Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spin Cycle

Kim Watters here. So, last year we joined the YMCA. For the kids of course. They have a swimming pool, a climbing wall, racquetball courts, a teen center and joy of joy, summer camp. The kids have enjoyed every minute of it. I, of course, enjoyed every minute the kids were there.

Since it’s a family membership, the kids soon got smart. “Hey mom, why don’t you ever come to the Y?”

“Er, because I’m allergic to working out?”

“Really?” Miss Priss gave me a skeptical look.

“Chicken.” Mr. Sarcastic piped in. “Look here, it’s a list of classes they teach. How hard can it be?”

Okay, I’ve been bested by my kids. “You’re right. How hard can it be?”

I glanced at the sheet. Boxing. No way. Body Pump? Sounded exhausting. Body Flow? Hmm. Sounds better but I’ve never done Pilates. Zumba? Can’t dance. Not going there. Ever. Cycling? Sounded good. I used to bike as a kid, no problem. While my son enjoyed the teen center, “gasp” they have daycare for the “mini me”. Drat! I had no excuse now.

So the next time we went to the Y I got dolled up in my cute coordinated work out outfit and signed up for the class. I remembered to bring in a towel and water bottle even though I suspected I wouldn’t be needing it. I stepped inside and my heart dropped to my stomach and breathing became a chore. Sounds like a romance novel, right? Wrong. Those metal contraptions with wheels do not look like the exercise bikes of the past.

Fast forward to the pert, in shape instructor who has legs I can only dream about. “Okay, class, are you ready?”

I nod my head, trying to conserve energy. I have a feeling I was going to need it.

The class kicks me in the rear end. I huff, and I puff, and my backside goes numb. My thighs are worse than overcooked spaghetti noodles trying to hold up a meatball. And that’s in the first fifteen minutes.

Panting, I hang my head in shame. Spinning is much harder than it looks. So is writing.

I grimace each time I hear someone say they can write a book. Okay, so do it. Sit down in that chair and spill your characters guts and emotion. Sweat from places you never knew you could sweat from. Feel the pain and agony of a blank page or another rejection or another level in the bike. Learn and keep learning.

Will I let that class keep me from doing it again? No. The next week I’ll be back in the saddle again and will do much better the next time around. Did I let the last rejection keep me from writing? No. I put the e-mail behind me and started working on a different story that sold.

Because learning to ride a bike is a lot like writing. You start of with training wheels, go slowly and even fall a few times. Then you gain more confidence and you’re off and riding and writing. Maybe at the end, you’ll have a great set off legs and a polished manuscript ready for the editor’s desk. That’s my goal, so take it for what it’s worth.


  1. Kim -- You're right. Getting back in there and trying again is key to writing success -- and the success in other things as well. Thanks for your post.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Janet. :)


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