I have said it before and I will say it again, I loath the gym. To try to find something to do there that doesn’t bore me to tears, and holds the homicidal gym Heather at bay, I have been trying out classes. As you may recall Zumba was pretty much a disaster, but I didn’t let it get me down; I forged ahead and tried cycle. I used to do studio cycle, or spin class in some circles, regularly so I know the key to cycle is a good instructor. This is the case with most classes, but I feel like cycle even more so. I found this guy who teaches on Tuesday and Thursday nights and he is great. I like cycle because it’s sort of a contained workout since no one is really looking at anyone else, and it’s really up to you how much you get out of it. In other classes if you have to stop everyone sees you, but in cycle you just take some of the resistance off and pedal until you feel like you can come back. I also sweat like a dude, which I am a bit self-conscious about, and in cycle I just don’t seem to care. So hallelujah, I found a class that works and the instructor is there a couple of days a week. Then I decided to try out other cycle classes with other instructors, and shit got holy real quick.
I work from home most Monday’s so I decided there is no excuse not to hit the gym, and as luck would have it there is a 45 minute cycle class. The class had about twenty people in it, so decent, but not crowded. The instructor starts the class and the music is good, but there is something strange that I can’t put my finger on. She tells us what we are going to do over the course of the 45 minutes and then the revival begins.
She starts with, “we all brought something in to this class today and by the time you leave here, I want you to give that over to the lord”.
Excuse me, what? I thought you said the lord? I must have misunderstood.
“You can turn to food, you can turn to booze, you can turn to sex, you can turn to a number of things and all that is, is Satan calling to you. You won’t be free until you turn to Jesus Christ and give yourself over to him”.
What the… That’s when I realized the music was christian pop. This went on for all 45 minutes of the class. She preached and witnessed and did not shut up the entire class. I will give you a minute to re-read and really take in the last several sentences.
That’s right, take it all in.
Ready? Because it gets better so strap in friends. With about ten minutes left in the class, she tells us to put a lot of resistance on the wheel and come out of the seat. We are going to climb and as we climb we are going to let go of all the burdens and we are going to ask God to cleanse us and relieve us of the demons on our backs. She then turns the lights off so it’s relatively dark in the room and turns up a song about being worthy of His love. She then informs the room that she likes to turn the lights down because she finds this process to be really emotional for people and it’s easier to cry with the lights down. Yup, cry.
This is me, on the inside: Hold the mother f-ing phone! Crying!? People are going to cry!? There is no crying at the gym! What hell is happening!?!?!? If this bitch sprinkles me with holy water, she’ll have a whole lot more than Jesus to contend with.
I tried to see if anyone really cried, but it was too dark. You may be asking yourself why I stayed through the whole class, and believe me there were a couple of points I almost left, but it was too bizarre not to see how it ended. I also did get a really good work out in; 563 calories in 45 minutes is no joke. A couple of people did walk out during the class, but for the most part everyone seemed fine. One girl had the holy spirit coursing through her the whole 45 minutes, and would give me dirty looks when she heard me laugh or say WTF out loud, but everyone else just seemed focused on the workout.
It was the strangest class I have been to in my whole life; even weirder than Zumba. I don’t care what you believe and if you want the world to know, that’s great for you. Do what you gotta do. But there is a time and a place, and perhaps the gym is neither the time or the place to be saved while you cycle.
I sort of want to go back to see if this is an every week thing or I just caught her on a special day. We will have to see if I can return to cycle with Jesus.
image from bicyclefriends.com