So here I am, ready to leave with Kristie [Mewis] for Soul Cycle, alternative workout #1. I step out of my room in my usual Adidas soccer shorts and long sleeve t-shirt, when she tells me to go put on yoga pants because otherwise I'll get "red marks from rubbing" (strike 1).
We arrive 15 minutes early so I can get all set up with my shoes and bike. Sam meets us there with her bike helmet strapped to her backpack. I didn't realize she also biked to the studio, so for ten minutes I was convinced there was a chance she actually intended to wear her helmet on the spin bike. Once we're inside, an employee sets up my bike with the seat WAY too far away from the handle bars so I could "engage my core", or in other words, FOLD MYSELF IN HALF. At the end of 45 minutes, this resulted in what felt like a broken back and bruised undercarriage.
My mood picked up as the class got started. The music was fire, the instructor was incredibly motivational, and I absolutely loved the front row filled with cute girls in perfectly matching yoga-pants and sports bras. It made Sam (who was wearing an orange pumpkin tank top for Halloween,) Kristie and I feel like we were at a party with the popular kids.
My natural competitive hardo mode kicked in quickly after the first sprint. I was gettin' after it. Hair in my mouth, sweating, head bobbing side to side, I felt like Lance Armstrong. Then I looked my left, and realized I was 1) off beat on the bop-it-pull-it-twisted-flick-it cult like dance everyone else was doing in unison and 2) moving way slower than the daddy-long-legs Mewis sisters. I'm still convinced they were fake-turning their resistance up as high as mine, but that remains to be seen.
The Soul Cycle misfortunes continued half way through the class when the man in front of me began to lose steam. How did this affect me? Well, like I said, for some reason every class is mobbed with their spiritual followers, so all 50 bikes are on top of each other in a 5 by 10 array. That means if you stand up while the person in front of you sits, its impossible not to touch them. I hope that helps to paint the picture for you. The guy in front of me comes out of the gates HOT, showing off, and by the end can't stand up for the sprints. So, already being cardio-handicapped, this strangers sweaty back is literally in my mouth while I push through the final hill.
So back to those yoga pants Kristie made me put on before we left. Because my thighs are bigger relative to my waist, my pants constantly slide down and expose my plumber's crack. Remember how I said I was folded in half? Yeah. Bad for plumber's crack. The majority of the class, I rode ferociously trying to dance (I have no rhythm) and sprint with burning quads and my pants halfway down my bum. I didn't bother fixing them because to my delight, the lights were off everywhere except for the front in the instructors cubicle. On the final song, I was starting to feel it. My second wind kicked in, I had the crunch down, and I felt free without the pressure to pull my pants up because I knew no one could see in the dark.
"30 SECONDS LEFT!" the instructor yells, as I'm humming it on high resistance. Pitch black, butt crack out, I'm killing it. Suddenly I hear, "I WANNA SEE YOU BREAK DOWN THOSE WALLS" and all the lights flash on, so bright you have to squint. My cover is blown. Plumber's crack's exposed, I look like bambi on ice trying to get my bike to come to a screeching halt and pull the back of my pants up, but its too late. I'm getting the looks from the back row. I can't imagine what they're thinking. First a six footer comes in wearing a pumpkin tank top, and now it turns out her friend rode basically naked the whole time without addressing the situation. I follow the lead of the man in front of me and sit down for the remainder of the class. It was against my athletic mindset, but we all had to admit that at this point, it was for the best.
Overall I think I brought the misfortunes that did occur at Soul Cycle upon myself. It was actually the first spin class I've been to feeling like I worked really hard because they keep your heart rate up for the full 45 minutes. I'll definitely go back if I want a non-impact workout to minimize pounding on my body. Oh, and they have the cutest little toothpastes AND hair straighteners in the bathroom.
FINAL RANKING: 8.5/10.
This post original appeared on Sporting Chic's blog here.
About the Author: Stephanie McCaffrey is a pro soccer player in the US; playing for the Chicago Stars & the US Team, scoring on her debut for the US against Brazil. Follow Steph on Instagram & Twitter.