No. 16

“You must take a number,” said Indra as I walked pass him to get to the ladies’ locker room.

“Number? What number?”

“It is for spinning class, for the bike,” he explained, pointing to the table opposite the men’s locker room where his colleague was seated and watching over strips of numbers arranged neatly. The number man, as I had secretly taken to calling him, would be at his station between 5 and 510pm waiting for cyclists to pick one up. Without much thought I selected number 16 and, being a creature of habit, I’d always picked number 16 and appropriated the bike as “my” bike.

Indra, one of the spinning instructors, had been urging me to attend spinning class every time he’d see me at the gym. I had return to Helios gym at Cyber Park Bekasi last June but I wasn’t that keen on attending spinning class. I had attended the class years ago but I wasn’t ready; I knew I would as soon as collapse after a few minutes on the bike. Eventually, I bit the bullet and relented to hop on a bike. Ever since then spinning class has become my panacea, the source of the much vaunted happy hormones I needed to get through the days of listlessness and ennui.

There was a time engaging in persiflage would lift my flagging spirit – repartees gave me a thrill but then my verbal jousting partner had started his first year in medical school at University of Indonesia and no one was left to pick up the gauntlet. Repartee is more difficult and less satisfying over WhatsApp. Gawking at the jeunesse dorée did distract me too from my worries – it is like flipping through a glossy magazine – until it hit me that I am almost penurious compared to them. So, what do you do when you are feeling as if someone pulled the rug from under you? Being patient was one colleague’s suggestion. Another told me to tuck into sinfully delicious red velvet cake or Baskin and Robbins ice cream or Excelso’s banana frappio. Fortunately, Indra badgered me into attending spinning class which gave that much-needed diversification in my workout.

Diversity in workout, I read in an article in oprah.com, is a must for people who want to get more out there of their workout. Said Ingrid Nelson, a personal trainer in Washington, D.C., and founder of the ING Group personal training, in the article The One Thing All Personal Trainers Tell Their Clients to Do More Of: “Even minor tweaks, like doing squats or pushups for a set period of time instead of number of reps, keep your muscles guessing and working in new ways, which improves strength.”

It was also written in the article that “in a small study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers found that participants who followed a varied workout routine (including resistance training, sprint intervals, stretching/yoga/Pilates and endurance exercise) and ate whey protein lost more weight, lost more fat mass, and gained more lean body mass than those who combined the protein with resistance-only strength training or only consumed the protein.”

Spinning class is conducted every day of the week at Helio in Bekasi Cyber Park.

Spinning class is conducted every day of the week at Helio in Bekasi Cyber Park.

So, following the experts’ advice, I have added regular spinning classes to my exercise bag of weights and yoga for a well-rounded workout routine. For 30 minutes, three or four times a week, I pedal and huff and puff plus curse under my breath while following the moves of Indra or Rini or Carin who barked orders to pedal faster, increase the tension, or go up and down in Indonesian. After each session, I feel as svelte as Heidi Klum and an Indonesian phrase wiser – ambil nafas (roughly translated as inhale, exhale) is now part of my vocabulary.

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