This is a repost from September of 2008. I've been doing a lot of spinning lately, and this week I thought of this post again, so I thought I'd pop it up here again.
I think I've discovered why I like going to Spinning classes.
It's just like being at services, except I'm not in charge:
It lasts about an hour, just like services.
I can get into a rhythm, just like in a good prayer experience.
There's a rubric to follow. Sprints, climbs, flat roads....Sh'ma u'virchote-ha, Amidah, Torah service...
There's music, sometimes to sing along with....
There's a sense of shared purpose. We're all in this together.
There's a lot of stand-up, sit-down.*
The instructor uses her hands to indicate "stand up" and "sit down"... just like I do.*
She offers encouragement, similar to the way that a rabbi might offer explanations of the prayers.
She sometimes throws out questions for the group to answer, just as I might when leading services or giving a sermon.
People are often reticent to answer. Just like at services.
I can lose myself in the experience, and feel uplifted at the end.
Do I think that Spinning or exercise can replace a religious experience?
But they do strike me as quite similar....
*This was the part that got me thinking during Spin class. Like any good blogger, I actually considered getting off my bike and jotting down some notes. It seemed like a reasonable excuse to take a break...but I didn't. I remembered anyway! See, working out is good for you.
(When I checked out this old post I also realized that at some point I stopped doing the five places I've been this week thing on Sundays. Why did I stop doing that? I'm not sure...should I start again?)