Friday, July 10, 2009

Spinning Michael's Tunes

"I thought I'd be too sad to come to work today guys, but you guys got me through it - like I knew we would."
We whoop. This is a class where whooping is mandatory.
As a reward, he tells us to crank up the resistance, and hops from bike to bike, wiping our sweaty foreheads and urging us on. I'm embarrassingly pleased when he comes to halt in front of me, wipes my sweat too.

The last time I was at a spinning class there was no live DJ spinning Michael Jackson tunes under blinding UV light, and the Mr Motivator was a softly-spoken, power-crazed Japanese guy called Kenji who would interrupt our peaceful cycle along a beautiful cliff road with a demonic cry of "And here comes... za MOUNTAINS!" This time there's also more than three of us in the class. In fact there's 50 bikes, and few are empty. I can hide at the back, my teeth glowing in the darkness.

We're in a gym, in the shadow of BAM, and today is the day of Michael Jackson's funeral. After 45 minutes spent making a collective offering of sweat (sweetly wiped) we are lead in a minute's silence, as our legs gradually slow their phantom pumping.
"I'm sure we all have memories - both good and bad."
I catch myself nodding along. I wonder if this is what it's like to join a cult.
"We should just be thankful for the beautiful music..."
The funk is cranked up as we stretch out the workout, and I spend the rest of the day haunted by the chirpy tones of the Jackson Five.

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