As I am sure everyone knows or has been told, losing weight is a journey and there are many self-discoveries those looking to change their lives make along the way. That has definitely been the case for me and I wanted to share one that has only happened to me in the past few months since I started taking regular spin classes.

A friend of mine who I shared a study-abroad trip with when I was in college in 2006, Aimee, introduced me to spinning purely by accident. She had been checking in on Facebook at this particular specialty gym and when I asked her about it, she told me about the couple who ran it and that they taught spin classes and that one day I should join her.

I was hesitant at first because my only previous experience with a spin class had been about five years ago and it wasn’t exactly pleasant. I felt so uncomfortable and I didn’t even make it halfway through before walking out. I tried once more but never really felt like it was for me so I chalked it up to experience and moved on.

Not wanting to let Aimee down since she was so kind to ask me to join her, I went to a class. Downside was that I was nursing a calf strain so I was only able to get halfway through the hour-long class before stepping off the bike once again. But instead of simply being left alone to walk out while Aimee finished the class, the gym owner Sherry and another partner Julio came and talked to me and we ended up walking for the next 30 minutes talking and getting to know each other. That walk sparked a friendship and relationship and caused me to enjoy what I am about to share with you.

That night, I went home and – I am not going to lie – my backside was killing me. Sitting in a chair hurt and when I woke up the next morning, it wasn’t necessarily any better. Add to that my calf issue and I thought then I probably would never take another class.

But as fate or luck would have it, another connection to the “spin gym” was made from someone else who manages a different gym I had previously been affiliated with and I decided to give it another go. My second class, I was able to stay on the bike the whole time and while I couldn’t necessarily get out of the saddle for more than a few seconds at a time, I was at least able to pedal for 60 minutes and increase speed and resistance some. And while my backside hurt a bit when I got home, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered the first time.

By my fifth class, I felt like I had been riding forever and I wondered why I was ever afraid of the bike. I was now able to get out of the saddle and keep up with the instructor and the feeling was amazing. I found myself encouraging other people who were only taking their second class and telling them to stick with it.

Just a few weeks ago, I signed up for my second 60-day membership for unlimited classes each week and as I did, it struck me that riding the stationary bike was no different than when we, as kids, learned how to ride a real bike. At first, we needed training wheels but then when it was time, those training wheels were removed and with the help of someone else, we learned how to ride without them. We were wobbly in the beginning and sometimes even fell but we got back up and did it again until we got it down.

Conquering spinning reminded me that I am going to fall down on this journey but as long as I get back up and keep pedaling, I will eventually ride with no hands.

What does this have to do with sports? Well, life IS a sport, and we all have our own competitions and challenges to overcome but I’ve realized that while I may not have a team in the same sense Tony Romo or Drew Brees does, I do have teammates to help me along the way.

As always, stay healthy and enjoy the games!