Mind games while exercising

Spinning class kills me. 

Years ago, I went to spinning classes regularly with a friend.  Somehow sweating and laughing together made the whole thing easier.  Either that, or I was just younger and in better condition.  This week I tried a spinning class again and wanted to tuck my tail between my legs and sneak out to gasp for air somewhere in private.  I had to play mind games with myself to get through it.

10 minutes into the hour-long class, my thighs burned and I was panting.  Not a good sign.  I know that clock was set at super-slow mode because it just wasn’t moving!  I told myself if I could just make it to 30 minutes, then I’d leave.  Hey, a half hour workout isn’t bad.  At about 25 minutes, one of the other super-fit looking fellows called out, “This is a half hour class, right?”  He was laughing, which means he had more air than me at the time.  The whole class laughed and chuckled at what a silly idea that was and continued spinning.  Well, clearly I couldn’t leave at half an hour now!  Not with any shred of dignity at least. 

Just then, the instructor started a new round of stand-up-on-your-bike-now-sit-downs (there may be a better term for that).  So I told myself I’d stay for this series, then leave quietly.  That series lasted until 40 minutes in.  So I told myself I’d leave at 45 minutes.  Nice round figure.  At 45 minutes, I said, “You know, I’m just 5 or 10 minutes from cool down.  I can last that long…” 

Minute by minute I tricked myself into exercising a little longer.  I made it the whole hour!  Woo hoo!  Yay me!

The problem is, my brain is starting to catch on.  How do I trick myself into going back?

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