Hubby and I are attempting to get a little more fit. Not marathon fit, you understand. Just…walk-down-the-street-without-getting-winded fit. We talked about getting a personal trainer, then realized that such a move would require us giving up our grocery money and really, why would we need to train if we weren’t going to eat?

So we decided to try all the classes at the gym. No, not all at one time, though that would certainly get us into shape wouldn’t it? Since we decided all this on a Sunday, when they had limited classes available, we ventured forth to the next one on the schedule: Cycling.

Have I mentioned that I haven’t really ridden a bike since, oh, high school?  I remember attempting to ride one  a few years ago. You know that saying “just like riding a bike?” It’s not true. Riding a bike isn’t  just like riding a bike. That phrase implies that you have, in fact, ridden a bike recently. Because I’m here to tell you if it’s been years and years since you’ve tried to balance on one of those things, the most likely outcome is you falling on your backside. Or side-side, as I did.

Balance is simply not the same when you’re…older….as it was when you were ten and enjoyed that sort of thing. I remember loving the wind through my hair, holding both hands up so I could shout “look at me, Mom! No hands!” I remember racing down the street with my friends, not a care in the world. I clipped cards to the spokes with clothespins and pretended it was a motorcycle.  The feeling of freedom which accompanies riding a bike is limitless. I could go anywhere! I could be anything!

Unless the bike happens to be anchored to the floor in a gym, of course.

We arrived a few minutes before class started, ready to try this thing. Anticipating the adventure of something new and the fun of riding a bike. The instructor greeted us with a cheery wave and a question. “First time?”

We both nodded, and she scurried over to instruct us on how to set up the bike. Because unlike when I was a child, you don’t simply climb on and go. The seat must be adjusted, and the handle bars, and the peddles, and some sort of rod thing that held the seat.

As she finished she shouted to the class.

“Everybody ready?”

Everyone in the room shouted, except for hubby and me. We were too focused on getting our bums situated on the seat. When I first walked in, it seemed perfectly fine. But now that I was perched on top of it, it felt a bit small. No matter, let the class begin.

5 minutes in: The instructor shouted instructions about tension and knobs and getting into a working mode. I focused on making my feet go round and round, grateful that I didn’t have to balance the bike along with myself, as the longer I was on the thing the more the seat shrunk.

15 minutes in: The seat disappeared. I was left trying very hard to keep the pole which used to support a seat from ramming right up my ass.

20 minutes in. Hubby mutters something and got off the bike. He threw me the look of a wounded animal, and left. I couldn’t hear what he said because the music was so loud my eardrums had shut down in protest.

25 minutes: The instructor shouts something about a mountain, and tension, and then the class as one stands on the peddles and grunts. I stood as well, grateful to get the pole out of my behind, but I neglected to raise the tension so the peddles ripped around so fast the bike nearly flung me off.

30 minutes: Something about racing, and passing other people. Lady, the bike is anchored to the floor. There’s no race happening here, there’s just grunts and groans and misery. And I know my lady bits will never be the same. My hair did not fly in the breeze and I felt nothing close to free.

31 minutes: “6 more riders to go!” I stopped peddling. If they were going to keep this up until 6 people left the class, I might as well start the exodus. I disentangled my feet from the stirrups (which is something that belongs in a doctors office, not a gym class, especially when you factor in that pole) and slipped down to the floor, where my legs promptly turned to jelly and refused to support me. I held onto the bike for support, grateful that it was still bolted to the floor.

32 minutes: I didn’t look back as I left the room. I couldn’t hear anything anyway, and didn’t want to see whatever look might have been on the instructor’s face. I also didn’t want to see everyone else laughing as I walked out with a stride I know must have looked like I had a pole shoved up my backside.

If the truth fits, after all.

By this time hubby was nowhere in the gym. I went home, and found him there on the sofa, groaning. I sat next to him, sharing our mutual pain and bond in having tried something new.

“What were you trying to say to me, before you left?”

“I can’t feel my balls.”

“Yeah, my lady bits aren’t thrilled either.” I paused. “Next time, let’s try yoga.”

Hubby looked at me in disgust and left to take a shower.

It might have been a bad time to bring it up.