Please know these opinions are truly my own and it might not be the same for you…now, or ever.
I have been spinning for over a year consistently. Before that, not close to the almost-5-times per week that I go now, but I spun—in boutique studios and gyms.
I took my first Soul Cycle class in November. I had this premonition in my head that it would be similar to how I rode every day but somehow it would be “grander.” I was excited to see what all of the hype was about. Upon adjusting my bike, I saw there were no computers. “Shit, this is really weird how will I know how I am doing?”
Metrics have always been a part of my life. I rely on them daily for my job and strive for goals that are numbers based. And it’s in some ways, natural, to assess how you are doing. Haven’t we all thought this way?
I think I’ve talked a little bit on IG about some anxiety that has occurred in my life and about that time I had a panic attack on a bike. There were many underlying issues that morning, but after a glance at my metrics I was pushing so hard that I thought I was going to keel over.
I began to see how metrics toyed with my ego. “You aren’t having a good class,” “Come on, get to that wattage because you’ve done it before.” It all began to feel like a job.
When I hopped on that SoulCycle bike, I didn’t understand some of the hype, but something changed, I remembered how much I actually enjoyed the physical aspect of how I worked out. My body was synced with the music, something that I found pure joy in the beginning of all spinning classes, not just SC. Then came the “meditation moment,” and at first my ego freaked out! It was just mean, scared, and fearful. But I persevered through those 3-4 minutes and felt refreshed and ready for the final climb.
Now, I must be very clear, these vibes aren’t something that can only be found within the SoulCycle walls. This energy can be felt from within. Listen to the music, get your musicality on. Connect with the instructor, request music, the list goes on.
If you feel like that glisten from a workout is starting to wear off, try this. This isn’t going to be forever for me, but just right now. (*see final paragraph)
So many people have “thrown away the scale,” (I have not, BTW) because of metrics, so why wouldn’t you consider making a quick change with regards to your workout?
I’ve begun to incorporate metric-less workouts in other ways, and it has helped me become more kind towards myself. I haven’t worn a heart rate monitor in a few months (it helps that the battery is dead), and I put a towel over my computer now. If there is a song in class that is my choice, I ride for those few minutes with my eyes closed.
I’ll never forget the first time this “metrics idea” was presented to me. It was a few years ago when I was practicing yoga (almost daily) and I had my heart rate monitor on. The teacher said something to the effect of, “you are here for not only your body but for your mind, you shouldn’t need to wear a monitor to see if you have a good class.” And I thought, “damn, she is right.” And I never wore a monitor to yoga again.
I understand the absolute benefits of knowing your proper wattage (your base weight as your base watt), and how the heart rate zones work with effective fat-burn. And I may even return to wearing the watch, and reading the computer, but I knew I needed a break they take over or create a negative thought if you can’t hit a certain RPM or wattage. That’s when they’ve got to go.
*These metric-less workouts have continued until last week, when I was faced with a TV screen of metrics for the whole class. My ego turned to fear immediately, but I was surprised to find that my intuition was in sync with the class and I actually had kept up the tempo and working zones of what the instructor was asking, but I became obsessed with my place…first, second, third, first. And I wanted to be first. Duh. I was so fixated on that damn screen that I perhaps did push occasionally out of the comfort zone (which was good) for even when she turned the TV off for the middle of the ride, and turned it back on, I was still in first, without facing the screen the whole time (I had still kept my computer covered). While I finished that class in first place and got a good workout in, I recognized I’m still not quite at the point where I am ready to re-incorporate the monitoring metric system, or maybe this one instance was just too gung-ho after 3 months of no numbers.