Lonnie Ballentine had plenty of motivation when he went for a one-hour spin workout at GRIT Cycle on Thursday morning.
It wasn't all about Mr. Irrelevant's thoughts of making the Houston Texans team. It was more about Orange County women turning into beasts on stationary bikes while music blared throughout what is called, "The Saddle Room."
"Those women though," Ballentine said. "They can put you to shame. I was thinking I was not going to let them outdo me."
Ballentine definitely held his own, as mostly everyone marveled that he wore a hoodie sweater during the entire workout.
"He did amazing," said Marisa Wayne, a GRIT owner who led the workout. "He had a hoodie on and I was thinking, 'when is he going to take it off? Do I need to turn the heat up?' It seemed like a light workout for him. But he said it was a lot more intense than he thought it would be."
Ballentine, the NFL Draft's final selection who is enjoying Newport Beach and Orange County during Irrelevant Week, called it a great workout.
But it wasn't all about building up leg strength or stamina. The riders, and GRIT, helped raise money for Irrelevant Week's charity: Southern California Special Olympics. Nearly $700 was raised, as GRIT offered "free rides" and donated the costs to the charity, just as they do once a week for a certain charity. Donations were also accepted.
The charity is close to Ballentine's heart, as his youngest of two daughters, Laila, was born Down syndrome.
That also motivated Ballentine. And the riders appeared inspired by Mr. Irrelevant and excited to work out with a pro athlete.
I needed inspiration during the workout because it was my first time. Even though I entered the room 15 minutes late, the workout was intense.
I could not keep up with the women who, unlike me, kept their bottoms off the seat and bounced in unison under Wayne's direction.
Not even Eminem's lyrics from "Till I Collapse" could motivate me, and they usually do. It was just a tough workout.
But Ballentine made it all look easy.
"It's like any sport you have to keep doing it a few times in order to get the rhythm," Wayne said to calm my fears. "You have to turn up the resistance each time."
Ballentine's day also included a visit at the NFL Network studio, where he was interviewed. He remained in the spotlight at night at the annual All-Star Lowsman Banquet at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.
Look for that story in Saturday's edition.