Hey, Spin Teacher, Please Don’t Judge My “Salad”

He’s everything I want in a spin teacher.  His class playlist ranges from Pink to J.Lo or Robin Thicke.  Buried around song eight, he always slips in an 80’s favorite from deep in the vault. Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam or The Outfield.   At song 10 he usually does a little vogue-ing for the class.

Do I need to describe his body beyond saying that he teaches 2 spin classes everyday and works as a personal trainer? Yes, his quads could be used as scalpels.  He could snap my doughy body like a toothpick your grandpa’s been chewing all during the baseball game.

From the very first class, I learned to get there early just to listen to his pre-class monologue.  Rants about his dog’s refusal to wear a mink stole or his boyfriend’s love of the Real Housewives franchise– I ate it all up.  He’s got a snarky side that is much more funny when not directed at me.  Once he saw me shake my head when he asked if any of us had seen the new Ellie Goulding video. (Who the hell watches videos?)  My reward was a public shaming that burned, but kept me coming back for more and sent me Googling who the hell this Ellie person was.

I worked harder for him than any other teacher– I leave his class drenched in sweat, my legs hardly able to make it to my car, and a Miley Cyrus song stuck in my head.

In my fantasy world, he’s my BFF.  He could help me weed out my ugly clothes while advising me on the best way to tone my core.  God, I can picture us driving down Lake Shore Drive, the wind whipping through my mini-van– him not  a hair out of place as he teaches me once and for all how to pronounce “Balanciaga.”

But there’s one thing I never want to do with him: Eat.

No. Thank. You.  He looks like one of those people who shops at those freaky “nutrition” stores in the mall that are full of powders and buckets of amino acids.  GNC, I think it’s called. You don’t get his body grazing on carbs all day and topping yourself off with Breyer’s “half the fat” ice cream.  Maybe he’s paleo or gluten-free or a raw foodist.  But there’s no way, given his occupation and physique, that he eats like me, a 40-something mere mortal who makes it to spin class once a week.

So you can imagine the range of emotions I felt when I looked up and saw him standing right across from me.  At the Whole Foods salad bar where I was getting myself some lunch.  Sweet, right?  I was 2 3 ladles of ranch dressing away from the perfect “salad”: three leaves of iceberg lettuce, mac and cheese, carved turkey, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, some grilled vegetables covered in oil, and some mashed sweet potatoes. (Don’t judge, I’ve already admitted I suck at salad barring.)

Our eyes met and I smiled feebly, trying to pretend like I wasn’t about to reach for the full-fat ranch.  I couldn’t help but look down at his salad bowl:  everything was green.  Green peas.  Green edamame. Green spinach.  Celery. Cucumbers.  Is he seriously putting flax seed and chia seeds on his salad? Yes.  Yes he was.

I hesitated, but finally gripped that ranch dressing and poured it like it was organic Kombucha straight from the Baby Jesus.

I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.  I taped my container shut and kept my head high, while licking the drips of ranch off my fingers.  I watched him check out and walk down the street with his garden medley.  He wasn’t thinking about me or my salad.  He does his job, just like I do mine.

I took my first bite of delicious ranch-soaked sweet potatoes with grilled eggplant hanging off one tine of the fork– This one’s for you, I thought, dedicating the mouthful to both him and me.


76 thoughts on “Hey, Spin Teacher, Please Don’t Judge My “Salad”

  1. oh my, get me some of that sal ad! you made it sound like heaven. then i’ll go burn some calories in his class. he lives his life, we live ours, right? and now i have to go google some friggin videos to show that i’m not totally without a clue.

  2. Haha! But hey, at least you weren’t loading up a container with fried chicken, mac and cheese, and a piece of cheesecake. Right? It can always be worse. Good on you for sticking to your ranch guns!

  3. I had a salad yesterday that involved mashed potatoes and lots of cheddar cheese, so I totally get you. I’ve been contemplating one spin class a week for a few months now, and I’m pretty scared of it, but I think I’m ready to take the plunge…

    • I’ll ready a Nora E book if you go to spin class. It’ll be like freaky friday where we switch places.

      OMG, spinning is so fun.

      On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 10:38 AM, Outlaw Mama

  4. There are so many gems in here I don’t even know where to start. Ok, I do — it’s with his dog’s refusal to wear a mink stole. But the end is the best, that complete acceptance – he does his job, I’m doing mine. I love it. Here’s to both of you.

    PS – I totally watch videos.

    • Really? Where can I watch videos to keep up? I don’t know where to look. But after seeing Colbert’s take on Daf Punk, I’m thinking I need to look into this more.

      On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 11:27 AM, Outlaw Mama

  5. Who is he to judge? Lots of people do that without the spin class. Ranch dressing rocks! Plus you should totally try Zumba. It is way more fun than spinning, but probably not taught by someone with scalpel like muscles.

  6. HAHAHA. Although I think you are more than a “mere mortal” I greatly appreciate this hilarious post. Salads should just always be healthy no matter what is on them, everyone knows this.

  7. haha love this post! I’m always looking over my shoulder when shoveling down chips ‘n salsa and that second margarita, sure that someone from my gym will spot me. You think your spin guy ever has a cheat meal? Or is he one of those pod people that can exist without them?

    • He definitely cheats. He said he’d had two pieces of cake over the weekend once, and he seemed really distraught about it. I was all welcome to my every weekend, buddy.

  8. I love salad bars. I almost always get a big bowl of cottage cheese, garnished with some veggies, and topped with whatever “protein” items might be available. And I still add dressing. Some people just need to turn a salad bar into a party! (And anyway, life’s not worth living if you can’t eat what you want at the salad bar at the very least!)

  9. I agree with mamarific. Why put yourself through that grueling workout each week if you can’t have a few potatoes on your salad? And what’s life without ranch dressing, anyway?

  10. “He could snap my doughy body like a toothpick your grandpa’s been chewing all during the baseball game.” Hahaha! This post makes me miss spinning. I haven’t gone in awhile. Your teacher sounds fun and cool. My favorite instructor left our club, so now we only have “Techno Lady” and “Visualization Steve”, and neither of them is fun, or cool.

  11. No spin classes for me… just physiotherapy, a Schwinn Airdyne an option at best. Tuesday (for it is Wednesday now, I just can’t sleep) yesterday, however, one of my water fitness instructors was there. It was some years back, when I was doing physio at the gym, and she asked me to come join the class.

    It was a nice small class, for a time. I don’t do crowds. Instructors tend to be women. I… well, effeminate gay men I wouldn’t find motivating. Butchy gay men, well, that’s another matter. Oh, and you are probably getting more greens than me, and I do not judge your salad. At all. Trust the 380#, 6’1″ man.

  12. His salad sounds like hard work – isn’t eating celery supposed to burn more calories than it contains? – he might not have been thinking about your salad, but I would have been crying a little inside as I walked away 🙂

  13. Yum. Ranch dressing. I am right there with you, there is just as much lettuce in my salad as there is dressing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your instructor sounds great for class, but maybe not quite a party animal outside of it…I’m glad you stuck with your guns on this one.

    And on a related note, if he’s doing a gluten-free diet too, I must be doing something wrong because the amount of gluten-free salad dressing, cookies and pastries available in America today is incredible. I can gain just as much weight as a gluten-full person can! =)

  14. Is that the same guy who taught the class I took with you? He would have scared me enough to choose oil and vinegar instead of my usual blue cheese. I like that you licked your fingers – definitely a power move.

  15. There’s this salad from Pizzaria Unos. Their cobb salad. It is full of deliciousness. So, I get it every once in a while, thinking, “it’s a salad! It has lettuce, veggies, grilled chicken. Good for me, right?” Yeah, except for the cheese, bacon, avocado & blue cheese dressing on top. I was looking at nutritional info one day (I know, that was my first mistake) and saw that this particular salad has 880 calories and 66 grams of fat. Yeah. So, I don’t eat that salad so much any more. Or if I do, I don’t fool myself into thinking it’s “healthy.”

  16. Best. Metaphor. Ever. “I hesitated, but finally gripped that ranch dressing and poured it like it was organic Kombucha straight from the Baby Jesus.”

  17. Oh, how I long for group exercise classes… Someday…

    And don’t pour ranch on my head, but I’ve been eating salads dressing-free since prickbutt dropped the whole divorce bomb in my lap. But they do have bacon and seeds (pumpkin & sunflower), slivered almonds and sometimes crumbled blue cheese (if the twins haven’t eaten all of it). I call it my rainbow salad because I put chopped peppers, celery, zucchini, onions, carrots and cherry tomatoes on it — the it is about 4 cups of baby spinach, baby romaine, baby kale, and red cabbage. And I put Craisins on the top for sweetness. And now I’m wanting a salad — so much better than the PB and no J sandwich that I actually ate for lunch 🙂

  18. Hahahahaha this was fantastic. I don’t spin (for many of these reasons) but we’ve all had THAT person in our lives. Good for you that you weren’t afraid to own up to your ways. They’re your ways after all, not his.

  19. “I hesitated, but finally gripped that ranch dressing and poured it like it was organic Kombucha straight from the Baby Jesus.” <– GOLD. I heart you. Ps – Ellie Goulding is pretty damn good, I must admit. xox

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