Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What Are You Doing?

The new girl in the spin class isn't really named Mickey. I'm just calling her that for this post.

She first attended last Friday, when Derek's wife Christie teaches. Christie helped her set up her bike so the seat was the right height and the right distance from the handlebars, and the handlebars were at a comfortable height.

Christie said, "Now, remember, since this is your first time, if you get tired or uncomfortable or just need a drink, feel free to go to the back of the room and get a drink, or walk around to stretch your legs."

Mickey nodded and made it through her first spin class. And when she came in on Monday, with Derek teaching, she got herself set up on a bike without any help and got started. And when she needed a break, she went to the back of the room and got a drink and started to get a paper towel wet, since she'd forgotten to bring a regular towel for herself, when she, and all the rest of us, heard:

"Mickey, what do you think you're doing?"

She jumped, looked up, and said, "Um, I'm getting some water?"

"You get back on your bike and keep pedaling! Who told you that you could go get some water? Water isn't going to help you! You need to exercise some discipline!"

Mickey finished getting the paper towel wet, got back on her bike, and smiled at the rest of us, who were smiling encouragingly at her.

After the cool-down, as he started us on our stretches, Derek said, "So, Mickey, now you've had one spin class with Joyce and one with me. So, no pressure now, which one do you like more?"

Mickey said, "Not Joyce. Your wife." We all laughed with her and Derek.

"Ah," he said. "My awesome wife, Christie. Even better. So, no pressure now, which one do you like better, as a spin teacher, me or my wife?"

"Oh, I like your wife WAY better," she said, to approving laughter.

"And why is that?"

"She's WAY less scary."

Which made everyone's morning.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Training: Ferrari Pit Crew

Thanks to Laura for pointing out that every activity requires training. She told me about this great video, showing a Ferrari pit crew for a Formula One race car: 

And here's a whole article with a couple of clips showing this great teamwork, including the whole process in slow motion.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Yes, It's True

So, Laura, in response to your question, yes, it's true that sometimes I'm not trying hard enough. One thing I've done in every spin class I've ever taken is zone out.

Yeah, I know it sounds weird to read that--- as if it's unusual! It's not, as everyone who knows me will acknowledge. I zone out all the time, and sometimes at the most inappropriate times.

(Case in point: my wedding: Bishop Jensen looks at me, so I say "I do," and then he finishes that whole thing about promising to love and honor and so forth and so on. Oops. He looks at me again, and nods, so the blushing bride blushes even redder and says "I do" again.)

Anyway, I know those comments about not trying hard enough are sometimes directed at me. In fact, sometimes Derek looks right at me when he makes some of those comments. So I start paying attention and pick up my pace. I don't mind because it helps me.

I should have a new gadget here with some of the other spin teachers' motivational comments. They're very different from Derek's and from each others' and they work better for some people, of course, but the direct approach works best for me.

And I think you should get back to teaching those classes, and just go ahead yell at those people. "Come on, you slackers!" Because, really, why are they going to the classes if they don't want to get better and reach their fitness goals? And so why should they resent someone reminding them of that?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More Motivation for Training

I've just added a few more of Derek's sayings (in the "gadget" on the right side of this page).

One of my favorite ones is this:

"Your feelings do not matter. Your feelings do not produce success. So focus on what does produce success. Suck it up and drive on. Hammer it out."

This goes along with something he told me once when I was struggling to reach what I thought should be the next step in my training progress:

"Instead of thinking about how bad you hurt, or how tired you are, or whatever things are dragging you down, think about the positive. Think about the reasons you're doing this. Focus on how you're going to succeed. Focus on the good things you'll accomplish."

That advice helped me then, and I'm using it to help me again now, as I'm re-focusing and re-committing to my training.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Amazing Figure Skating

I can't find the actual video on YouTube---just a bunch of stills so far---but check them out, and then the video on NBC:

He earned 101.45 points---the highest ever recorded for an Olympics male figure skating short program.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Vulgarity at the Gym

This morning I went to the 9:15 am spin class, taught by Stacey. What a great class! Not as good as Derek's classes but I learned some new things about making my riding better and I got some really good sweaty exercise and wore myself out.

Then I went to the steam room, intending to stay there my usual 10 minutes before going to the sauna.

There were two middle-aged men in there already. They kept talking and didn't look up as I went in and sat at the other corner.

Usually I can ignore other people's conversations in the steam and sauna rooms, just tune them out by thinking my own thoughts. And when I can't, it's usually because I'm enjoying listening to them, and sometimes I even join in.

But this conversation I couldn't tune out or ignore because one of the guys seemed incapable of finishing a sentence without using a variety of vulgar words that I don't want to write here because I want people to enjoy reading this without being offended.

And this conversation WAS offensive. Finally I got up and went to the door. I paused and smiled at the men. They stopped talking and looked up and smiled back at me. I said, "Sometimes I'm in here when teenagers come in and talk like that, and I really hate it. And I have to admit, I hate it when I hear you guys talking like that, too. I mean, it's not like I've never heard those words before, or like I've never said them myself. But it just doesn't sound good."

I smiled the whole time, and the guy who had been using most of the vulgar words looked up at me like he was going to say something. But I didn't want to say any more or hear any more. I just kept smiling as I walked out. I didn't feel angry, and I don't think I projected anger. I just felt dirty and icky from hearing those words used so casually, yet loudly, as if (like the teenage boys) the man was trying to show how cool he was.

So, here's my question. Was there a better way to handle that? Should I not have said anything at all? What do you think?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fighting Cancer with the Huntsman 140

Oh, by the way, did I mention that you can help me and the rest of Team Sandra by donating?

We've each committed to raising $500 for the Huntsman Cancer Institute ---  all of which will go to actual cancer research, none of it for overhead, etc.

Here's my donation page. And here's the whole Team Sandra page.

Also, we're going to have some other people join our team who won't be raising money but riding with us for part of the 140 miles, or volunteering to help out at some of the aid stations.

So, if you don't want to ride 140 miles in the Utah desert on the longest and almost-hottest day of the year, but you want to help out, maybe you'd like to join those people.

We'd love to have you!

Motivation for Training (The Sayings of Derek)

I've just added a "gadget" (the column to the right of the regular posts) to this blog with some of my favorite sayings of Derek Soanka, who has been my trainer since January 2013.

I met him when I attended my third cycling class ever, at the 24-Hour Fitness club at Tech Center in Vancouver.

I had committed to ride with my sisters Neva and Laura the following June, and I was nowhere near ready.  I'd gone to a couple of cycling classes and one body pump class at the gym, and I knew only one thing about preparing for that bike ride: I had no idea how to do it.

Derek was subbing for the regular teacher that day. He began the class by saying, "I know you're used to [that teacher's name], and she has no standards and no discipline. But that’s okay, because with me you’re going to get both."

By the end of that class, I knew he was the person who could help me prepare get ready for the Huntsman 140. I gathered up my courage to talk to him. I said, "I'm going to ride a bike 140 miles in the Utah desert in June, and I need help." He said, "I think I can help you with that." He took my phone number and called me later, and we set up my first training appointment.

He got me to make a commitment: cycling class at 5:30 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, plus training sessions with him. Ever since then, twice a week whenever I can, and once a week at the very least least, I've been trusting him with my training.

He takes the training seriously, even though he makes it fun (and he has a great sense of humor**). That's part of the motivation, after all. Another motivation is getting results: I've gone from not making it through even a one-minute "out-of-saddle" segment of a cycling class to being able to keep up most of the time, through most of the classes. And when I slow down, when I don't try my hardest, there's no excuse, is there. 

I'll keep adding more sayings as I think of them. Do they motivate you? They work for me!

**Here's something he said in a recent cycling class, as the song "Heaven" by Bryan Adams was playing: "I just love this song. It’s almost like heaven. And if you close your eyes and hold your breath long enough, you’ll be in heaven, too. And, don't worry, I know CPR."

Monday, February 10, 2014

Slopestyle Snowboarding: Sochi

These two Americans won the first-ever gold medals in the brand-new Winter Olympics sport of slopestyle snowboarding.

(Photo from NBC Today)
Right, so I'm training for a 140-mile bike ride, and these "kids" are doing 1440-degree rotations, with corks (?), in the air, on their snowboards. But this is still about training.

If you don't believe me, just check out this NY Times article, complete with video of Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, showing how it's done.

That takes training! I'm so impressed, I couldn't help but add this to my Training blog.

Training for the 2014 Huntsman 140

Thanks to Ellen's idea of making a blog just about training, I'm starting one for myself, here.

I'd already made, weeks ago, a calendar with training activities for every day. And I'd already signed up for two events which I'll regard as super-training exercises: the Spring Classic Duathlon on March 29, on Marine Drive in Portland; and the Hop Hop Half Marathon on April 19, also on Marine Drive.

And I'm planning to ride my bike in three long bicycle events in spring and early summer:

Ride Around Clark County, Reach the Beach, and the Pioneer Century. 

Mostly in this blog I think I'll be writing about the day-to-day activities that I'll be doing to prepare.

I think I should write about how I'm changing my eating habits, too.