You know that you’re a little burned out on organized sports when…you find yourself wanting to rebel against the authority of the spin class instructor. Don’t get me wrong, the spin instructor is a sweet, sweet girl; however, she has this drill sergeant alter ego that she adopts for motivational purposes that has the opposite effect on me. I know that she’s yelling and cajoling to get us “pumped up.” I know that her intention is to help us get an excellent workout. I know she must spend hours coming up with a different motivational speech for each class…”not giving in” and “this is your last chance today” being popular themes. Regardless, it irritates me.
It’s not her fault. I’ve just spent too many years being artificially motivated. I’m desensitized to that sort of language, tone, and demeanor. I’m antagonistic towards the whole “psych yourself up” game. One reason is that I hate being yelled out. I’ve had teammates who could get chewed out, stew over it, and go into the race more determined than ever. Not me. I’m a crier. (I would say that I’m a wimp, my loving father would say it’s just that I care too much.) Another reason is that I’ve spent years trying to control my emotions before a race. When faced with debilitating, make-you-puke nervousness, the idea of intentionally becoming more excited and emotional doesn’t seem like such a good one. It’s almost certain to lead to places that no one wants to see. Like breakfast. Or more crying. Trying to be as calm as possible beforehand is a much better approach for me.
And of course, I know that spin class isn’t a race, but after spending so many years bucking the motivational system, I can’t seem to turn that switch back on. So I spend the class NOT respecting her authority. When she says, “how’s everyone feeling?” and the rest of the class “woos,” I am silent. I’ll sit in the back and do everything she says…pedal with one leg, add resistance, go faster, stand up, add some more resistance…but I refuse to be “pumped up.” It’s silly, I know. Fortunately, there are plenty of other people to “woo” on command.