As we made our way back to campus just over a month ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My life had not felt normal since mid-march when I left Tulane. One of the ways I had managed to stay sane was exercising every day, but I didn’t know how I was going to be able to do that back on campus. We are lucky to have Audubon within walking distance, but one can only stress-walk that loop so many times.

When The Reily Center finally opened, I didn’t know if I would feel safe going. Although it is confirmed that COVID-19 is airborne, we as a country still don’t really have a grasp on how the disease is transmitted. With a bit of hesitation, I signed up for a time slot to attend a spin class. One of my close friends, sophomore Sarah Yue, is an instructor at Reily and teaches cycling twice a week. I knew she would be responsible and do her best to ensure a safe environment. After really enjoying my first class and continuing to attend for the weeks following, I sat down with Sarah to talk to her about what teaching an exercise class in a pandemic is like.

Sarah began her spin journey back in her hometown, Virginia Beach, VA. After attending a session at a cycle bar opened by family friends, she was hooked. Nearly 100 classes later, Sarah took a chance on the spin classes offered here at Reily. I attended my first Reily class at her request, and after just one hour long session, I was impressed. She hit every beat, incorporated her own choreography, and never seemed to lose her stride. The instructor approached Sarah after class, recommending that she take the spin certification course being offered the following month. Fast forward about 6 months, Sarah is certified, leading her own classes, and never uses the same playlist twice. She puts her heart and soul into making the 60 minutes that we’re in class meaningful. Mask aside, I cannot recommend this class enough. 

Walking into the studio, the bikes are clearly spaced out by at least 6 feet. Everyone is masked up, and the only time they come off is to take a quick swig of water between songs. Sarah also wears her mask, as well as a mic to make sure we can hear her over the music. I like to compare the vibe of the next hour to a covid-safe, sober version of the boot. The bass is pumping, your face (and the rest of your body) is dripping in sweat, and your mind is completely clear. Then, when class ends, you wipe down your bike, wave from a distance to thank Sarah, and go about the rest of your day.

It could be really difficult to conjure up the motivation to exercise during a pandemic, and there are plenty of days that I don’t do anything more than take a walk to go find food or call my mom. On the days that you do feel energetic enough to squeeze into a sports bra and some leggings (or whatever you feel comfortable working out in!), I definitely recommend trying out one of Sarah’s classes. Download the IMleagues app, register for your gym slot, and get spinning!