======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Last summer while visiting New York City, I attended my first spin class. I was hungover and in no mood to workout on that Saturday morning in mid-June, but I went anyways because I wanted to impress the girl I was staying with. It also might have had something to do with the fact that I had already paid the thirty dollar class fee one week in advance and I didn’t want to waste that money, but let’s just pretend it was for the first reason so I don’t come off looking like a cheapskate.
I stumbled through a 90-minute class that felt like it was never going to end. The instructor must have yelled twenty times into her hands-free microphone that we were “so close, you guys, we’re almost done” and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker every single goddamn time.
My mood was eerily similar to the last time I decided to attend a weekday yoga class. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs and hurl insults at the instructor for inflicting this pain on me.
All of these feelings came from a place of frustration and dehydration, but I know even if I hadn’t have been hungover I would have hated it. The instructor on this beautiful Manhattan morning was just so goddamn cheery and nice.
She had a guy taking pictures of her during the class. She posed for stills with attendees after we had finished up in front a giant Flywheel sign. It was all so Instagram-y and vain and self-serving it made me sick to my stomach. And more than the class itself, this display afterward is what really turned me off to the whole thing.
Spin class is a Pinterest board come to life. Every cliche you’ve read on a shirt inside Forever 21 is on full display at a spin class. Stuff like “Let’s Ride Bikes Together In The Dark” and “Ride It Like You Stole It” are commonplace, and a variation of either of these can be found in most classes on a 20-something administrative assistant inside these dark rooms. Top buns adorn almost everyone in class, sitting perched in the center of the head just so because one never knows when a photographer could be collecting short snippet videos for social media.
Anyone with a pulse on “what’s in” teaches their own spin class now. Remember right after high school ended and a bunch of your burnout classmates started selling Cutco knives door-to-door? Well, this is kind of like that, except replace burnouts with hot girls and Cutco knives with her changing her LinkedIn title to “Studio Supervisor.”
I even know a couple of guys that teach once or twice a month to save on class fees. Getting into the “Justin Bieber x Mariah Carey Mashup Ride” at 5:45 a.m on a Friday morning is harder to get into than 10AK in downtown L.A. right now.
And I don’t want to bag on people who sign up to become spin instructors because maybe they’re trying to make a career out of it- that’s all well and good. However, there does seem to be a large contingent of very attractive women coming across my Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat feeds who are very clearly teaching spin classes for one reason and one reason only: likes.
No one is flocking to a spin class because it’s a good workout. People spin and become instructors because they want to be seen. It’s the newest version of CrossFit. If you haven’t boomeranged yourself sitting up and sitting back down on a Peloton bicycle then you haven’t lived, my friend.
Working out has always been an exercise in vanity, but it’s never been more apparent or in your face than it is in this day and age where the phrase “If you didn’t document it on Instagram, did it even happen?” .
Image via Unsplash