Chicago Trip!

March 2, 2014

Today’s Finish Line is the Leaning Tower YMCA in Niles, IL.

Leaning Tower YMCA

I was headed down to Chicago to visit a very good friend of mine from grad school, Renee, and so I again opted to try a new YMCA rather than workout at my own and then drive to Chicago.  A bit of internet searching and I found this YMCA only a few miles from Renee’s place, AND they had a spin class at 9am. Renee and I were meeting at noon, so that was perfect.

The Leaning Tower YMCA looks like a high-rise building – I nearly missed it at first, in fact. And it’s seen better days, but it was fine.  It was also, I’m guessing, a retro-fit, because the layout was very weird and a bit of a maze. I did what I always do at a new YMCA  – look pathetic and innocent and hope someone takes pity on you and tells you where to go. It worked.

The room the spin class was in was a multipurpose room, and so the spin bikes are stored against the wall.

Leaning Tower Spin Bikes

I walked in and everyone was literally grabbing a bike and rolling it into the middle of the room. Well, when in Rome….so I grabbed one of the last bikes and dragged it to the first row, since the spots in the back were  already taken:

Leaning Tower First Bike

It’s ironic that I just posted about spinning to a video, because the instructor used the very same type videos for the class, as you can see above. AND I was super excited that they were Livestrong Matrix bikes – my usual spin bike, so I could drop the pathetic and innocent act – I was in business!

I had just finished setting up my bike when the instructor announced to the class that the woman behind me had a bike with broken toe clips (which you need to spin with regular running shoes, which she had) and was wondering if someone with clipless shoes would switch with her. A quick glance around the room confirmed my clipless shoes and I were in a significant minority, so I volunteered and moved back.

Leaning Tower Screen

The instructor thanked me and then said “I’m going to help her set up her bike – you look like you know what you’re doing.” Totally awesome compliment – I was thrilled!

She used her own music sound track, and it was great! We spun for 50 minutes, and the last 5 she said “lets go home! And the video switched to riding down Lakshore Drive in Chicago. I thought it was a nice touch.  Then she had us haul our bikes back to the wall and was starting to do some static stretching, but I didn’t want to do that or cool down too much, so I politely thanked her for a good class and snuck out to do my 30 minute brick run on a treadmill upstairs.

Now by this time I already asked myself where the heck the towels were many times. I dripped and dripped during spin class. Most of they time, YMCAs just have them for free, so I never bother to pack one. But I really would need one for showering, so I gave up and asked an employee in the fitness center who pretty much turned up her nose as she said “You have to have paid for towel service.” Geesh, good to know, princess. So, I walked my sweaty, disgusting self back to the front desk, where I was told, much more nicely, they charge a dollar for towels. Which was totally fine, but my wallet was all way through maze of the building in the locker room…

Quick! Look pathetic and innocent! “Yes, well, see, I’m from out of town and I didn’t know, and…

AND…no only did I get my free towel, but I got one fresh out of dryer. Oh, I was a happy little triathlete all right!!! :)

Then I met up with Renee at her place. I immediatey made a new friend, in the form her her boston terrier Bo:

Bo and I 4

Fetch please?

Bo 6

Just kidding! I want tug of war:     Bo 2

My friend Renee and I had a great time catching up:

Teresa Renee 1

What a great trip!!! Thanks Renee!!!

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