A Facebook private message to me: It’s Eric’s birthday. We’re going to Appalachian Brewing Company after spin. This was waiting yesterday morning when I woke up. I messaged Lisa the night before looking for Eric’s cell number. As one of my first actions as a mountain bike coach, I’m setting up a spin class as something fun and bikey for the kids to do in the off-season. Bikey is the important part. They’re already having fun. On Sunday, the team is meeting up for an afternoon of paintball. Plenty of fun, but not as fun as spin. Eric is going to be the instructor.
Some of you already know this, if so, skip ahead. For six years, I was a spin instructor. I worked at the Y as a finance manager. As a side gig, two mornings each week, I taught a spin class. As a job, it was pretty useless. I earned nine dollars per class, and I probably spent half of that on music. But as a hobby and a component of my fitness regime, it was the highlight of my week. Being a spin instructor served as my identity. I was a badass. I was ripped in a no-body-fat sort of way. I loved putting together challenging workouts. And I loved selecting the music.
I quit instructing classes a couple of years ago. It ended badly. I’d moved on from my day job at the Y. I switched my spin class to evenings. It was summer. People weren’t showing up—they were riding outdoors instead. And I was depressed—drowning under the oppression of a crappy work situation. I ghosted the class—I walked out one night when no one came, and I never went back. The only up-side was I turned the experience into a pretty good blog post: A most unusual resignation letter.
Ghost. I learned that word last week. Ghosting is breaking off a relationship by stopping all communication and contact without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring all attempts by the other party to reach out or communicate. Yes, I know that you know what ghosting is. I didn’t. I hear lots of hip new terms I don’t understand. Dox, Gaslight, Shade, Fetch—where do these come from? What do they mean? I read a blog post on Conversations About Autism that explains ghosting. I finally got it.
The blog post was timely. I just got ghosted… bad. I needed a clever word to help me understand what happened. As I was setting up this spin thing for the kids, I lined up the instructor, he seemed excited to participate. I rented the room. I spread the word to the kids and coaches. Everything was set. “Spin is here,” I said. And then my instructor fell off the face of the earth. It’s been a couple of weeks, I emailed him several times, I never heard back. I hope he’s OK. I lined up Eric, instead. He’s going to instruct the class.
Eric, “Big Rider E,” is a better choice. He’s weird, says inappropriate things and plays a lot of heavy metal. I think the kids will love him. I always have.
Back to my Facebook message: Yesterday was Eric’s birthday. After his 6:30 spin class, the group planned to take him out for a beer. I haven’t seen these people since I ghosted the Y. I haven’t taken a spin class either. In several blog posts recently, I’ve made a big deal about trying to restart a social life. I’ve suggested that things magically seem to be falling into place. Lisa’s invite was more evidence that this is true. Seeing it as a sign from the universe, I decided to go out for the night.
Here’s some things I learned:
- Oh, I do have friends.
- I’m in better shape than I thought.
- ABCs bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers are way spicier than I can handle.
- If you want to soar with the eagles in the morning, you can’t hoot with the owls all night. I felt like crap today.
- Socializing can be fun.
I’m not sure what’s going on. I know it’s best to not to analyze it. I should just go with the momentum that seems to be building in my life. I feel more connected to the world. I’m in a better mood. I’m happier. Tomorrow, I have a day off work. I’m going to run and write. I hope the sun comes out. Life is good.