My Alternate Workout

Back from vacation, resuming a schedule that involves an alarm clock and the necessity to prepare my own meals has been a difficult adjustment. Not only did Monday signal my return to the office after a 10-day hiatus, but it also meant the return to intense marathon training.

Out of taper mode, Monday called for seven miles.

Now seven miles are hard any day before an eight-hour work day, but factor in the end of a vacation and it being a Monday and those miles did not happen. Sometimes you just have to let the alarm go off as late in possible.
Yet Monday wasn’t a total exercise loss. Instead of a pre-work workout, I used my office gym to knock out three miles on the deadmill and a short interval workout on the elliptical. Thanks to a buddy, the looming seven miles will get done during a Thursday early morning running date.

These days, my workouts revolve around three activities: running, spinning and yoga. My training schedule has me running four days a week, with the off-running days meant for cross training or resting. My primary form of cross training is spinning. As a certified Mad Dog Spin Instructor, I have taught spin classes at Georgetown University for the past two years.

In all honesty, the decision to become a spin instructor had roots in financial incentives. Long a spinner before a runner, I was taking between 4-5 spin classes a week at school. During the summer after my junior year, I investigated what it took to become certified to teach: a one-day workshop, a one-time fee and an email to the group fitness director at the university about availabilities to lead classes. So amongst LSAT studying, then ultimately job applications, thesis writing and later half marathon training, I taught two spin classes a week during my senior year.

Even with all the other things I had going on post-spin certification, teaching remained a highlight. Like the feeling you get from a runner’s high, there is something about encouraging a group of strangers to sprint, climb and sweat while listening to Beyoncé and Taylor Swift belt it out. Although initially motivated to teach to get paid to workout, my classes have provided me so much more than simply extra income.

Teaching spin became a lesson in public speaking, except instead of launching into a speech, you start talking to a group of strangers about proper hydration and how much resistance to add to a bike. Nothing too complicated, but it requires self-confidence to speak in front of an unknown group of people. Even more, these people put their trust in me the second they  sit on the bike. It’s my job to make sure they stay safe, while also making sure they get in a great workout.

After teaching for nearly two years, I’ve gotten to know a lot of people, both students and Georgetown community members. I’ve learned what artists makes the best sprint songs (Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson), that everyone loves a good Whitney Houston song, and that just like running up hills, climbing on a stationary bike is always guaranteed to boost heart rates.

With running and spinning, my legs have become my body’s toned secret weapons. I may be tiny, but my workouts have ensured that I’m fast, mighty and strong.


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