Three Seconds on Bike #18

Canton Cycle Class

I was nervous.

I’d never done a spin class. Until 5:30. This morning.

A good friend had told me about a two-week free trial membership at a really nice health and fitness club in Canton, so, after stopping at the front desk, exchanging info, and an awkward smile at a camera atop a computer monitor, I was in. Signed up for my first-class experience.

And, signed up for my first class experience.

An hour on a bike.

Now the whole bike-riding thing I’ve been doing for a while. Since about age 6 as I recall. But this is different. Really different.

As I walked into the room and found my assigned spot, I was concerned my newbie status would be painfully obvious. But some sweet people helped me adjust the seat, understand the dials, and prepare for battle.

And then we were off. Well, not actually, but, you know what I mean.

There were hills, sprints, look-mom-no-hands moments, and lots and lots of sweat. Think of it as sixty minutes of discomfort, served with a side of agony, sprinkled lightly with disguised euphoria.

And the weird part? When you get done, you want to do it again. Count me in with the crazies.

But it was something that happened near the end of the class that stood out the most. Our instructor, Jessie, had left the stage where she had been leading and began to walk among the participants. Shouting things.

To my right, “You’ve got this.” “Keep going!”

To my left, “All the way!” “Don’t stop!”

And then she walked by Bike #18.

“Good job, Todd. Way to go.”

Jessie had known me for exactly 57 minutes. She had thirty other people she was leading.  But in three seconds she had inspired a blog post.

She saw me. I wasn’t invisible. I know that because she used my name.

And she intentionally encouraged me. I know, it’s part of her job. But she did it. And meant it.

Now I know that in four weeks or tomorrow, Jessie may forget my name. I get it. And at some point, I’ll probably forget the name of the woman who taught my first spin class.

But I won’t forget what she said. Because words have an amazingly long shelf-life. Both the positive ones and the others.

So the moral of the story from a rainy morning in Baltimore?

  • Try something new. Especially if it makes you more healthy. You’ll discover the anxiety ahead of time is no match for the contentment afterward.
  • And, have you got three seconds to spare? Say something encouraging to somebody. Use their name. And watch what happens.

Noticed people pedal harder. While doing things they’ve never done before.

Thanks, Jessie.

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