I’ve learned from the spin bike.
- You don’t have love everything you do, and yet, it’s still good for you to do those things often. Spinning is not my favorite form of exercise. I don’t hate it, my hiney doesn’t get sore anymore and there are some classes and intervals that I enjoy. But I don’t love it. And that’s okay. It’s still a great form of exercise. It’s still good for me to vary my workouts, it’s good for me to be challenged in different ways.
What is it for you? Eating vegetables? You laugh. This one doesn’t always come easy…especially to my four year old. Being active? How about spending quiet time with God and doing more listening than talking? Taking a spin class?
You don’t have to love it, but it may be good for you to do it anyway.
- Rest is critical.
I hate this one almost as much as I hated that first spin class nine years ago. However, regardless of my love or hate of it: Rest is critical.It’s not possible (for me, anyway) to make it through the entire class if I don’t rest well during the active recoveries between each interval. Sometimes the breaks are longer, some are shorter, but each is necessary to prepare for the next challenge. And without that rest, when it’s time to work, I become sloppy, exhausted and off my game.When I’m spinning, I’m desperate for the rests. But in life, man I try to blow right through them.In life, I’m not a good rester. I’d much rather be the event planner than the event attendee. I’m a Type-A, hard-working Martha, not a natural Mary. I like to be busy, I like a project and I love to plan my work and work my plan. Ask me to move across the country and start a new chapter of life, essentially from scratch? Sure. Ask me to be still and rest? Ugh. So hard.However, I must refer myself to point numero uno. In life, just like on that spin bike, rest.is.critical and something I must do even if I don’t love it.
- Sometimes we have to fight for the finish line.
While the entire class is 45-minutes long, it takes 40-minutes of warm-up and workout all to get ready for the last 5. The last five minutes, for me, are an indicator of how well I’ve prepared, how well I’ve trained both physically and mentally, and how well I rested during the last forty.The last five minutes are where it counts. It’s when I’m mentally ready to be done. It’s where I’m physically fatigued and where the only way to the finish line is through sheer determination.Whether it’s a conversation at the end of the day, or a request…for the thirteenth time…from my four year-old, or the paper that I need to finish or a project that needs to get turned it, sometimes I have to fight for the finish line. And sometimes, I have to dig deep through lots of uncomfortable emotion and exhaustion to finish strong.Strong finishes feel so good. It’s where we grow, I think. If you have a finish line on the horizon, dig deep and finish strong.
- It’s good to get out of our comfort zones.
One of the reasons I didn’t like that first class was because it was all-around uncomfortable. Spinning made me breathe differently, it fatigued me differently, it made my legs burn…bad. And I wasn’t sure half the time if I was even doing it right.But it’s so good for us to be out of comfort zones. For me, it’s where growth happens. Where I break through the barriers, ceilings and limitations that I put on myself. It’s often where I prove myself wrong. It’s when I’m at the place that Jesus likes me to be – feeling like a fish out of water and fully dependent upon Him.If you haven’t done so lately, step out. Do something that scares you. Let yourself be made uncomfortable. Perhaps you’ll meet a part of you that you’ve met yet. Perhaps God has something in mind for you to learn.
So, while I haven’t had a spinning epiphany and I won’t claim to love it, truth is, I’ve learned a lot on that stinkin’ spin bike over the last three months. Maybe they’ve been helpful for you.
Whatever hills or valleys you’re facing on your trail, stay on your bike and keep peddling, my friends.