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.