I started taking a spin class

by Chloe Jeffreys · 31 comments

in Aging Well, Health and Wellness, Women in Midlife

I’ve decided to join a fitness center.

On March 28th I had major pelvic floor reconstruction surgery with emphasis on the word “major”.

My surgery lasted six hours(!) and my full eight weeks of recovery was so much harder than I expected.

Of course, my expectations were that I’d float around in a filmy white nightie for a week, and then spend the next seven weeks tackling various household projects.

ha. ha.

I couldn’t sit upright for more than an hour for the first five weeks, and after that it wasn’t much better.

Trust me.

Nothing. Not. one. damn. thing. got. done.

Anyway, it’s been difficult to get back into the routine of working out again.

Even now, I don’t feel very energetic, and I lack the motivation I had before my surgery. It’s just hard to get moving again after months of being sedentary.

I can tell I’ve lost quite a bit of muscle mass because my clothes don’t fit the way they did prior to surgery. Loss of muscle mass is a serious issue for women as we get older.

Muscle mass is the furnace that keeps our metabolic engine running at optimal capacity. Plus, our muscles are what keep us from falling down and breaking a hip.

Breaking a hip is not good.

24% of people who break a hip after age 50 will die within 12 months! Die, as in dead.

Note to self: Don’t break your hip.

I can’t overemphasize how important maintaining muscle mass is as you age. We need good muscle mass to maintain a long-term healthy lifestyle.

I decided I needed to join the gym to help jump-start my new fitness routine. So every night I’d go to bed with fantasies of getting up early and heading out the gym where I’d look a lot like these people:


But each and every morning the voices in my head would start up with their cacophony of lame ass excuses:

“I’m tired.”

“I have to work all day.”

“It’s hot.

and dozens of other whineisms that all culminated with me doing absolutely nothing.

Bedtime would would roll around, and as I was falling asleep I’d vow to myself:

“I’ll work-out tomorrow.”

Morning after morning this went on. But finally I did it. I made it to the gym to my very first spin class ever.

Here’s my before video:

I wanted to vlog live from spin class, BUT (1) I knew several people in the class and I thought it would look very strange if I showed up for my very first spin class and started video-taping myself, and (2) I had to hold onto that bike for dear life with both hands.

But here’s an incredibly bad picture of what I looked like–right before mounting the spin bike–just in case you think that while I’m at the gym I look even remotely like my fantasy picture:

I also want to point out a little reminder that I had pelvic floor surgery, a fact that rapidly came back to my remembrance once I started peddling, and made me think that maybe spin class–where you sit on a hard bicycle seat for an hour–wasn’t the best choice.

But I made it.

Here’s me after:


Are you a procrastinator like me? Is there something you know you should be doing for yourself, but you aren’t?

Tell me I’m not alone.

By the way, my new blinged out water bottle that I LOVE is from NDY Not Done Yet. You can find it here at http://www.ndynotdoneyet.com/index.asp

 Photo Attributions:
1. Spin Bike http://www.flickr.com/photos/nottinghamtrentuni/7655629158/
2. Spin Class http://www.flickr.com/photos/nottinghamtrentuni/7655629158/

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

khanhtam May 4, 2015 at 5:19 am

Thank for sharing your story.
I have small child and it look difficult to go to fitnes class.
khanhtam recently posted..Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 Indoor Cycling BikeMy Profile


Tracey August 20, 2012 at 9:50 am

Respect! I have the same thoughts on a daily basis! I know I have to get back into an exercise routine but time is my excuse, with starting the website I am spending hours at the computer.
My butt is spreading faster than a virus!
You have inspired me, and I will get back into running, I haven’t run since February, which is appalling!
Thanks for a great post and I love the honest no makeup photos, good to see a confident woman as she really is. Txx


Chloe August 20, 2012 at 11:37 am

Hey Tracey! Nice to meet you over here. Thanks for coming by.

I’ve always wanted to write a post and call it “Does this blog make my butt look big?”

Blogging is not a great activity for your ass. That’s for sure. Thanks for all the encouragement from your site. It’s on my “must read” now.


Jennifer S. August 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm

A kickboxing place opened up in my neighborhood and I still find ways to procrastinate. My trainer will hunt me down though and I do love hitting a bag. I have no worked so hard in my life, but watching my tummy thin down has been well worth the torture.
Spinning is not for me, but I have great respect for you! Especially since you filmed after class. If I took a picture of my red face after working so hard, people would run screaming!


Holly August 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I love spin class for several reasons. You sweat like none other, it doesn’t reqire thinking and once you start you can’t stop. It’s truly addictive.
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By Word of Mouth Musings August 16, 2012 at 8:07 am

If I live vicariously thro you – will it help my ass?
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Chloe August 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

Yes. You get contact ass just from knowing me.


Nina Knox, http://over50andhappy.com August 16, 2012 at 7:03 am

Good for you, Chloe! I very much believe in exercise, weight training, and good diet, but I DO NOT go to a gym and I DO NOT spin! I admire those that do, but I don’t just procrastinate – I just refuse to leave my house to do it. So I can relate on how hard that was for you to get up and out and do it! YAY!! I do a lot of stuff here at my house. My husband has all sorts of weights, bars, (torture chamber) in our garage and I hate that too. But as women over 50 we have to force ourselves. You’re very correct in that muscle is so important. Anyway, back to you – I can’t believe you did that after your surgery. BTW, I hope all went well and continues well post surgery for you. And you look adorable in you “after spinning” video! TAlk to you soon. My exercise for today is going to be some light weights and vacuuming.
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Brenda August 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I need to go down into the basement with my iPod and use something, ANYTHING down there. Tread mill, leg press, elyptical.

Or I could just stay upstairs and work the pole. The 1/2hr pole fit class I tried in June kicked my behind.


Chloe August 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

I do NOT have the upper body strength to take a pole dancing class. Maybe that’s something I’ll try after I get back into shape. I’m sure everyone would love to see me take a pole dancing class.


Tricia O. August 15, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Chloe, get yourself one of those padded bike seat covers and take it with you to the spin classes. They make a major difference.

And no, you are not alone. I will put off exercise like I put off church and writing, even though those things make me feel so good once I’ve done them.
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Laura August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Spinning … ouch. I tried it two years ago as part of a program I did with a personal trainer. My arthritic spine quickly declared, “This is not appropriate. Now please stop before I hurt us.”

As a general rule, I’ve long been downright phobic when it comes to exercise classes. Gym, yes; classes … hell no. Except I recently was challenged by a trainer to just get over it, already; because, he said, I’ve got like 90 pounds to lose and need all the variety I can get.

And, well, I’m now on the dark side of 40 and I don’t want to break a hip, either.

This week a new series of classes opened at my rec enter, and there’s a Bodyflow class on the table, a mix of yoga, tai chi and pilates. Begins at 8 tomorrow morning. (Too damned early for this confirmed night owl.) So the question before the court is: Do I stay or do I go?


Chloe August 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Classes are a mixed bag, aren’t they?

I don’t like classes that are too complicated. No fancy dance moves; no difficult choreography. I like to get going and just move into autopilot. I think spinning will work for me because it’s the mindless sort of cardio I like best.

I think the determining factor is: Are you able to motivate yourself?

If the answer is “No” then, yes, you should find a class to go to. That’s why I did it. I normally can get myself off my own butt, but after my surgery I just haven’t the internal motivation. I need someone to kick my hiney. I need a little competition. I need to be pushed.

If you need someone to push you, then PLEASE go to a class! Nobody wants a broken hip.


Bonnie August 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Chloe great post! I have friends who have whipped themselves back into their high school shape via spinning. PS love your blog! You have been to hell and back and survived! Thanks for giving us all hope!
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Chloe August 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I like quick results and I think spinning is going to give me that, if I don’t injure myself first.

I’m definitely going to look into one of those cushions for the seat though. Ouch!


Jennifer Comet Wagner August 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Of all types of exercise, I can’t believe you had the guts to do a spin class first. That is the only exercise class that I ever dropped out of before it was half way over.

My favorite exercises are walking and swimming. If I do a bike I only use the recumbent bike.

More power to you.
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Chloe August 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm

It was that danged Katie Couric. She’s older than me and looks tremendous. If she can do a spin class then I should be able to do a spin class, right?


Denise Fisher August 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Wow…so glad I work out 6 days a week…thought I was nuts…now I know why I can’t stop!!!


Chloe August 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm

You are not nuts!! I think fitness is extremely important to the quality of life one can expect as they get older.


Magnolia August 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Could your surgery be why you were so drained so early at the conference when we bumped into each other in the lobby? I remember thinking you looked *really* tired. Like, more tired than I would have expected. Was it catching up with you? Isn’t middle age grand? 🙂

I used to be a competitive bike rider. I competed in biathlons (20 mile bike rides/5K run). I was a BAD bitch in those days.

Last year, I tried a spinning class and almost freaking threw up, and I wasn’t recovering from surgery. So, yeah, you may have been a little overly ambitious. 🙂

Hey, I forgot to say. Don’t enter me into the sex toy giveaway. I was just commenting. I didn’t realize I was entering a contest. Besides. I have my own stash. 😉
Magnolia recently posted..Menopause, Money & YouMy Profile


Chloe August 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm

There’s no doubt that my surgery has taken a lot out of me, Mags. I also had had very, very little sleep since I had to make the four hour descent down the mountain to the airport even BEFORE I fly across the country.

When I write about my surgery in more detail, one thing I’m going to stress is for women to do this surgery when you are younger. Women wait until their problems are so advanced, and it is much harder to recovery the older you are.

If someone is considering pelvic floor reconstruction surgery, don’t wait!


Aimee August 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

Thank you for not putting on make-up before your trip to the gym. I would have had to giggle had you done so.
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Chloe August 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm

You gotta keep it real. I look like holy hell when I go to the gym. I don’t look nice to go to the gym; I go to the gym so I’ll look nice.


Maddie Kertay August 15, 2012 at 8:29 am

Go you!!!! You are so adorable.. and I am so glad you did it. As you know I am now “running” 6 miles a week ( It still gets quotes since part of my running is still walking) but I need to do something else as well.. more than anything nerves keep me from the gym.. got to get over that!! So silly.. I used to be a body builder for heavens sake.. but now..

But I am back on the Paleo bandwagon so maybe now is the time!
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Chloe August 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I have been very encouraged by your running (let’s just get rid of the quotes, shall we?). It’s so hard to get motivated to start exercising, and it is so hard to stay motivated. But it’s so important!!

The quality of the the second half of your life depends so much on your health. It’s so important.


Julia August 15, 2012 at 7:58 am

Good for you! Spinning isn’t for me — can’t stand that bike seat and my knees don’t like me afterwards, but I *should* do more than I do. Hold me accountable. 🙂


Chloe August 15, 2012 at 8:01 am

I’ll hold you, but don’t call me Accountable.


My knees liked it. I’ve been taking tri-flex for several months now and I’m hardly having any knee pain at all anymore.


Shannon Bradley-Colleary August 15, 2012 at 7:56 am

I just ate a crumpet. Fuck.
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Chloe August 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

I’m sure it was a very, very good crumpet, Shannon. And I’m sure you were gorgeous while eating it.


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