If you have decided to take your first cycling class, let me pass on the very good advice I was given: wear padded shorts. You may hem and haw over the unpleasant thigh-sausage-casing effect of wearing bike shorts in public and you may feel like a complete idiot when you go waddling into the gym with what feels exactly like that Megalodon Post-Birth Hospital Maxi-Pad crammed between your legs, but after approximately 38 minutes on the stationary bike, you will be very very grateful. Because actually, it’s not about protecting your butt. Your butt, with its natural built-in padding, will be fine. When you’re a novice rider and you’re a female, it’s your, ah, undercarriage that starts to feel deeply traumatized after a while.
It’s your vagina, okay? If I were to show you on the doll where the bad bike hurt me, it would be right down there in my ladyparts.
Here are some other handy spinning class tips I can now share with you, based on my first-time experience earlier this week:
• If you are required to move the bikes from their storage area on the side of the room, don’t give yourself a goddamned hernia wrestling one across the floor. Instead of heroically dragging its heavy-ass metal frame a half-inch at a time as you sweat and gasp and wonder if maybe this is the actual workout part, take one second to observe how the other people are doing it. See those little round things at the bottom? Those are called WHEELS, shit-for-brains, and you’re supposed to tilt the bike so you can roll it.
• Speaking of observation, maybe don’t heave the bike into the middle of the room and stand there blinking, confused as to why everyone appears to be keeping their distance. Is it your shorts? Does everyone think you … had an accident? No. This particular class forms a circle, which you might have realized if you weren’t so busy moving an 800-lb bike in the dumbest way possible.
• If you want to retain any semblance of personal dignity whatsoever, don’t station yourself next to the sprightly silver-haired grandma who apparently spends every moment of her free time zipping up double black diamond bike trails, because during the one song that almost kills you, the one where the instructor tells everyone to increase the intensity to a lung-exploding level and keep it there during the annoying country singer’s endless — and I mean fucking endless — instrumental finale, she’ll turn to you and say, “My! Who sings this? Kenny Chesney? Why, his voice is just like a warm bath, isn’t it?” and you’ll be like HOW ARE YOU EVEN TALKING RIGHT NOW and STUPID KENNY CHESNEY AND HIS STUPID DIPPED-TOO-LOW HAT CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL and SERIOUSLY YOU ARE SEVENTY YEARS OLD WHY ARE YOU NOT STROKING OUT LIKE I AM.
• You go ahead and interpret “crank it to the right” however you want to. Maybe sometimes that means you just put your hand on the little make-it-shittier knob for a second but you don’t actually touch it. Because if you actually DO crank it to the right each and every time the instructor tells you to, your thigh muscles will literally burst into flames and incinerate your vagina-pads.
• Last but not least, if you climbed a set of stairs to get to class, do not assume your descent will be familiar in any way, unless you’re familiar with the sensation of your legs being replaced with bowls of half-set Jello. In fact, I recommend finding an elevator.
Here is something that’s kind of hard about being home all day: I run out of stuff to talk about. I don’t mean I have zero opinions to contribute about the world at large or that I’ve completely lost the ability to hold a conversation with another human being, I mean I rarely leave the house so my daily talking points are pretty much limited to things the kids did or crap I read on the Internet.
I have no one to blame for this tragically reduced set of life experiences but myself, really. I could at the very least work from a coffeehouse during the afternoons when Dylan’s in kindergarten so I’m not quite such a recluse. But I don’t, and so these are the sorts of things I find myself rattling on about when JB gets home from work:
• ”The mail is coming earlier in the day than it used to! It’s weird, because it used to come so late, you remember how it would be like after 5 when the truck would pull up? Well now it’s more like 10 AM. Crazy, right?”
• “The cat sleeps like all day long in the winter. Gosh, she can sleep.”
• “Did you see that Jean Claude Van Damme Volvo ad? How about that fucked-up giant squid? Breaking Bad bloopers? That awful knockout game craziness? The thing where you open a can without a can opener?”
• “I was publishing this one article and for some reason the image upload was hanging and it took SO long, UGH.”
• ”Can you even believe we’re out of milk again? I swear I just bought milk.”
I’m not actually convinced I was a more entertaining conversationalist in the past (”Oh my god my commute sucked a bag of ELEPHANT TESTICLES today, like even more so than yesterday or Monday!”), but lately, despite my overall contentment, I feel like I’ve become a very, very, very, very boring person.