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Natacha Hildebrand Headshot

Cycling Is Not Good for My Soul

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I am a rare breed.

I am a Los Angeles born and raised denizen who hates working out.

Yup, I said it. I hate it.

The formidable wheezing, the crimson shade of red that inevitably washes over my face, the rah-rah-rahness of instructors, the chants of supposed enthusiasm that ends up just sounding utterly absurd ("Come on! I need you right now!" -- really? Do you need me?).

All of it. Nope. No thank you.

It is one of the reasons i loved living in New York so much. no one is (or was) nearly as workout obsessed as they are in LA they understood that spinning furiously on a bike for two hours while contemplating if you are going to pass out is not an ideal Friday night birthday party.

They were my people... or so I thought.

Going back to NYC this past month I was rudely surprised. My beloved anti-gym, people-who-work-out-are-trying-too-hard city had succumbed to spin madness and barre mania.

What's worse is that it was not just the city, but my best friends. Hung over Saturdays and bottomless brunches had turned into 9am Yoga-Spin-Pilates class with instructors named Arrow and Pepper. (Neat.)

And their current workout du jour? Flywheel.

An overly-energetic spin class that makes you heave in a corner, while also pitting you against fellow riders by putting your stats up on a giant board for everyone to see. (Double neat.)

So imagine my delight and surprise when my NYC friend came to visit LA and told me she signed us up for Flywheel's newest West Hollywood studio.

Racing anywhere after work is a pain, but racing to a class where you know you are going to suffer and inevitably look like a radish... well that holds a certain irony not to be dismissed.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis kicked off the class (points for them). The instructor wasn't totally terribly (even though her arms were bigger than my thighs). It took me a minute when our light pedal turned into a full tilt speed assault, but after I fell off the bike for the second time I really began to get the swing of things.

As the class continued and the music was pumping, I got wrapped up in pedaling to the track. I even forgot to care that my pathetic attempt at an "uphill climb" was broadcast for the entire class to see or that dropping your weights mid-class can be viewed as mildly embarrassing.

Before the hour was over, I would even venture to say I enjoyed myself (gasp!!).

While I didn't buy a package, I did seriously contemplate the thought of coming back. And well that pretty much makes me the next Jillian Michaels in my book.

Now if only the red puffiness didn't come with spinning. Then I would really be sold.