First Year Firsts: Cycling Class Edition

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Olivia Lamb ’22 at her first Cycling Class / Esperanza Santana

Boy did that bust my butt! A perfect blend of cardio and calf-kicking, this cycling class offered a more than satisfactory end to my Wednesday night. I’m not sure if it was Beyoncé’s vocals in my ears, the optimistic tone of Shelby Bricker, the student leader, or the official cycling instructor, but I was certainly tricked into feeling empowered while actually dying of exhaustion. 

I went to a small high school in St. Louis, Missouri. The size of the school impacted my desire to workout because, though I loved exercising, I hated the awkward act of lifting weights in the same room as  wrestlers. As someone who dislikes working out alone, but also doesn’t play a sport, this fitness class offered me a perfect alternative. The class was full and beginner-friendly. We each had our own bikes and it only lasted 45 minutes. I could surround myself with other people while keeping my focus on my own workout. 

Here are just a few lessons I learned to make my experience even better next time:

  1. Do not push yourself too hard! Admittedly, there were a couple of times when I added less gears than the instructor told us to add. As a first-year who clearly had the least experience in Lilly Center workout classes, I didn’t want to waddle out of class because I’d done more work than my legs could handle. You aren’t being graded so don’t worry about following the workout “to a t.”.
  2. As hard as “sprints” on a bike sound, they mostly serve as breaks from sitting on the bike seats. Those seats are uncomfortable for everyone and you’ll learn to love when the instructor says, “Stand up out of your seat and sprint!” Trust me.
  3. Plan to go early and grab a Blend smoothie with a friend! My class ended late or else I would have stopped for a First-Year First Blend Smoothie as recommended by Katie Hunger in The DePauw’s Back-to-School edition.
  4. And finally––and I cannot stress this one enough––bring friends! It is so much less traumatizing to work out when you have someone to laugh through the sweat and pain with you. You’re also bound to make new friends by sharing that experience.

Enjoyment: As far as my level of enjoyment, I would give this class four and a half stars! The instructor’s encouragements along with a BOMB playlist made for a stellar workout experience. The discomfort of the bike seats is the only thing holding the class back from five stars, but that is to be expected with a cycling class.

Sweat-O-Meter: I’ll give this one three stars. I ended with a nice sweat-induced glow, but honestly, I was glad that I did not walk out of the class drenched through my t-shirt…ad so were my friends that hung out with me afterwards.