White Girls Do Have Rhythm

Not surprisingly, Monday is the most popular day of the week to begin two-week diets and four-week workout plans. I went against the grain and decided to take up a new workout venture on a Friday: cycling. One of my classmates had invited me to a class, but, having been an athlete, I wasn’t nervous about trying a new activity that brought about an abhorrent amount of sweat. I had done enough burpees, suicides and sit-ups in my life that I was almost certain this class couldn’t possibly challenge me in any type of way. I would live to curse my certainty on the matter.

I grabbed a complimentary sweat towel and chose a spot next to my classmate. Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, and Beyoncé solemnly huddled in a corner of the classroom as they watched me mount the stationary bike to my rhythmic demise.

“Is this your first time cycling?” asked the instructor, who looked like one of those pretty girls that would text back “lol” just to be nice even though the meme you sent her wasn’t particularly funny.

“Oh, I’ve never actually biked inside of a classroom, but I guess it’s not that much different from riding outside”, I replied with a polite giggle.

She smiled a crescent moon smile of pity. “Well, let me know if I can help you with anything else!” she said.

How I wish I had asked her what “sync cycling” actually meant. I would’ve beaten a hasty retreat.

Tina Turner and Beyoncé threw back gnarly shots of D’Usse as they prepared to strip me of my Black Card.

From the moment the pulsing tempos of Pitbull filled the room and the class began its first sequence of movements, I knew I was doomed for failure. The accident waiver I read and signed had failed to mention that this type of cycling required an innate ability to ferociously pedal while simultaneously moving one’s head, shoulders, knees and toes to the wayward tempos of the trainer’s iPod.

“Four corners!” the instructor shouted over the music.

I looked around the room frantically and everyone was moving in unison.

Side to side.

Back and forth.

Side to side.

Back and forth.

I watched, timing their synchronized movements with the music. Then, I made my move to join in, though my body didn’t exactly do what I had intended. I more so resembled someone trying to hula-hoop with a broken hip and pinky toe and any time I made an attempt to make adjustments to my awkward movements, the bike would threaten to tip over.

Chris Brown balled up a sweat towel and launched it at my head.

“Now pump it out!” the instructor continued.

In perfect synchronization, the entire class began pumping their right shoulders back and forth whilst continuing to pedal at a disrespectfully rapid speed. With buckets of sweat cascading down my cheeks, I made a move to join in, though I looked more like I was experiencing seizures along my primary motor cortex.

Michael Jackson adjusted the tape on his fingers and proceeded to moonwalk out of the classroom in embarrassment.

My classmate, who was pedaling next to me, shot me a giddy grin of exhilaration. I returned her smile, but a river of sweat found its way into my mouth and the smile quickly became a grimace.

“Awesome warm up ladies. Time to turn it up a notch!” the instructor said.

Fifteen ivory faces all grinned back at her. Me, the lone chocolate chip, just shook my head and thanked the heavens that my fro still resembled a fresh twist out. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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