Spinning as a metaphor for life

I love Spinning. Not the kind of spinning you may have experienced in college, lying on the bathroom floor, bargaining with a higher power to see you through. Rather, the kind of Spinning where you ride a bike…that doesn’t move…indoors.

Some Spin instructors are better qualified to kick your butt than others, but I have two favorites in particular: one is an ever-positive, girl power, cheerleader type that uses her microphone headset for good—making a point to encourage everyone putting forth any kind of effort whatsoever. The other is…well…militant—the kind of instructor I feel a Stockholm syndrome type love for. One who has beaten me into submission and given me the gift of steel buns. What I love most about her class is that it’s a reflection of life: hard as hell yet there’s a certain ecstasy to being part of it.

This endearing Spin sadist is always chanting “THIS IS NOT A BREAK! THIS IS ACTIVE RECOVERY!” Like her Spin class, life doesn’t offer breaks; it doesn’t allow you the luxury of stopping to rest your weary body. Life only allows for active recovery…if you’re lucky.

And, similar to life, each day in Spin finds me in a different condition. Some days (although never often enough) I feel invincible. My endurance is seemingly limitless and I possess the energy to vanquish any and all hypothetical hills that inevitably lie ahead. Other days find me struggling for breath, suffering with every pedal stroke, sweating like an animal and feeling like Andre the Giant and his equally behemoth-esque girlfriend have affixed themselves to each of my feet. Sometimes we go fast with little resistance to slow our pace. Sometimes the resistance is devastating and we must delve deep within for the strength to power through. But we do. No matter how daunting the climb, how heavy the load—we always keep moving.

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Rock Bottom

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
— J.K. Rowling

Rock bottom. It means something different to everyone. For me, rock bottom was at the very top of the scale. It was the plus size section at Nordstrom. It was the Mcdonalds drive-thru window. It was constant headaches. It was the untagged pictures on Facebook. To me, rock bottom was 215 pounds.

Now, two years and 75 pounds later, rock bottom exists only in old photos and a pile of size 14 clothes waiting to be donated. Rock bottom isn’t shameful or embarrassing. Rock bottom is motivating, empowering and the strongest foundation of all.

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May 2010 (Above), May 2012 (Below)

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xoxo

hjn