After Years Of Avoiding The Gym Like The Plague, I Tried Cycling (And This Is What Happened)

Christopher Campbell
Christopher Campbell

If you don’t know anything about me, the first thing you should know is that I’m no athlete. I’m basically whatever the opposite of an athlete is and I seriously don’t understand why anyone would actually voluntarily go to the gym.

Putting that aside, over the past few months I have grown into a literal couch potato. Since I work remotely from home, my form of exercise is typing on my laptop, going to the kitchen to get coffee, and coming back downstairs to work some more.

When I was little and dreamt of being a writer, I always pictured myself looking really carefree and dreamy, kind of like how Carrie Bradshaw always looks. I really wanted to embody those artsy and effortlessly cool writers who would look so content, just casually sipping their five dollar lattes like it was no big deal. Unfortunately, that’s not how I turned out. 

I literally work in my pajamas, in mismatched socks and sometimes with a stain on my shirt just to switch things up. My parents are always really excited when I turn up not looking like a homeless person for dinner, so I guess they noticed my behavior before even I did. Watching months go by of me slowly turning into a sloth really freaked my mom out, so my parents decided to take matters into their own hands.

Can you guess what I found in my Christmas stocking? A spin class certificate.

It was worth over ten weeks of exercise. I remember feeling mildly annoyed and defensive about how I spent my weekdays, and immediately wanted to launch into a rant about how mind exercise is still exercise. But I know they were just doing their job in order to not have their daughter literally morph into a hermit.

Then the fateful day came. My sister and I put on our exercise outfits and sneakers (that we never use), and marched into class with eyes of determined and enthusiastic kindergarteners.

45 minutes later when the class was finally over, I ran outside in the 30 degree weather, covered my mouth with my hands, and tried as hard as I could not to vomit. My sister’s face had gone from powerful in the first minute of class, to now looking like she had just gotten run over by a truck. We both climbed into our car with just our heavy and winded breaths filling the silence and I vowed to never let myself go through that hell ever again.

Except we did. A week later.

I told myself that it would get better. That it’s just cycling, how hard could it be? Except that week we had a new instructor. And he wanted us to lift weights WHILE we were cycling. I was convinced he was on something harder and more potent than just endorphins.

45 minutes later, covered in sweat and with waves of nausea hitting me like a hurricane, I turned to the mirror and immediately could tell something was wrong. All of a sudden I noticed red bumps breaking out across my face, and rapidly moving downwards towards my chest and stomach.

So, yeah. My whole entire body broke out in hives. From a 45 minutes cycling class.

Of course, I didn’t die from the hives or from the exercise. I kind of felt nice once I used my inhaler multiple times and chugged bottles of water to not faint from the heat.

I did it. I tried it. To make my parents happy and in desperate hopes that I would somehow fall in love with it. But, that’s kind of like asking me to like Donald Trump, which will 100% never happen.

But I did try. And that’s something. Even if it’s a small something.

Apologies to my parents but, for now, I’ll stay content, hibernating and eating as many cookies as I want. I’ll stay doing me, until scientists can come up with a way to burn calories without having to do anything at all.TC mark

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson

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