Thursday, February 7, 2013

And then the blog got taken over by a boy.

PRODUCTION NOTE: This blog is meant to include photos. However, Blogger has decided that it doesn't like it when someone else takes over this space and is refusing to upload any photos. No joke. SO, while I hope to have that fixed later today, I don't want it to hold up the blogging.

Anyway, as promised, today I have given over all of my blogging power to a guest blogger. And, untrue to form, I didn’t even get all control-y about it! Also, it helped that it didn’t need my hands involved at all because I think he pretty much killed it.

So, without further ado, I give my blog over (for just one day, don’t get any grand ideas, people!)……


Becky calls this “guest blogging.”  Let’s call a spade a spade.  I am an interloper.  No question about it.  I just ask that you bear with me while I explain why exactly I’m taking up precious space on this blog with the following pile of nonsense that doesn’t involve - in any way - Becky’s underpants.

I am a surviving member of the group of insanely good looking people who accompanied Becky to the birthday extravaganza at Soul Cycle that was the subject of Becky’s Monday post.  I realized as I read that post that something was missing. 

Not content.  Obviously present and accounted for.

Not style.  That goes without saying in these parts.


I'm not just an interloper,
I'm also an incredibly
fashionable dresser. 
I, the interloper, am a male member of the group, and more importantly, the unidentified friend on the bike next to Becky.  I, as you may recall, am the one who may or may not have been kicked (I was kicked) as Becky gracefully dismounted.  Short answer – I’m qualified because I was there, up close and personal.  Right next to your beloved blog host.

While Becky knocked that entry out of the park, what it was missing was a male perspective.  Not her fault.  She doesn’t have the plumbing for that, which is no fault of her own and surely a great relief to CB.  Nevertheless, she is unable to provide the perspective of someone who, up until that trip, operated under the mistaken impression that “spinning” was somehow similar to “knitting.” 

In preparation for our trip I did some research which uncovered the following information.  Consider this the gospel by Google.  

Soul Cycle is in fact the pinnacle of physical activity.  To hear it from Soul Cycle hardcores, it’s kind of like riding a stationary bike if Tony Little, Jack LaLanne and the dalai lama were also on that bike.  Google searches for reviews produce returns that include words like “inspiring,” “enlightening,” “amped,” “zen,” “deep burn,” and “life changing.”  All well and good, but you’ve set the bar pretty damn high my friends. 

Here’s what it’s really like. 

First, co-ed locker room.  Becky covered this.  No reason to beat an extremely awkward dead horse.  It was surprising.  Not nearly as surprising was the fact that I managed to keep my pants on in a room full of strangers, which I can only assume is the reason that I don’t have enough stories to maintain an entire blog named after my underwear.  Also, everyone else managed to pull that off as well.  Except Becky.

Second, Jake Gyllenhal.  I can’t personally attest to the fact that he was there.  I kind of only caught a view of his legs as he walked by, and my first impression was that the legs I saw looked a little bit like my mom’s.  From what I understand, however, it was Jake Gyllenhal.  Therefore, the first informative point I took away from my trip to Soul Cycle was that Jake Gyllenhal has legs like my 57 year old mom.  So far, an enlightening experience.

Now on to procedure. 

There’s only one “workout room,” and it houses (give or take) 60 stationary bikes.  Two issues here.  First, classes run back to back with little if any time to spare in between.  Second, part of the experience is sensory, so the only door to the only workout room stays closed through the entire class to keep exterior light out of the room.

This creates an interesting issue. 

I swear to you on my life that when that single door swings open at the end of a 45 minute workout for 60 people that produce sweat, grunts, and life-affirming revelations, the smell that comes out is like an atomic horse fart released without warning from the fiery depths of hell. 

The females in our group uniformly smelled opportunity and burnt calories. 

The only guy in our group who is from Missouri told me that it smelled like a horse fart.  I’m not stupid enough to question him.  The man is an expert. 

The scene inside – dark.  Like, really dark.  No electric lights that I can recall.  Just a few candles at the front of the room which I have to assume are symbolic of the deep burn I read so much about. 

The bikes are, for all intents and purposes, on top of each other, which makes this a trying experience for anyone like me.  I’m talking to all of you obsessive compulsive germaphobe readers out there who also have personal space and bodily fluid issues. 

I cannot stress this enough.  Dem bikes is close.  Fo’ real.  More on this later.

As for the workout, no arguments here. Soul Cycle is a hell of a workout.  High intensity, full body, interval, blah blah blah, everything else that showed up on the cover of Men’s Health this month.  And last month.  It’s a bear.  No two ways about it.

But for those of you who have never been to a workout class with an instructor, here is the basic outline.  Someone who is younger than you and in better shape than you - and who is being paid to attend at whatever ungodly hour it is that you dragged your sorry butt into the gym - unleashes a tirade of unrealistic physical demands at you through a Britney Spears headset mic, broken up only occasionally by a mindless motivational platitude about finding your happy place or some crap to that effect, while bouncing about fueled by what I can only imagine is a potent mix of amphetamines, Red Bull, and spirit.

In this respect, Soul Cycle does not fail.  Halfway through the class, all 60 of us mindless drones would have gotten off our fancy little fake bikes and plowed head first through a brick wall for that instructor without so much as batting an eye. 

Such is the power of Soul Cycle.

That’s the good. 

Here’s the bad.

The arrangement of bikes and friends was such that Becky was at my left elbow, a male friend, JK, was on my right elbow, my friend MK had his face virtually in my plumber’s crack, and my face was virtually in MKs wife’s plumber’s crack. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MK’S WIFE!  So happy I could join in the celebration.

I’m pretty sure Becky and I exchanged enough elbow sweat that I should probably get tested for whatever it is that I’ve heard CB has.  I was close enough to JK on my right that I swear I could hear his thoughts. 

As for me, MK, the birthday girl, and our unholy chain of butts and faces, I maintain the position that jokes regarding butts and their proximity to faces are softballs.  I’m not lowering myself to that level, even for a guest appearance. 

But let there be no question - faces were close to asses.

The girls had no issue with this.  Just communally working out the toxins.  Rocking in alarmingly precise unison to the bone-jarring beat.  Benefitting from each other’s energy.  Feeling each other’s drive.  Through the females, I was able to see what Soul Cycle is all about.

A quick view of the guys in our group produced a different impression.  In fact, I dry heaved.  No joke.  I was absolutely disgusted.  The girls were feeding off of each other, moving in rhythm and genuinely helping one another max out their results.  In short, they were doing it the right way. 

The guys looked like a half a dozen monkeys trying to hump a football.  Out of sync.  Mouth breathing.  Dripping things from places that raised serious questions about what was going on in that room.  Present company included. 

Thank you, Soul Cycle, for the wall of mirrors.  Nice touch.

After 45 merciless minutes during which I lost eighty percent of my body weight in sweat, pulled a calf muscle, and got kicked by Becky harder than I can really describe in print, we were released back to the bizarro coed locker room to survey the damage. 

Women everywhere were talking about the next class they planned to attend.  What their favorite part was.  How they were frustrated with themselves that they didn’t “really press it during that last climb.”  No worries, there’s always tomorrow, maniacs.

Our group of guys?  We just stood out of the way and engaged in the kind of mindless conversation that we should patent before another bunch of guys steps up and starts doing the same thing.

TK:  It was hot in there.
Me: I hadn’t noticed.  CB, I thought you were wearing a gray shirt before.
CB [standing in a 3 inch deep puddle of his own sweat]:  I am.
Me:  Looks black to me.
TK:  It’s moisture wicking.
Me:  Define “wicking. “ Because it’s aggressively dripping from the bottom.  There’s not even a sweat mark.  He just looks like he showered with his shirt on.
CB:  Yeah.  It wicks sweat away from your body.
Me:  Something tells me this is not what the designer intended.
CB:  It’s moisture wicking.
Me: Yup. You mentioned that.

Final impression?  I get it.  It’s fun.  It’s different. It’s a hell of a workout.  More importantly, Soul Cycle diehards are a unique mix of incredibly fit people, masochists, and idiots.  Luckily for us, the birthday group had plenty to offer from each of those categories. 

Or at least enough to make it a damn good time. 

Happy Birthday DK.  Hope it was a good one.


  1. Hahahhaah I love this perspective post!

    And that's weird the girls didn't notice the butt crack proximity. I would be very self conscious about my butt crack and disgusted if I were smelling someone else's butt crack.

    And I love the patented mindless male conversation.

    1. I'm glad you liked it! I laughed out loud reading it and thought you guys would, too. His perspective is definitely spot on! Though, I didn't have anyone in front of me (I think I was the only one in the whole room with that luxury, not sure how it happened), so I didn't have NEARLY the kind of perspective as everyone else.

  2. I just laughed outloud in my cube at work. (just taking a break, boss!) That. Was. Hilarious. Witty people have witty friends. :)

    1. I know, right? Next time I should tell him not to be AS funny because people are going to start requesting the guest blogger for each post! :-) So glad you liked it!!!!

  3. This is HYSTERICAL!

    Happy SITS Day!

    Me thinks I'll stick with my yoga!

    1. Thank you!!!

      Haha I also wrote about yoga sometimes last is not my friend. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Saw you on SITS this morning, and I'm hooked! Will definitely be back!!

    1. Oh I'm so happy to hear that, you just made my day!! Thanks for stopping by (and I'll check yours out too!)

  5. So very funny and Happy SITS Day again. Happily following you on Facebook and Twitter now!! :)

    1. Oh thank you so much!! I *think* I am now following you on Twitter, too, but technology isn't always my friend, so.....

      Thanks for being a new reader!

  6. So glad I got the guy's perspective! LOL Just awesome! Kinda weirded out by the whole going from co-ed locker room to going butt-to-face with the people you were just in the co-ed locker room with, and mirrors to watch it all in! Did anyone else not find that creepy? *shivers, then shrugs* Guess I'm behind on what true fun is. ;)

    Anyway, great guest post! Kudos to you, guy who hijacked the blog - you did great! :)

    To Becky: Happy SITS Day to you! How amazing is it that I got to read a post written by a guy on the day you are recognized by a "girls only" group? It's like the best irony ever! :) Totally great! Well done! (And I mean that - no sarcasm! I find it amazing!)

    Have a great weekend!

    1. I know, right?? I found that ironic and equally as awesome, too. Thanks for your support! Hope to see you again! :-)

      Have a great weekend!

  7. Okay, now I'm doubly convinced I never want to do this ;)

    Happy SITS Day!

    1. Haha it's not QUITE as bad as it sounds...but it's close! :-)

  8. Thanks for the perspective! I am now twice convinced that group exercise is not for me!