One third of the way through the 40 days of Lent I’ve had a SPIN off. Did you know hell can actually be found in a 45 minute spin class?
Let me explain the 4 day sabbatical. Last Tuesday I got a foretaste of hell. The craving began back in January when I turned 50. Thanks to my study of the enneagram (see great explanation of enneagram by Steve Thomason), over the years I have had an increasing understanding of myself (type 4). Now this is important for the story- I feel (heart) first, think (head) next and act (gut) last. My feeling/thinking are so dominate that God was revealing to me that I was out of balance. My current lack of exercise had me severely out of touch with my body- (ie I was tense and didn’t know it. There was an increasing disconnect with my physical body.) And with the recent move I was also lacking community so my pastime of jogging alone through the neighborhood needed to be adjusted to a group activity. There were some fantastic new boutique workout gyms to discover near by so last Tuesday I hit one of them. Hard.
I was proud of my focus to pass the lobby decked out in bright workout gear and head straight for the studio-a four level amphitheater style room where I had ‘booked’ what they called ‘the ride of your life’ . The room was dimly light and peaceful with the faint track lighting and soft music. I found my bike on the top row in the back corner well out of notice. I was out of shape, a newbie to this sport and a bit unsure how this all went down. You get shoes for this workout. You know shoes make me happy and I clipped those little black darlings into the pedals. The class started with Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” as the instructor called out the count of “left, right, left, right.” We were to pedal to the beat as we warmed up. By the second song the call was to get out of the saddle and stand up as we went “left, right.” Oh. Yeah. Those are my thighs…
I was suddenly ‘connecting to my body’ again.
Did you know there are 4 muscles in the quad? Three of mine are seriously underdeveloped. I had this moment when my legs gave out and my seat hit the saddle and i felt old and weak and ridiculously began to cry because of all the fore-mentioned just hurt my feelings. Then my brain began to shout like a drill sergeant at my feelings, “You out of shape pansy, are you really going to just cry!? At least keep pedaling. Anyone can pedal for 45 minutes. DO NOT STOP.” Thinking it all through so logically, my legs kept pedaling.
Somewhere about minute 30, I experienced hell. I was no longer connected to feelings or my thinking or my body. I was just pedaling in some kind of zone of never ending cyclical torment, spinning pride and fear and anger round and round and round as I experienced regret- of ever stopping my work outs and pain that my 50 yr old body wasn’t as strong as it used to be and the stupidity of shame that I could not stop pedaling or I’d hate myself. I really told God this was a foretaste of Hell- eternity without Him- where I was sentenced to be alone with myself forever in excruciating pain. I’m so glad I know the Lord Jesus Christ.
I proudly finished the class. Humbly wobbled my way out. Knew I was in trouble when my right leg gave out on me 3x on the way to the car. The next day it was beyond the ‘feel like you just did 5000 squats’ thigh ache. I could not sit down on the toilet let alone get up off of it. I could not stand but I could not sit either. I did not sleep. The next day my urine was the color of coffee. I had Rhabdomyolysis-rhabdo=skeleton/myo=muscle/lysis=breakdown . I had broken down the fiber of my muscles and it was spilling into the blood stream and the kidneys were in charge of filtering it-an IV was needed to correct the problem.
The husband was beside himself. “Why didn’t you just get off?” There was a lot of scolding. And I was enlightened not to my perseverance but my pride. Close friends had to deal with the handicapped at a retreat that I had been looking forward to and the weekend was overshadowed with the physical complications as I was just off.
Through the last few sleepless nights I’ve been trying to find the lesson in this.
Be in shape before you attempt a spin class.
Know when enough is enough (be smarter), know your body & get off the bike.
Shame is something I need to work with God to be free of and pride cometh before a fall.
Or is it that God allows us a foretaste of hell to understand what being disconnected with Him feels like. He was still there. Right there with me. Maybe I couldn’t feel it. My mind too overwhelmed to know it. My body so weak that pain was ruling the moment. My pride so great and my shame so humbling that only my Creator could understand the crisis I was caught in. But God was there. Doing something in that moment. Spirit to spirit that I might never understand completely. I am more connected to my body, every ache, flinch of tension, failure to exhale, has my mind and feelings dealing with the physical part of myself again. I’m also aware that my feelings and thoughts need to take better care with my body. It’s the lesser of the three the way I’m made. And a week ago I might be feeling ashamed, that I failed to keep my commitment to my 40 days of Lent but God, when we are abiding with Him sometimes there are spin offs to our best intentions and plans. And today I’m right where He wants me. A little off but more connected.