Life is Like a Spin Class

I joined a gym recently. I was always active growing up, but as an adult, I haven’t ever been much into working out. However, in the last couple of years I’ve gained a new appreciation for feeling fit. Last summer I bought a mountain bike, I’ve been doing some hiking, and I walk quite a bit. But living in Portland, you often have to take it inside during the winter.

Today I went to spin class. When I first started hearing about spinning, I thought it must be something like whirling dervishes. Yes, I was sheltered from a physical fitness perspective. Eventually though I figured out it’s basically a stationary bike class. Except more.

The thing I didn’t expect was how much your imagination plays into the experience. The instructor is telling that you’re going up a hill, you’re chasing other riders, you’re on a flat, then rolling hills. She’s motivating you, cheering you on the whole time. If you let yourself, you feel like you’re really doing what she’s talking about.

The interesting thing was that my level of enjoyment had a lot to do with what I was saying to myself as I was pedaling. If I focused on how tired my legs were, all I could think about was how tired my legs were and it was hard to maintain the cadence. If I pushed to find a little more power – telling myself “come on, you can do it!” I did. I even had a smile on my face on a couple of occasions.

When we were climbing the last hill, sweat’s running down my face, and I’m pushing hard, that’s when I started to realize that life is a lot like that. Your reality is what tell yourself. How you describe it in your head and to others. And while we all have some habits, some learned patterns, probably even some genetic make-up about how we see the world, we still have some choice.

I’m basically an optimistic person with a worry habit (I’m changing). Next time I catch myself worrying I’m going to stop and listen to what I’m telling myself and change it. I’m going to try on what it feels like to see the world a different way. Particularly inside my head.

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