Five years and a few months ago, I was just shy of my 40th birthday. And I decided it was time to invest in my myself. At the gym. I didn’t buy a membership that would have more than likely gone unused. I hired a personal trainer so I had accountability and would actually show up. She has helped me gain strength and attempt things I was unsure I could do or was afraid to do. Things like box jumps. I still don’t like box jumps but on the rare occasion she puts those into the mix, I spend less time talking myself up to do them. I not only gained some muscle; I gained some new confidence. Madeline is a rockstar trainer. We still meet every Monday and Thursday.
So I have never been one to do group classes. Zumba. Yoga. Jazzercise. Spin. Barre. No thanks. I prefer the one on one with a trainer or alone time at the gym. But a couple months ago, a friend who leads a spin class posted about open bikes the next morning. And before I knew what happened, I texted her and told her I would be there. At 5:15 a.m. For a spin class. A class before the crack of dawn. Did I forget to mention I have never worked out in the mornings? And did I mention I don’t do group classes? So here I was waving my hand and signed up to do a group spin class at 5:15 a.m. Spin. How boring I thought. A bike that goes nowhere. I told myself I would go since I committed to Kim and then I would never go again.
If you have read any of my personal Facebook posts over the last five years, you have read I often use my workout times as worship times. It is a time where I can focus inward, pray, listen to worship music and be grateful to the One who made my body to move. And I was sure I wouldn’t find that on the bike that goes nowhere. So back to spin. I went to the class. And I kind of liked it. So I signed up for another. And another. And another. And here I am two months later liking spin. Liking it alot.
Here is what I have found with spin ~ other than it can be the best kind of torture to stretch my body to do new things ~ it is a spiritual experience. Spin can be brutal. It is up, down, walk, jog, run, sprint, heavy resistance, light resistance, in between resistance, every combination imaginable. And unimaginable. For 45 nonstop minutes. And often at the end, I find myself saying “what just happened?” Spin is also fulfilling because when get to the end, I find myself saying “I don’t know what just happened but I didn’t quit. I did it.” But to get to the end, I have to go inward. It is not uncommon that I close my eyes and listen to God. Listen to what He is trying to teach me or show me. I wish it wasn’t true but I often listen better when I am in a situation or trial or in pain. Who is with me on that? And let me tell you, spin is all of those things.
So I was in spin class on Sunday, my eyes were closed trying to push through some torturous interval and as the instructor spoke about not deserving anything but we are part of an inheritance and royalty we can rest in, I heard God loud and clear. For me. And for my friends. And for you.
When class was over and got back to my car, I immediately sent a group text to my dear friends, Gail, Megan and McKenna. But I imagine I could have sent it to anyone. So I will share it with you:
“I think all of us can say we are in a season of feeling overlooked in some area of our lives. I don’t like the word deserve but sometimes feel like I deserve different than where I am lacking or feeling overwhelmed. We don’t deserve anything but as daughters (or sons) of God we are part of an inheritance and royalty we can rest in. ‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.’ 2 Peter 2:9”
Y’all. Spin class just got real.
Addendum: It’s now Monday morning. 6:30 a.m. Spin class is over and it just got real-er. I hadn’t sent this off to be published so I want to share one more thing. Today was the toughest class yet and God reminded this morning that discomfort and pain and moving outside our comfort zones is not punishment. It grows us. If we allow it. Maybe we get physically stronger. Maybe it is learning a greater dependence on the Lord. Maybe it’s ending an unhealthy relationship or maybe it’s being brave & starting a new relationship. And just maybe it’s also so we can connect with others because sometimes spin class is sharing expressions with each other that only those on the bike will understand.
Spin class IS a spiritual experience. You may just want to give it a try.