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  • I am a terrible introvert .... so every time I attempt to connect with a group of women it seems to go awry. Something embarrassing always seems to happen.

    Like when I did an onsite painting class (I forget the fancy term for that). I managed to fall off my stool into some stickery weeds and marveled that everyone kept painting and left me in the weeds. Maybe they are introverts too.

    The last time with painting class (although I have previously had semi-successful classes) there was a guest instructor who was young and cocky and managed to insult me at every turn in the class. Now, since I work very hard in my day job, I find I need relaxation and support in any outside endeavors. I wasn't finding that here.

    I have also tried connecting with my local college sorority alum. They were nice enough but had all those 'causes and projects' which might be nice enough if I wasn't already a social worker. I repeat here - looking for relaxation and support, not a second job.

    Recently my doctors have encouraged me to get some sort of exercise. Exercise! Ugh! Probably my least favorite word in the English language, only second to cooking.

    So, I thought about getting a bike. But then one day a lady fell in front of our house and fractured her wrist. I went out to help her and the road is completely flat and I couldn't figure out how she could have fallen. All she could talk about was her work and a big project she had. I thought, that would be me - worried about work and bills and in worse shape than I started. An ambulance came and I took care of her bike until her husband came later and said she was in surgery. Ugh!

    So I heard about this small cycling class (indoors). They had a special so I signed up. Last night I had a dream (or a nightmare). Although the dream wasn't about exercise or cycling, it was about a group of women I was with and everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

    I woke up this morning thinking, "Why do I do this to myself?" Today was the cycle class. It was small enough, and no men, only women. They looked to be in their twenties.

    The owner was quite pleasant and gave me my orientation. She let me know that her mother typically makes it 20 minutes out of the 60, so it's ok if I can't make it all the way through. Then she warns me the music videos can be a bit racy so as to not be offended. I tell her that although this may surprise her, I have a sixteen year old, so may be a little more up-to-date than others my age. She did look surprised. She was probably thinking "a Viagra moment" but since he's adopted I can say (but didn't) Viagra had nothing to do with it! (Insert laugh, guffaw, he-he).

    Well within the first five minutes of the class I was thinking, how the hell will I make it 60 minutes, let alone the twenty the owner's mom can do. About fifteen minutes in, I had a revelation. I'm doing this for me, to relax and get exercise. I paid for it. I can do what I want! My goal was to stay on the bike the sixty minutes.

    There were moments of naseau and my heart racing and I would slow down and breath, take a sip of water. I realized if I chose to stay at baseline the entire time I could. Through the Michael Jackson videos (poor Michael I thought) and through the other artists my son probably knows.

    Then I glance at my watch. What! Forty-five minutes are done. Then the "Footloose" video came on. "Footloose!" Hey - that's my era people (at least the Kevin Bacon version; i.e., best version). I sped up, still at baseline but my RPMs (is that the term?) went up.

    I made it! omg - through the whole sixty minutes. My legs a bit shaky and my face red. I rode fourteen miles. I don't think that is very far, but farther than O, huh? And I didn't have to talk to anyone or do any social services.

    Looking forward to next time.
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