sc vs. fw

this is basically how i feel after 3 days at my parents house in new jersey. i don’t know how i failed to realize that our family pastime is sitting around the kitchen table inhaling whatever random food happens to be there. for a family of diabetics there sure is a lot of cheesecake laying around.

stray pieces of pretzels, chocolate, pasta, whathaveyou have been making their way into my mouth when i’m not paying attention.  i’ve been combatting this with running.  today i managed to convince my cousin to take jeff and i to a spin class in Philly through a torrential downpour.  

i had heard of flywheel from doing some online research about soulcycle after sadia got me hooked and liked the idea of being able to track your progress through actual hard numbers that your bike would generate about your RPM and Torq (resistance).  Not only would you be be able to see these numbers on the screen attached to your bike they’re also saved to your profile account.  You can also opt in to see your rank (your cumulative efforts of speed and resistance give you a power number) against others in the class who opted in to the Torq Board.  your stats would come up on a set of flat screens above the instructor once in awhile during the course of the class.

this was both helpful and awful at the same time.

whereas i liked the idea of knowing where my efforts stood in relation to everyone else’s it did not dawn on me until after class how damaging it could be to have just one more thing, one more set of numbers, to judge myself against.

the leaderboard and the bike stats were distracting and while i liked that i could not lie to myself by faking turning up the resistance when prompted to, i also couldn’t lose myself in class like i do at soul cycle. the instructor gives you specific number ranges to turn your torq up to or to push your RPM’s to and with the constant fiddling and moving my towel around so i could see my numbers on the bike while out in third position i found myself distracted and unable to stay with the music or turn my brain off to let my body work while it took a break from overthinking everything.

it’s easy to overthink when you’re watching numbers and when you know everyone else can see your numbers as well.  my own doing, i know.  i opted in.  i chose this.  

i spent most of the class hovering around 6th place and somehow during a push close to the end of class i rounded out the whole experience at 4th.  i felt pretty ok about it all but i definitely did not walk out of the studio feeling good the way i do at sc.  

i came to the conclusion that flywheel felt like an individual game.  even checking into class you do by yourself and your bike shoes are in little cubbies that correspond to your bike number.  you don’t have to talk to a single soul when you go in or out.  the staff was nice enough but i did get the feeling that no one was exactly happy to be there.  (i mean, I can’t blame them, it’s 2 days before christmas, it’s pouring rain out and you’re below ground level with no windows to the outside world.) 

the workout itself was intense and i did leave dripping sweat but i didn’t leave feeling like i left all the bullshit i carry around with me on the bike ready to deal with the world again.

i can go to the gym and zone out on cardio until the cows come home and that’s only $15 a month.

flywheel pros:

  • free shoe rental and shoes were super comfy
  • ride stats saved to your online account
  • good gauge of how much actual resistance you should be using
  • stadium seating & good distance between bikes
  • torq board class stats for competitive people

flywheel cons:

  • felt isolating (individual) and cold
  • staff was meh
  • torq board stats (for those of us who are our own worst enemies)
  • weighted batons instead of individual dumbells (just my preference, i think doing alternating lifts and curls helps with core work and balancing)
  • instructor didn’t ask if anyone was new so they could keep their eye out on newbies or go over any basics. if this was my very first spin class i know i’d be lost.
  • bad mic and sound system.  the instructor’s mic wasn’t great so his voice wasn’t clear and you couldn’t make out what he said at times (i took cues from others in class on whether i should be out of the saddle or in it).
  • CHRISTMAS MUSIC IN CLASS, not good music in general, instructor didn’t really motivate anyone to keep on beat.
  • class was mostly sprints with some hills but no tap backs or other coordinated movement to keep it interesting.

i’m glad i went and got my workout for the day.  tomorrow i’ll hit the pavement again for another run to keep burning for all the stray chocolates that make their way into my mouth for the next couple of days.

oh, and um, this dress in ivory happened. 

if nothing else comes through, i have a wedding dress!



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December 2013
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