The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh


So I became obsessed with Spinning.  Not the act itself, but booking a class—  It's so popular at my gym, it fills up instantly!  An 8:30 a.m. class starts taking reservations exactly 26 hours prior—  A digital clock ticks down the seconds—

So I am now setting my alarm the day before at 6:25 a.m. so I can book a bike at exactly 6:30.

 The alarm goes off, I zip downstairs to get my phone with the gym's app, zip back up to get back into bed—  Then, with a scream, at 6:29 a.m., I realize I left my reading glasses downstairs—  The print's too tiny to see—  I sprint back down—  I'm not even in the saddle and my heart rate is up to 150!  But—

Ding!  I'm in!  At 6:31 there are two bikes left, and one is mine, mine, mine!

I arrive the next morning, amped up, even though I have no idea how to spin.  Tonya, our Amazon-like spinning instructress, approaches me.  She asks if I am wearing cycling shoes.  I do not know what those are.  No matter.  She fetches metal toe-holders that look like tiny bear traps.

I'm getting in deep.

All the arriving cyclists are very excited.  They wear cut off shirts and bike pants and backwards caps.  They're a team.  And here we go, cycling, to the B-52's Love Shack.  Tonya exhorts us to greet each other and exchange high-fives.  "Woo hoo!" everyone yells.  I've discovered a cult!  I love it!

 "Go to 70% of your max!" Tonya cries out.  "Play with your edge!"

 I ignore that and just continue at the easiest gear possible.  I'm spinning!  I sing along to the next tune: "Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand!" 

But here's the thing.  I start sweating copiously.  It's ridiculous.  It looks like there's something wrong with me.  My face is dripping, as are arms, hands.  Soon—and I am not making this up—even my bike is sweating.  It's dripping from the handle bars. Oh, the horror.

The next day, my partner shows me an article about this new exercise-induced side effect called Rhabdomyolysis.  Suffered mostly by first-time spinners, it's where overworked muscles strain your kidneys and your pee turns brown.  "I'm amazed you survived!" he said. But I wonder how my poor infected bike is doing. 
So that's it for me.  I went, I spun, I conquered.

Next up? Yoga for nappers.  Lavender pillows -- hold the toe clips.