Spinning class : exercise :: semester at UIC : life

“OK class! Let’s start out slow! Just start peddling! Difficulty level should be at about a 5 out of 10!” yells the already-sweaty-because-this-is-her-third-spinning-class-today woman up front with the microphone.

It’s like the first few weeks of school, when you ease into studying after a crazy and lazy (but short if you have a summer semester) summer break.  You’re not thinking about the big projects, the papers. You’re thinking about how fun it is to learn!

“Now we’re gonna start off with a gradual hill.  We’ll take forty seconds at each level, and go all the way up to 10. It should hurt by the end, but you’re not dying!”

The first few tests and quizzes roll by. The first big assignment hits.  You pull your first all-nighter of the semester. It’s fine!  You can sleep it off the next night, because THINGS ARE UNDER CONTROL.

“Okayyyy, turn it back down to 5 and grab some water, catch your breath.”  The song switches to “You Can’t Hurry Love,” by the Supremes.

A lull in assignments, weekends are spent doing some work, catching up on The Office, baking cookies and attending the neighborhood block party.

“AlRIGHT! Consecutive 30 second sprints! Give it your all!!!”


“Keep it up at level 7, keep peddling those legs, you want it to hurt!” You look at the clock- you’re over half way through the class but you feel like you’re ready for the last five—the slowing down and stretching part.

This is like weeks 9 through 14- constant assignments due, and you’re thinking about how far away winter break seems but how vaguely excited you are for it.

“Keeeeeeeeeeep pushing! C’mon! You OWN it! You can’t improve unless you push yourself!!!” A heavy metal song pumps in the background. You usually hate heavy metal, but you’re actually enjoying the angry “De ner ner ner nerrr” sounds. It’s right for the moment.

Last two weeks of class, and things are not quite coming together yet.

And then there’s the last hill.  The one where you start to feel sick to your stomach.  Where you take the last swig of water in the water bottle, and it turns out to be just one drop.  Your mind is playing tricks on you, saying “you can’t finish” and “I’m dyyyinggg!” And right when you think you’re going to collapse…

You’re DONE!  And you can cool down, go home and eat some home cookin’.

Picutre of author

About Claire Shapleigh, Biomedical Visualization

Hi, my name is Claire and I'm in my second year of the Biomedical Visualization MS program at UIC. It's a combination of art and science, and it's pretty fun. So far I've dissected a human body and learned how to draw in 2D using a computer AND my hand, and I'm about to learn how to 3D model. Holler at me if you have any questions about the program!

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