Saturday, September 24th 2011
Spin Class: What NO ONE ELSE Will Tell You

Spin Class: Not for the Naive.

I’ll explain that in a minute. But in order to do so, let’s flashback to 12 years ago when I was pregnant for the first time. And uh, naive.

(Jenn S.: Read NO further, babe. I love you. But don’t read this right now.)

I had no reason to be naive. My mother used to sit my sister and I down and have long squirm-inducing conversations about everything we could possibly ever need to know, and she always used the correct terminology. So I should have known quite a lot more than I did. But it became evident early on in my first trimester that I was a bit… clueless.

My mother in law (who liked me then) would record episodes of A Baby Story on VHS tapes and give them to me to watch. She felt bad that Mike had thoroughly mentally checked out of the pregnancy and relationship and was trying to be extra supportive. He wasn’t trying to be awful, he was just sure (based on a previous experience that had nothing to do with me) that I was about to die and so he was a bit moody and conflicted and tormented all on his own over the whole thing so it wasn’t all that ideal for either one of us.

Back then, A Baby Story was a big deal. You could watch those and see all the trends and options and what to do and what not to do in the Process of Birth.

This was particularly helpful to me in ruling out (emphatically) many things. Such as: lots of people in the room, mood music, strategically placed mirrors, etc. I was already very overwhelmed at the idea of Mike being there anyway, which was well founded since he ended up in a standoff with the anesthesiologist. Mike’s not a confrontational sort. That was an extremely ill timed exception because it delayed the epidural I’d promised him I wouldn’t have and once I broke that promise I wanted it broken FAST, get out of my way, man.

But after watching about 10 or 12 episodes of A Baby Story, I kept thinking, “well that’s weird. because they’re ALL doing something I’d just rather not do… and no one is doing anything different….how very strange.”

And that’s how I finally realized that you don’t get to OPT OUT of the traditional birthing position of legs spread wide in stirrups. Like, not a choice, like it is if you bring a favorite CD or something. Noooo. Um. NO.

I found this revelation to be COMPLETELY disturbing. Years later I was telling my mother about it and she made a face and said, “What?! You thought you’d sit demurely in a corner with your legs crossed with a blanket across your lap while you gave birth?” and I was like, “YES. YES MOM. THAT IS WHAT I THOUGHT I COULD CHOOSE IF I WANTED. EXACTLY THAT. THE ALTERNATIVE IS SO LOOK-AT-ME AND I HATE THAT.”

I think she said something like, “No one’s trying to LOOK at you. They’re trying to GET THE BABY OUT.”


So. I had no idea that childbirth was so dang unladylike. But it really is. And that’s how I found out.

Spin class reminded me of this. I’d never been on one of those bikes. I actually hadn’t really been on any bike in… I don’t know. So when everyone said, “it’ll hurt your butt the first few times” I believed them. I did not know this was code for “you’ll remember how it felt like after childbirth when you realized someone must have taken a meat hammer to every part of your private regions and smashed you.” I guess it’s just easier to say “your butt will hurt the first few times.” Inaccurate though that is.

Remember those gigantic 2 foot long maxi pads the hospital gives you afterwards and then they have this magic cooling quality that turns them into icepacks? LOVE those. I came home from spin class and looked in my cabinets to see if I had brought any extras home, years ago, because those things are awkward and awful but miraculous and wonderful too and I wanted a 2 foot long icepack/maxi pad thing.  (no one TELLS you you’ll come home and look for one of those.)

The bike seat is actually SUPPOSED to smash into you.  I think. Like, pretty sure. It’s definitely supposed to ‘make contact’ on the standing up when you ride parts, but I am unsure if that means ‘get really rude and personal and make you wonder about  modern day availability of chastity belts’ or not.

When I got to class, my new friend with the perfect behind was there, ready to get me started. She had me pedal a few times and then she said, “What? Why are you doing that? You don’t point your toes when you ride a bike?!”

Yeah, well, you don’t have a baby with your legs crossed, either, but I didn’t know.  Also, toe pointing is sort of my default mode.

She adjusted things, and readjusted and kept reminding me to stop pointing my toes and it all went really well, considering.

I mean, I didn’t get a perfect butt or anything. I got a perfectly bruised butt. (And more.)

But I learned a few things. And I made it.

But for all this pain, I really should have gotten a cute baby out of the deal.





14 Comments on “Spin Class: What NO ONE ELSE Will Tell You”

September 24th, 2011
8:52 pm

That’s almost graphic. Well, I guess it is graphic. You’re very talented with expressing yourself. That’s probably why your husband is so terrible at it. The whole opposites attract and all. But surely he’s getting better at it after being married to you for a while.

I agree about giving birth. It’ss way too personal to be so public. Everybody seems to expect you to let them be there for it. Like you’re selling tickets or something.

Spin bike doesn’t sound like it’s for me. I hope it works well for you.
Michele recently posted..Blog Authors?

September 24th, 2011
9:08 pm

Every time I hear mothers talk like this, I start thinking that maybe it’s a good thing I never had children. There is no way my extreme-privacy-loving psyche would survive that.

As for the spinning, I’ve always wondered how they make a class out of it. I mean, they’re stationary bikes, right? So do you all just sit there pedaling like mad for an hour, or what? I’m sure that sounds incredibly ignorant, and maybe after this post I don’t really want a detailed explanation of exactly what happens in these classes. ;-) But it’s just something I’ve always wondered about.
Geekwif recently posted..European Vacation – Amsterdam

September 25th, 2011
9:17 am

Thanks for reminding me why I no longer bike. (shudder) What kind of fun is that? I mean, someone must enjoy it, or they wouldn’t do it. Of maybe they are all masochists?
Jan recently posted..Fires Contained–For Now

September 25th, 2011
11:33 am

I opted out of the traditional birthing position by having puppies instead. Hugs… : )
Linda recently posted..I am loved by a cricket

September 25th, 2011
3:49 pm

that particular comment had me laughing out loud 2.. no, 3 different times.

and… at least there were no tv cameras there. About spin: this is the REALLY dumb part. i totally forgot to include this. here we are in west texas where the ground is completely totally flat. and a teacher at the front of the class is describing the imaginary mountain we are climbing. so we up our resistance. then she has us do various jumps and runs and increase because we are ‘climbing’ and then we do other stuff as we visualize the ‘leveling off’ and the ‘coming down the hill’ and then more climbing and it’s just soooo funny. it’s like mr. rogers and the land of make believe. kind of irritating, but NOTHING compared to the butt thrashing bike seats.

you did bike? so you KNOW, don’t you? is this normal, the way i described? my new friend said you just get used to it. and… ew. and… really?! i find that hard to believe.

and puppies everywhere were blessed because you are the sweetest dog mama i know. : )

September 25th, 2011
5:35 pm

HA! I gave birth three years ago and STILL have one of those pads for emergencies. Need me to send ‘er to ya? :)
Sarah recently posted..if i could see, what he sees

September 25th, 2011
8:23 pm

The instructor sounds like she’s got Bob Ross’ soul. Did she mention any ‘happy little rocks’ or trees as you went along?
Michele recently posted..Blog Authors?

September 26th, 2011
9:09 am

Kels, no I never got used to it, and it did not take me long AT ALL to decide that kind of torture was not for me. It was worth it for the two cute babies, yeah, but just to achieve the ideal rear end? Nope.
Love the Mr. Rogers allusion.
Jan recently posted..Fires Contained–For Now

September 26th, 2011
4:46 pm

I woulda taken you up on that last week! save it, girl. you may need it. keep it someplace very safe, and good for you for having an extra!

i had to look up bob ross. that guy!! okay. it was a bit like that.

i don’t think ideal rear ends are granted there anyway. she was probably born like that.

September 26th, 2011
4:54 pm

Are you telling me that not only do you NOT get a cute little baby, you don’t even get the ideal rear end? Then WHY DO IT????
Jan recently posted..Pictures I Should Have Posted

September 26th, 2011
4:58 pm

um…. to be able to run a 1/2 marathon without dying? it doesn’t sound like enough of a reason, i know!!!! : )

September 27th, 2011
8:51 am

lol okay, I guess that might be a valid reason, if you insist on running, which I don’t understand either.
Jan recently posted..Pictures I Should Have Posted

Jennifer Sullivan
October 7th, 2011
7:17 pm

So I really really want to read this post, like bad. It’s that reverse psychology thing, but since you were awesome enough to warn me I’m trying to listen. I really really am. But it’s saved for me to read after Mary gets here!
Jennifer Sullivan recently posted..Bedrest sucks

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