I guess it's okay to tell you now that I was never considered one of the popular girls. Starting in junior high and most likely due to the short shag that made Davey Jones a teenage idol, but didn't really do much for me, I just could not break into that inner circle. My hopes for being a cheerleader were immediately dashed when I showed up to the first tryouts and was surrounded by a gaggle of Heidi Klums all doing the split. No I couldn't do it, not to mention I think it ruined what I was supposed to be saving for my wedding night. (Like THAT was gonna happen....) Anyway, I was immediately cut.
I went home in tears. "Oh they're just jealous of you," was my mother's standard comeback whenever the mean girls fired another shot into my already sagging self image. And she really believed it, that's the funny thing. Still she made me wear those anklet socks when the popular girls wore buffalo sandals and tennis shoes -- sockless. However, maybe she was right, I mean why wouldn't they be jealous of a girl with no chest, bow legs and head gear? Take that bitches!
Fast track, like 40 years. Here I am, an independent, confident woman with five pounds around my middle that don't seem anxious to go anywhere. Unlike my ex-husband and much beloved 30 Rock, they are telling me, "Don't worry kid, we're with ya for the long haul." Much to my dismay I knew something had to be done.
My sister suggested I try spin class. Again. Fortunately for me, this was right around my birthday and instead of the Dr. C. gift certificate for Botox I was hoping to receive, my parents bought me a pair of real spinning shoes, that attach your feet to the pedal thereby making it impossible to ever stop pedaling without calling attention to yourself. Pretty cool. I went to the local cycling shop, and after being approved for the loan, made the ensemble complete with biking shorts, a special breathable shirt, Pearl Izumi socks and gloves -- yes I said gloves. Yes, I said indoor spinning. Shut up.
Upon viewing my new duds, my boyfriend M pointed out to me that you "Never, never wear your spinning shoes outside," and pulled a gym bag out from the top shelf of his closet. "Here. Use this and carry your shoes in it for class." Not that I don't appreciate his looking out for me, but I believe this may have been the bag he used for sleep away camp in the 60s. It contained a toothbrush with what I believe is a very faded image of Johnny Quest on the handle, and the lining was smeared with 40 year old Crest. Still, just having a "gym bag" made me feel cool.
Monday morning, 9:00 a.m., I show up for MORNING RYDE with instructor Don Finley. I am excited, though my new bike shorts remind me of how I felt in seventh grade when I had my first period and was walking through the hallways hooked to a maxi pad the size of a down comforter. Still, I am anxious to meet my cycling cohorts and though this is my first time in class, I know I will look like a seasoned pro in my new attire.
I pull open the glass doors labeled SPINNING and there they are. Lined along the back wall, leisurely pedaling hands free, are all the Heidis (Tiffanys, Brittanys, Nikkis,) from cheerleading practice. They have cut their hair, have a few lines around their mouths and unmovable foreheads, but it is DEFINITELY them. They are all wearing sports bras and yoga pants and talking amongst themselves. Where are their gloves? Where are their special $5,000 shorts? They each have two bottles of water and have draped their handle bars with towels. I have a half empty bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. I do not have a towel. Are they planning to bathe in here? WTF?
No one is speaking to me. In fact, they are pointedly not speaking to me and if it weren't for my new neon lime breathable shirt, I would think maybe they haven't noticed me yet. I climb onto my bike, which due to my late arrival is right in the front of the room, where my ass can be seen in all its jiggly glory by one and all. I know the mean girls are pointing at it with their french manicured fingers dripping with huge wedding rings, reminders that unlike me, they were able to hold onto their husbands.
Spin class starts. By the end of it I have the head of a wet ferret and my new outfit is drenched with sweat. The popular girls climb off their bikes and do some stretching with their legs draped across their handle bars. Are you serious? Will this never end? Not happening for me. I pretend like I am checking my phone.
The gang and Don Finley go next store for green juice and bran muffins. Green juice makes me shart. I head on home, wondering if Dr. C would be willing to trade a slightly used pair of spin shoes for a few shots of botox.