Last week, I got the chance to take a class at the new “team” based indoor cycling studio, Swerve Fitness. Started by former college athletes who missed that team spirit in their workouts, Swerve divides the class into three teams – Red, Blue and Green and the teams compete to win the class. When you sign up for class you choose a team, which is clearly marked online. Since I was going by myself, I just chose my favorite color, Blue – but I think this class would be more fun with friends stacking the ranks of your chosen team.
The studio, on 18th between 5th & 6th, is a beautiful and open two-level space. Check-in is on the first floor where you get your complementary spin shoes if you don’t have your own (which I don’t, so for me this is a super nice perk since that $3 rental fee at some studio always annoys me). There is also a large bay of self-locking lockers with plenty of space to move around and a juice bar. The spin room is located downstairs, which I knew from having been to Swerve’s opening party but still foolishly put on my spin shoes before I made my way down to the studio. I slowly made my way down the rubberized stairs since, really, I am not the most graceful girl in the world and spin shoes are slippery suckers!
The bikes themselves are really nice, new Schwinn spin bikes, that have a monitor on them. It took me a few minutes of fiddling with my setting before I got it right since I am used to the Fly & Soul bikes and really, those numbers aren’t so helpful with setting up a Schwinn! After I was all set up, I started peddling, waited for the class to start and got to know the people around me… we where on a team together after all! The very nice pregnant woman to my left had on an Empire Tri shirt and you could just tell she was going to crush it. When class was just about to start, Douglas Johnson, who was leading the ride, had us stop peddling and restart our little monitors so that they would all calibrate and sync together. It took a few tries for me to actually get mine to do it since I somehow missed the “don’t peddle at all” bit of instruction! Always the trouble maker -oops! We started the class with a warm-up to the first song and I wondered how this team thing was going to work. By the time the second song started, though, and Douglas’ popped the graph showing which team was winning up on the screens flanking the room and just like that, we were trying to beat each other in intermittent sprints. They came fast and furiously – this isn’t a class with just a few “races”, these made up the majority of the ride and the class FLEW by. The first 3 sprints resulted in each team winning one, then the Red team started pulling away. There was a brief arms section with weights but really, I just wanted to get back to riding and see if we could catch up. My blue team held in there and won a good handful of the races, but not enough. In the end when the final score was posted, the Red team won … and although we came in second, it didn’t matter. Our little graph was a zero. You win or you lose.
I like to think of myself as a non-competative person, but apparently, that is just a flat out lie. I mostly just choose to do things where the only person I am competing against is myself. This class brought out a very feisty competitive side that was just comical! I got salty when I didn’t think the people behind me were riding hard enough, and mad at myself when I got tired, although, at least that part helped me push harder. The only person I never got salty at was the pregnant woman beside me who crushed us all, I could see her numbers and she kicked my ass -she was easily the star of our team!
I can’t wait to go back to Swerve but next time I’m going with a big crew so we can win that damn board!!
Top images from Swerve’s FaceBook page. Bottom image just a little bit of internet goodness.