Prayer Lessons in Spin Class

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Michael Rossmann, SJ, took up spinning to keep in shape during the winter. He lists 11 lessons he relearned while he rode his stationary bike. Number 3:

It’s important to push through to the very end. . . . Ignatius instructs those going through the Exercises to pray for an hour at a time and to make sure we spend the full hour in prayer. He even goes out of his way to note that “the enemy of our human nature” will tempt us to shorten the time we had set aside for prayer. It’s the same in spin. It is tempting to relax during the bit of silence between the end of one song and the start of another, but instructors push us to keep up the intensity of the workout and in so doing they keep us moving through the lulls to the very end.

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Jim Manney
Jim Manney is the author of highly praised popular books on Ignatian spirituality, including A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer (about the Daily Examen) and God Finds Us (about the Spiritual Exercises). He is the compiler/editor of An Ignatian Book of Days. His latest book is What Matters Most and Why. He and his wife live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


  1. This article is just so well done. Perfect analogies, along with good humor and insight. Love the idea of an exercise class bringing us to appreciate each other ( in community) and in the long*spin* helping us to see God more clearly. Kudos to Michael Rossman.

  2. Thank you Lynda. I recently started riding a stationary bike as one my exercises at the gym. At first I hated it. I had to push myself to get a good workout, and I didn’t like pushing myself. I was uncomfortable on the seat. And it was boring–very boring. But I kept it up and now I like it. I don’t exactly love it yet, but that might come. My lesson: don’t bail out on new things too quickly.


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