Spinning is my favorite thing to do at the gym and Justin is my favorite spin instructor. He’s a willowy guy that was born without the ability to form a fat cell. It does no good to bemoan your weight to Justin. He truly does not get it. Justin is more concerned with your intestinal fortitude. What I’ve learned from Justin’s spin class is that determination comes before ability. If you can’t talk yourself through to the end of the class, well, who cares how fast you go?
I’ve developed a number of techniques for talking myself through — pretend to race the person on the bike beside me… pretend to be an Olympic athlete in training… pretend to be a covert operative in training a la Jason Bourne… if I’ve had a bad day, I tell off every person who made me mad. The possibilities are endless, really. Sometimes it’s a simple as planning what to eat when I’m done.
Last Friday we completed Stage 18 of the Tour de France. Justin is a big fan and we spend every July recreating each stage of the Tour. Here is how I made it through:
Justin: Good morning! Stage 18 today. 123 miles. We’ll have some climbs, jumps, a sprint to the end in Bordeaux. Watch for attacks from the middle pack. [OK, so Justin has a good imagination too.]
Me: Bordeaux? Wine! Which type of wine comes out of Bordeaux? Is it literally called Bordeaux? I need to know more about wine. Wait… attacks from the pack. Aw man, he’s going to make us sprint on a hill!
Add gear! We’re coming to our first hill. Power up! [Which means to stand with your hands in position 3, leaning over the handle bars.]
I thought we weren’t in the mountains today. Are we in the foothills? I wonder how many hills we are talking about?
Jumps for six minutes! Maintain control. DO NOT plop in the seat.
I’m hungry. Oh, it’s 9:45. Almost time for my 10 o’clock feeding.
Touch gear. Seated climb. PUSH IT.
Hate seated climbs. Hey, by the time I get back home it will be time for lunch. Tomato sandwich with Baked Cheetos. No, carrots. No, Cheetos. Carrots, definitely. With ranch.
Do not lose your momentum. Seated sprints. Do not lose your position!
I’m seriously hungry. I wonder if spin really does burn 500 calories. Feels like it, but probably not. Probably more like 300 calories. But if it did burn 500 calories I could have cake afterward!
Standing climb! Last hill before maintaining until to the end.
The chocolate cake slices at Harris Teeter are good. The icing is good. All rich and creamy.
Set it down. Stay in your climb. This hill isn’t over yet.
I can’t eat cake — good Lord! What is wrong with me?!
Let’s pick it up. Up! Position 2!
Oh, but I could eat brownies. Instead of a slice of cake, I could buy brownie mix. Brownies made with apple sauce are less fat and calories, so not as bad.
Jumps. Four on/four off. Power up!
I could put icing on the brownies! Chewy, moist brownies with icing. Holy moly.
Have a seat. Bring it in strong and steady. You should be hitting the high end of 20 to 27! If you aren’t, move it!
Wait, if I’m going to do that, I might as well buy a piece of cake. Piece of cake… pan of brownies. This is like that fixed rate/variable rate deal. One seems better but is worse in the long run. I can never remember which is which.
We’re coming down the last stretch! Don’t lose focus. Keep your cadence!
Is there pizza in the freezer?!?!
THE PACK IS ATTACKING! SPRINT! SPRINT! SPRINT!
Ugh. Those bastards!
Coming into Bordeaux. Hydrate tonight. Tomorrow we have time trials.
Definitely tomato sandwich and carrots. Yup. Definitely.