Collective Suffering… [it’s a thing]
I took a spin class at my gym last Friday. I’ve only taken about 5 spin classes in my life, but each one has had the same effect on me.
Pain. Lots of Pain.
There is a leaderboard system in spin class (I assume this is similar in other gyms). Your bike has a number and you can see your revolutions per minute (RPMs), and your power is measured in watts (speed + gear). Your total energy score is also calculated.
Each rider is then ranked by their total energy score. If another rider is pedaling faster than me, but I have my bike in a harder gear, my total energy score may be higher.
The instructor plays music and pushes you to follow along a set program they’ve designed to take you to your edge.
Beyond the instructor, what really kills me is my own competitive nature. Having a leaderboard just messes with my brain.
I can’t help but want to climb to a higher ranking. Pass just one more person. To fall back a position is the worst. It means someone is working harder than me and that is unacceptable in my mind.
The whole thing just wipes me out. I’m a big sweating mess after each class. I can barely walk, or speak. I put in everything I have to give (and then some) when I take a silly spin class.
Why is that?
I’m sure not everyone is as crazy as I am when it comes to competing in spin class. But it is clear there is an energy in the room that fuels everyone to push themselves to new levels.
With my schedule, I’ve been finding it difficult to exercise regularly. But when I do, I like to take classes, like boot camps or spin classes, because I end up working out so much harder than if I just go on my own.
Something about the environment of a bunch of people suffering together wakes me up and fuels me to give it my all.
The same thing happens at work too. It’s why I like to surround myself, or stay connected with other people who are disciplined and hard working. It fuels me to keep pace, to consistently to give it my all.
Who you surround yourself with is important. To achieve more. To break a bad habit. To complete a personal goal. These all take some level of suffering.
Connecting with others who are suffering through a similar challenge always helps. There is a bond, even if unspoken, that compels you to fight harder and longer.
I’m not sure how or why it works, but it does. At least for me.
Until next time,