Dear Substitute Spin Instructor

Dear Substitute Spin Instructor,

We need to have a little talk, OK? Look, I know it's your job to tell me what to do, how much gear to add, when to stand, when to sit, when to speed up, when to slow down. That's fine. I know that you're supposed to push me, to get results out of me. What you're doing, though? That's not it.

OK, so you want to throw a heavy hill climb at me? No problem. You want to keep me at a level 9 for 3 minutes? Sure. You want to pull a little bait and switch at the end of the 3 minutes and tell me to keep at it for another whole minute? OK, I can go with that. Tell me to push it? OK. And when I'm straining and I have sweat stinging my eyes and I'm panting so hard that I can't even make myself slow my breathing down, you can even shout "Are you having a good time!?" at that ridiculous moment. But, seriously? When I don't answer, don't give me that "I can't hear you!" crap. That does not inspire me. It just makes me angry.

OK, so maybe I'm stubborn enough that when you say things like "Hey if I don't hear you, I'm not letting you down!" I'm more likely to set my jaw and grimly press on rather than give you the satisfaction of hearing my voice. (As if speaking were even an option for me at that point.) Yeah, I guess that's a form of motivation. If I'm thinking to myself "I would rather puke and pass out than answer you" because of something you said, then I guess you are getting me to work. Except that ultimately what you're motivating me to do is figure out what your class schedule is so that I can avoid you completely from now on.

Oh, and another thing. If you know that you're going to be a hard ass later on, own up to it from the get-go. Don't start off the class like some kind of yoga teacher with all that "listen to your body, don't push yourself further than you can go" stuff if you know that you're going to shout "Dont you dare touch that dial!" at people when they actually do decide that they can't keep up.

Lead instead of pushing. Don't make threats. Don't be a jerk. It might work for Jillian on the Biggest Loser, but you're not dangling a big pile of money in front of me. Is all that clear?

I can't hear you!

Prepared for High Water

I joined a new gym a few weeks ago. I'm enjoying it so far and am excited to lose weight and improve my cardiovascular health, but that's not what this post is about. This post is about underwear.

I normally wear boxers and have been doing so for quite some time now. However, it became apparent shortly after I started going to a morning spin class that I was going to need something more supportive in the undergarment department. I won't go into all the gory details--suffice it to say that bike seats can be uncomfortable. So, last week I found myself at Target shopping for briefs for the first time in over a decade.

Now, I know that necklines and hems and what have you have a tendency to move around, but I wouldn't have guessed that this sort of thing would happen with briefs. As it turns out, I would have guessed incorrectly, since what I found immediately after putting on a pair of my new tighty-whiteys is that the waistband actually came up over my navel. Now, I admit that it's been a while since I've had any intimate experience with this kind of underwear, but I don't recall my underpants extending two inches above the top of my jeans when I was back in high school. I bought some boxer briefs in the hope that they might be a little better, but they actually went up even higher.

It seems to me quite strange to wear my underwear so high, but if I put the waistband where I think is comfortable, the support is lost. It leads me to wonder whether perhaps the boxer mentality--you might call it "freedom-loving"--has become so pervasive that underwear manufacturers have started making briefs that cater to that desire. But that just makes no sense because if briefs aren't supportive then what's the point of wearing them in the first place? Aside from which, I would think that the people that find briefs unappealing to look at would be even more put off by saggy briefs.

For myself, I don't appear to have many options. I could roll the top down but that just looks dumb. Or I suppose I could try to find a pair that's cut shorter, but I have the sneaking suspicion that that road leads to bikini briefs and I'm not sure that I'm ready to go there. So I guess I'm stuck with some really high-waisted underwear for the time-being.

And just in case you were going to ask: no, there will be no pictures. Whether that's a relief or a disappointment is your own business.