Getting High

Everyone talks about that awesome, unbeatable runner’s high that you got from an especially long/fast/encouraging run.

I rode my National Half Marathon high for weeks.

People don’t really talk much about other kinds of fitness highs though.

Note: I wish I had thought to write this post on 4/20. Silly me for not having the stoner brain to think of that sooner.

I think that a spinner’s high is just as effective and intense — though completely different — as a runner’s high.

Every Wednesday I avoid making post-work social plans. If I absolutely have to make plans, I make them for 7:30 pm or later.

Wednesday = my favorite spinning class.

Wednesday = my favorite day of the week because of that class.

It’s a do-not-miss.

I love this class for a few reasons:

  1. The instructor, Matt, is unbelievable. He motivates me like few people can. Sometimes I think he’s inside my brain and knows just what to say to get my legs pumping. At the end of class he almost always tells us, “What you just did isn’t easy! I know many people who wouldn’t even step foot in this room.” His cute smile doesn’t hurt, either.
  2. The music is great. Sometimes we warm up to something from “Glee.” Sometimes there’s a remix that involves Lady Gaga. Toward the end there’s almost always a slow song played during a painfully long hill climb. One week, just days after the breakup, he played Adele’s “Someone Like You” and I burst into tears on the bike. Luckily my sweat masked the tears. I hope? A week after the breakup, when I had convinced myself that I was worthless, he played Pink’s “F**kin’ Perfect” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” I think he gets me somehow.
  3. I have buddies in class. CJ (I know you’re reading this — hi!) always comes to class and almost always sits next to me. It’s nice having that extra bit of motivation to get to class and it’s fun having someone to chat with before class gets going.
  4. The energy is palpable. Seriously, the people who come to take this class work hard. They scream, they shout, they cheer and they make weird grunting noise. I love it. No one is there to slack off.

After tonight’s class I was sweatier than ever. I walked out of the gym into the warm NYC air feeling like I was floating. I worked hard. I felt good.

I totally got high on spinning.

Don’t worry, Mom. It’s legal.

Other awesome things happened on my way home tonight…

I love New York.

Also, spotted on my block, the latest etchings of Señor De La Vega, chalk artist extraordinaire:

OK so there’s an extra “L” in there, but this note may as well be written for me, especially since it’s right on my block. “Your mind has the amazing ability to organize chaos.” Heck yeah.

Dinner tonight was homemade pizza.

Dessert tonight was 16 Handles — eaten way too fast for me to take a photo. Sorry. You should have expected that, though.

And for those who have been asking, no, I didn’t get into the NYC Marathon today via the much-anticipated lottery. That’s OK, though. One marathon this year should be plenty! Plus, spectating the marathon is a blast in itself!

Speaking of marathon things, tomorrow is my first meeting with Coach Cane! I can’t wait!

Lastly, thank you for all the great feedback on compression socks. Obviously I plan on buying a pair ASAP.

In lime green, of course.

NOW LET’S TALK: What gets you high? If the answer is drugs, that’s fine. But I’m thinking more along the lines of a certain exercise, a delicious food, a chat with an old friend, a hug from a cute grandmother (or puppy), etc.



0 Responses

  1. my selfish self (which, who am i kidding is just myself all the time) is secretly excited you will be spectating the marathon IF i get in.

    and im coming to NYC on a wednesday so I can experience this spin class.

  2. Your class description made me really really REALLY want to spin – man, i really need to start trying more spin teachers.

  3. Matt’s class looks awesome. . I keep on reading about it on here but have yet to try it. I took a peak at it yesterday when i was leaving Crunch and he just seemed so into it. Any other classes that are a must do there?

    1. Matt’s class is definitely my favorite! I also love Melinda’s spin class on Mondays and Shana’s on Tuesdays. All very different energies but all really fun! Let me know if you’re going to try one out sometime!

  4. Unless a run is actually bad, I almost always feel some kind of runners high. It’s elevated after a great interval or tempo workout, and even more so after a long run/race. I am absolutely addicted to that feeling.

  5. You got me so excited by this title! A bit of a letdown, this post.

    Kidding, kidding. I know exactly how you feel. That is the same way I feel after my favorite Core Fusion Yoga when Kayleigh teaches. That is my not-miss class and I am always on cloud 9 after it. I also feel this way after some Core Fusion, Core Fusion Cardio and Refine Method classes. But Kayleigh’s CF Yoga is the most consistent feeling.

  6. The best part about sitting on the bike next to you is at the end of class when we look at each other and make the “omg this class was freaking hard but we totally pushed through it” look.


  7. I feel the same way about my spin instructor Nikki, she always gets into my mind and plays exactly what I need. I never miss Thursday night spin.

    Spin is just effective for me as running it is different, definitely, but I really do love it!!

  8. Running is totally my “high”, as well as any intense workout that leaves me knowing I really got into it and pushed myself and at the end feel totally spent. I think every run leaves me feeling good afterward, for at least most of the day, but some runs are particularly awesome – where things just feel so easy and I feel like I could run forever. I wish there was a way to control when I was going to have one of those awesome days 🙂
    Love your description of the spin class – I think it’s cool to reflect on what you like about it and what motivates you, because that will keep you going back again and again! Instructors can be so powerful in setting the tone for a workout.

  9. I teach high school English, so I get a huge high when one of my sophomores connects with something we’re reading. Sometimes a kid will raise his hand, ask a deep, insightful question about the novel (usually a dense text like Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird), and we’ll discuss it.

    My heart surges, and I’m floating. And I didn’t have to shell out a cent or find some back-alley dealer. Win-win.

  10. I completely agree with you on the spinners high! I used to be a runner and then I developed some hip issues that kept me from pounding the pavement every day. I turned to spinning which turned me into a road cyclist and the high I get off of that is like no other. It may even top running!

  11. A great run can get me feeling high. It is always so awesome.. because I am working for the high – sometimes it is harder to get there then others.. but suddenly it hits, and I feel like I can go on forever.
    I also get a high when I see a light bulb go off in one of my students’ heads… like an “a-ha” moment. It makes me feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do – and I love when something suddenly just makes sense to a child! 🙂

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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