Sunday, February 19, 2006

The bike nazi

My sister-in-law and I have been doing a spinning class at the local Y over the past couple of months. It's a real masochists party -- the class starts at 5:45 (am) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and it's been hard to commit to killing yourself physically three times a week when you're barely awake.

The class has different instructors on each day, and we pretty quickly stopped doing the Monday morning one because the instructor was so annoying. He chose terrible music. He would try to say encouraging things to keep everyone motivated, but it all came out wrong -- he had no sense of rythm or pacing, and would just kind of yell "Whoo!" and "yeah, baby!" at odd intervals. And he always had his eyes squinched closed as if he was embarassed to be there and didn't want to look at the folks who had gotten up at the crack of dawn (before it, really) to be there. Finally one morning as we were leaving I said "you know, I just keep thinking he must be really terrible in bed" and my SIL said "Oh, my God, I was thinking the same thing!" That was the kiss of death for that class -- if we had gone again we would have been casting sidelong glances at each other and trying not to laugh with every "Oh, yeah!" from the guy. It was weird -- I am not the kind to think such things about people. I don't go around mentally sizing people up in that way (so to speak). So the fact that it even entered my head was -- different.

Anyway, the Wednesday class I never made much of an effort to get to. I work 11a to 7p now on Wednesdays, so it was easier to sleep a little later, then just hit the treadmill before I went to work.

But we've both become devoted attendees of the Friday class. At the beginning, we were convinced the instructor was ex-military. He'd tell us to pace ourselves and back off the resistance on the bike if we needed too, then in the midst of some really hard interval we'd get "Come on, people! Is that all you've got? What did you get up for this morning?!" He'd actually walk around the class and touch the front wheel of our bikes to see how hot they were getting to judge the resistance we were using.

Who needs it, right? Then why are we still going to this class? The music is awesome -- he'll have some swampy blues remixes, a ton of surf guitar stuff, some techno stuff, a really quirky mix. I always have to come home and give J a music report for the morning. I told J sometime he's going to have to go to the class and hang out in the back to hear it. I don't want him trying to do the class -- I don't want to lose him just yet. (We finish up and I feel like I'm going to puke, pass out, or both. Guess I'm not pacing myself well enough.) And this guy really uses the music too -- he puts together a different mix for each class, with different tempos and moods depending on what we're going to be doing.

Part of why we're still going is the high expectations. It's like the teacher you had in high school who had the reputation of being really tough, but you always looked forward to the class because you knew how much you were getting out of it.

And part of it is we're afraid that if we miss a class, when we go back the next week we're really going to leave our guts on the floor. I wonder how long I'll stick it out. As the January crowds thin out, there's a lot more open treadmills at 6 am, and they look pretty appealing some mornings... And I want to run a 5K in under 30 minutes this year -- I'll have to put more time in on the treadmills if I want to do that. But even just doing this class once a week, I notice the difference it makes when I do get on the treadmill. I know I'll be there at least untill the weather gets good -- then I'll be outside whenever I can.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

At a loss...

I'm completely and utterly consumed by work right now, but I don't feel like I can talk about it. Yet, I feel like I have very little to say outside of what I'm focused on at work. Boy, I thought I was queen of inappropriate dinner conversation when I worked at the birth center -- now it's a thousand times worse. Shall I tell you about my first time diagnosing and treating an initial herpes outbreak (then 2 patients later diagnosing and treating my first genital warts outbreak)? I really don't want to make people squirm and run the other way. Maybe I'll just talk about what I've been reading lately...

Now I Can Die in Peace : How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank, and the 2004 Red Sox

Yes, I'm still reading about 2004. I know it's pathetic. But I have to do something to pass the time until spring training starts!

This was just a collection of columns from, repackaged to make some money. Didn't even pretend to go beyond that. It didn't mak
e money directly from me, though -- I picked it up from the library. There must be a lot of local Sox fans, because they seem to pick up all the new Sox books...

A Slight Trick of the Mind, by Mitch Cullen

Sherlock Holmes, in his 90's, is finding his memory is not what it used to be. Some good reflections on loss of all kinds in this one.

Bonus points to Cullen for using the word "ejaculated" to refer to a verbal exclamation. That used to crack me up when I was 12 and read Conan Doyle.

Blinding Light by Paul Theroux

If you're going to read Theroux, don't read this one. Stick to his travel books. This one just got to be stomach-turning after a while. Actually I think I need to go scour my brain just thinking about it...

I'm plugging away at a goal of reading more fiction this year... we'll see how it goes...