Anyone who has ever gone to a Spin class knows how brutal a workout it can be. Once you’ve mastered the ways of indoor cycling, there’s nothing more satisfying than channeling your rage into a routine. But when you’re just starting out—or trying to get back into Spin after a prolonged hiatus—it can be more than a little challenging. And terrifying. And exhilarating. And awful.

It’s all this and so much more.

1. Turning up to spin class like…

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Invincible.

2. The instructor suggests beginners take it easy.

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I, sir, am in extremely good shape.

3. Why does it feel as though everyone else knows the routine already?

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Did I miss the memo?

4. Yeah, leaving bed was definitely a mistake.

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I make bad choices.

5. Two minutes in and the sweat starts to pour.

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From every orifice.

6. Confidence wavers.

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What have I done?

7. Not the most comfortable thing I’ve ever ridden.

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Couldn’t they have made the seat softer?

8. I easily feel like the least sexy person in the room.

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When did I become so uncoordinated?

9. The instructor says, “We’re halfway through!”

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Only. half. way?!?!?!?!??!?!

10. Survival is the only option.

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Just try not to die, yeah?

11. Need. water.

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Why didn’t I bring more water?!

12. The seat does not get any better.

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My crotch, right now.

13. And the towel is soaked through.

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So. much. sweat.

14. When the instructor makes you increase the resistance again.

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You are now my enemy.

15. Everyone here is awful.

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EVERYONE.

16. The struggle is real.

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My needs might seem simple, but this class feels like it will never end.

17. When there’s just one more song left.

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Ahhhhhhh. Make it stop!

18. Getting off the bike with legs like Jell-O.

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Oh dear.

19. Doing the final stretches like…

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Angelic.

20. And post-exercise plans are in motion.

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I have achieved greatness!

21. This turned out to be a positive experience.

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I never doubted myself for a second. Same time next week?

Amy Mackelden is a weekend editor at ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Marie Claire. She’s written for Cosmopolitan, Bustle, Ravishly, The Independent, The Guardian, Hello Giggles, and Teen Vogue. She’s currently developing a show called MS Is My Boyfriend, about what multiple sclerosis is really like. Follow her on Twitter @AmyMackelden.