I Was a Substitute Spin Instructor

Alan Asthma had jury duty, so only three or four of us showed up to spin class at the gym today. We wondered out loud what we would do without Alan there to guide us. He is such a great spin instructor. Sometimes, he doen’t even ride the spin bike himself, but he paces back and forth with a two-by-four, threatening us with what could be an even deeper pain than that lactic threshold burning in our legs if we let up to soon.

He’s the best spin instructor I know, or at least in a tie with Pat Ross at Touchstone Climbing. These are real cycling classes, not the spin classes with the dance routines.

So without Alan, the three of us, Lindsay, Susie, and I, mumbled something about maybe only riding for thirty minutes, and getting on with our hair appointments, and then I said, “Oh, I know what we can do, would you like to try it?”

And they said, Sure, which was a pleasant surprise, but it also meant that I’d have to do the whole thing, but anyway, half way through, we were greeted by a new member of the class, a man who had stopped Lindsay and me in the hallway earlier, and seemed visibly disappointed when we told him Alan wasn’t coming to class today.

Thirty minutes later, there he was. “Oh, wait, so there is a class today,” he said. He was hefty blond in a white t-shirt, white baggy shorts and running shoes, which isn’t typical spin class attire, but who cares.  “Mind if I join in?”

“No problem,” I said, in my professional, spin instructor voice. “You’re more than welcome.”

He was talkative. 

“I take it you’re a cyclist?” he said. “Yeah, I see them all the time, running stop signs in my neighborhood, running red lights, taking up the whole road–.”

“And on the 12, three minutes at 95%” I said. In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t said 95%, but I needed to find a quick way to make him quiet, and it worked, and no one passed out.

“Wow, Katie, that was great,” said Lindsay, when the workout was over. “Alan would be proud.” Okay, so maybe the workout was only hell for me, but as of today, I’m fired.

The Stranger in White said, “Hey, are you using this clock?”

“Why, um, no, as a matter of fact.”

“Great. Cool. Fantastic,” he said, and he moved it — it’s a wall clock that should be hanging, but is normally propped up against the wall — a whole foot to the left. Why. Why. 

I don’t know where the punching bag came from, but all of a sudden, there it was, in the middle of our room, and the Stranger in White was beating the holy crap out of it. I don’t even know where the boxing gloves came from. The volume of his punches and grunts was so loud and overwhelming, there was no possibility of a conversation, or of our heart rates returning to normal, as Lindsay, Suzie, and I put our spin bikes away.

 He punched with full force, with right and left hooks, sweat flying in all directions.  His face was a deep red. His eyes were a blue fury

When he wrestled the punching back to the ground, I stopped looking. I looked at Suzie instead, and with my eyes I said, “Is this really happening,” and her eyes spoke back to me in affirmation.

That’s what happened when I was a substitute spin instructor.


About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
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