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Out for a Spin With Kari Mozena

Last month I took a tip from the magazine and meditated at the Hammer Museum and practiced some Mindfulness. Not for nothing, I thought I was pretty good at it. I can sit still for a very long time and not move a muscle. I’m what you might call a natural. This month I was asked to check out “the new Spin place.” Yeeeeeesh. I’m not a big fan of getting on a bike and pedaling to nowhere, egged on by peppy music. Still, I looked down at my expanding belly and said I would accept the assignment. I was gung-ho: exercise here I come! Then, as quickly as I worked myself up for my bike ride, I began to drag my feet. My editor gave me a nudge to see when I was actually going to go play ping pong. “Ping pong?” I cried. I thought I was supposed to go to a night spinning class. Turns out SpinLA is Susan Sarandon and Jonathan Bricklin’s ping pong club at The Standard Downtown. Tricky name, Sarandon.

The night I went they were having an “Under 30” to-do (a promo told me to “bring your sweatbands.”) I don’t own any (and I’m not under 30) but I show up anyway. Everyone was dressed like Ritchie Tenenbaum (aka Luke Wilson’s character in The Royal Tenenbaums) and one guy looked like Hawkeye on M*A*S*H*. It was early (this place is open until 2 a.m.) so not too many people were playing. A couple that appeared to be on their first date (they were so uncomfortable) was having a drink by the bar. I was by myself so I figured I’d just hop in somewhere. After a while, a guy motioned to me with his paddle when the other fella he was playing with hit the bar for a drink (and to chat up a gal who just walked in). I can’t really play but I had been watching him and he didn’t seem that hardcore. I’ve got to say, it makes you smile—the outfits and the clickity-clack of the balls and the music. The booze doesn’t hurt either. It’s fun without being super competitive and serious (although maybe it is more competitive on other nights). After about a half hour though I had had enough and was actually working up a sweat. Thankfully for me, the friend struck out with the bird at the bar and my pinch-hitting was no longer required.