Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Putting My “Spin” on Glow Cycle.

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Contributors: Melanie Gercone

As someone who has little-to-no experience with going to the gym, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to start. I was scared of going by myself and attempting to do workouts, since it is evident that I know nothing about sufficient routines. I decided that utilizing some Campus Recreation fitness classes was a great way for me to start delving into my fitness journey. With a few of my friends, I brushed some paint across my cheeks, strapped a glow-in-the-dark bracelet on my wrist, and took on the Glow Cycle class at TRAC.

In my head, I thought that this class may be a breeze. Before I had a car, I would ride my bike anywhere I needed to go, so how was this any different? I walked into the dim room feeling confident and cute while the colors I was wearing shined through the dark. If exercising felt like this all the time, then I would be working out 24/7. My friends and I lined up on the front row of bikes, waiting for the class to begin.

The instructor explained that we would be cycling to the rhythm of music while speeding up and slowing down according to the beat. As someone who was into music much more than I was into sports throughout my life, this made me ecstatic. Somehow, this class just kept getting better before it even began. This workout would be as simple as biking down my street with my AirPods on. I was feeling ready for the workout to begin, but as time went on, I realized that this class may not be as simple for me as I had anticipated.

The workout began very light and steady. I was keeping up with the rest of the group and feeling great about my athletic abilities. I watched myself in the mirror, pedaling along, feeling as if I had accomplished my resolution. Maybe this was not going to be as hard of a goal to obtain as I had thought. The song began to speed up, and it was not long before the instructor told us to stand up on our bikes and up the pressure of the pedals. I found it harder to keep up with the pace of those around me, and it became clearer that I was out of shape. I longed for the rest periods where I could slow down and stop sticking out like a sore thumb. For the next 20 minutes, I was intensely trying to keep up with everyone beside me. Between sprinting and pedaling through massive amounts of pressure, I was becoming exhausted. It was at that moment that I realized my years of biking down side streets were not comparable to cycling.

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My speed increasingly got slower and slower, while the people around me were able to keep up. At least I now know I have a lot of work to do in order to achieve my resolution. As the class came to an end, I was tired but I can confidently say that I felt accomplished. I was able to push aside any embarrassment I had about working out and take a chance on a workout class. Yes, I was sore, but more than anything, I felt satisfied. The most important part of my experience throughout this class was that a thing like physical activity is not so much of a chore when you have great friends beside you. I am more grateful than anything to have a support system by my side that will hold me to my goals. Campus Recreation holds Glow Cycle and other classes, at TRAC throughout the week. I highly recommend taking one of these classes if you are looking to jumpstart your fitness journey. I promise that you will not look as stupid as you think, and it is a great way to exercise amongst the support of other college students.

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