I went to my first spin class here in New City this morning. I joined a gym, because I need the structure of a class – I like having someone at the front of the room telling me what to do, and I like that the classes are already scheduled, because otherwise I wibble and agonize over when exactly is the PERFECT time to go work out, such that I might not ever make it into the gym. (I know, I have issues.)
And class was….fine. I mean, I sat on the bike and cycled for an hour, and it was perfectly strenuous and I got my heartrate up and sweated a whole ton and so on.
But it really made me miss my spin/yoga studio in Former Beloved City.
I realize most of my dissatisfaction is because this new class is DIFFERENT, and everything is DIFFERENT, and I don't want DIFFERENT, because I am very fond of routine and I like the SAME, kthxbai.
The thing is, in Former Beloved City I lived pretty much right downtown. (For instance, my court was in the city center – as they usually are – and I had a 10-minute direct bus ride a block from my apartment to get to work every day.) And here I pretty much live…in the 'burbs. It's in the city, but on the outskirts, and it's at least 25 minutes to work, in my car (because it would be an hour on the bus), including a stint on an interstate.
There are a lot of reasons for this, in part because I grew up in the 'burbs and when facing a completely new place I default to what feels safe and clean [to an upper-middle-class white girl]. Also (I think I said this before), there aren't a lot of nice modern apartment complexes in the downtown/central part of New City – which doesn't mean there aren't cool places to live – there are – but a lot of the nice rentals were little houses, more expensive, and not quite what I was looking for for a year (I'd love a house, but like the security of an apartment complex when living on my own, plus I'm pretty much crap at yardwork) – also the neighborhoods are more mix-y (a nice street followed by a crap street, that kind of thing).
So anyway. I'm in the nice, safe 'burbs, with lots of shops and restaurants and nice amenities, and I have a lovely view of the mountains and am across the street from a walking/biking trail that goes along right under the mountains, and is very popular, and it's all really very lovely and comfortable and so on.
But it's not really cool. And I hadn't thought much about this until I went to spin class, and was confronted with the difference between my downtown, granola-hipster, youthful spin studio in Former Beloved City, and my suburban, NOT hipster, NOT youthful gym.
The part where I am an asshole is this: when I first joined FBC's spin studio, I felt kind of out of place – I'd never done spin before and don't think of myself as an athlete, and everyone else there looked like an athlete to me. It's run by people who are hardcore mountain bikers, and I haven't been on a real bike since sometime in the mid-90s. The owner has a lot of tattoos – and actually, a lot of the patrons did, too. The patrons were almost all young women, and it was very, very hipster. I was WAY less hipster than this place – so much so, I initially felt like the old, fat, boring fart infiltrating their coolness.
But people were actually really nice, and the classes were really small, so the instructors actually knew who I was (which has never happened before). And it was really cheap, and it was (literally) three blocks from my house, and it turned out I really LIKED spinning. So I kept going, and eventually came to feel like a part of the place. And it turned out there were some other women my age, too – still fairly hipster types, but I wasn't at all the oldest person there.
So I went to spin here this morning, to be surrounded by people who are – well, NOT hipster. The average age of the class was probably 20 years higher than in FBC. The instructor was VERY not hipster. It felt very, very suburban.
And here I was despising this class and this group of people because they're not as cool as the people I felt like I wasn't cool enough to join back in FBC.
So, yeah – asshole.
(I mean, I was also a little disappointed because I feel like the studio in FBC was more run/patronized by hardcore cyclists, which creates a certain kind of vibe, and there wasn't that kind of vibe at all in this class – it was more like, this class was just exercise, not training to be a better cyclist. I liked the way the instructors at my old place made a lot of use of watts, rpms, and changing gears – here, there was no reference at all to watts, and very little attention to which gear you should be in beyond be where you're comfortable, and very few references to what your cadence should be. Which may have been the nature of this specific class/instructor, and is in part, I'm sure, because all the serious cyclists in town are actually out CYCLING, like, on roads and mountains and things! But still, it was a bit disappointing. Which is yet more of me being an asshole, because I'm NOT a cyclist. I don't even own a bike [I really want one, but don't have the money right now].)
(Also, I'm kind of a fascist, and hate when people in an exercise class are all CHATTY CHATTY CHATTY with their best buds attending the class with them – because you're there for class, not to socialize, and you're annoying the crap out me. But that's also because I miss having local friends to go to exercise class with, and if I did, I'm sure I'd act exactly the same.)
To be fair, everyone seemed (if no more hipster-cool than I am) really nice and friendly, and the gym's general vibe is perfectly welcoming and unpretentious. (I passed on a fancier gym, although it had really nice facilities, in part because the crowd it served seemed a little too entitled – that, and the class schedule didn't work quite as well, and it cost twice as much for what wasn't twice as much nicer. Nicer, but not twice as much.) And the atmosphere on a Saturday morning class is probably pretty different from the after-work evening classes. So I may get to take back everything I've said here.
(Except the part where I'm an asshole.)