Friday, February 13, 2009

The Newbie

Back in August 2008, Amy and I joined the YMCA. We have enjoyed our membership and usually go to the Y each weekday morning and workout before work. I usually work out with weights and do a lot of the cardiovascular machines.

In November of 2008 we got real brave and decided to take a spinning (cycling) class. One of the guys that I have gotten to know began taking the class and suggested that we try it. He said that it was hard, but that it would really help us get in shape.

Amy had tried the class earlier at a different Y and said that she felt like she was going to pass out. That wasn’t too encouraging, but I had to try it.

Here are the basics of the class: There is an instructor that leads the class. The class lasts 45 minutes and it involves peddling the whole time on a stationary bicycle, sometimes standing up, sometimes sitting down. The resistance on bike changes according to the instructor’s instructions, making a quite difficult workout.

So, we show up and the instructor has to help us adjust the bikes for our size. Then he gives us a few pointers, and then we start. It’s pretty obvious that we don’t know what we are doing. We’re looking around, trying to follow what everyone else is doing, trying to not look out of place. There are times that we have to sit back in the saddle (seat) when everyone else is still up because it hurts too bad. We endure it, and make it through the class without passing out.

Since that day in November, Amy and I have been regulars in the early morning spinning class. It is usually the same group of people, and we’ve gotten to know each other. In fact, we all know “whose bike is whose” since we tend to go to the same bike each time. We continue stories from the previous class, as well as push each other during the workout. It’s a good group of people.

Well, just a few days ago, a new person came to class that had never been to a spinning class before. He had to be taught how to adjust the bike, how to get on, and all of the basics. He didn’t know when to get out of the saddle, and couldn’t do it for long at all. In fact, several times the instructor seemed to ease up on the work out so the newbie could make it and not pass out. And to top it all off, the newbie had taken a bike of one of the regulars.

So what do you think the response of the regulars was to the newbie? I mean, the newbie cost someone their regular bike, the routine of the class was messed up, the workout was less to make allowance for him. The entire class – encouraged him! One person offered their seat pad (the bike seats are hard!). Those around him offered pointers on technique to make spinning easier. Everyone clapped and congratulated him when the class was over!

As the Body of Christ, we need to “work out” ourselves, but always keeping the eye out for the newbie in the journey of following Christ and encourage. We need to make sure that we are not in our “own little group” and ignore the person who is trying to figure it all out. We all were new once. In fact, we need to be inviting our friends and family to embark on the journey of following Christ. May we connect with God . . . and each other.

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