"Suddenly I See"

There seems to be a movement going on around me. I wonder if it's because bucket lists have become so popular and, as we are reaching a "certain age," we are channelling the energy of midlife (gasp) into positive things. Whatever the reason, the movement involves people being inspired to take on challenges and to move beyond comfort zones. Many people I know (especially women) are signing up for races and taking on sports and distances that once seemed impossible. We (and I purposely include myself in this collective) are refusing to be defined as "one thing." We are refusing to be unathletic, uncoordinated, weak, slow, fat, skinny, not good enough, not a runner, not a cyclist, just a suburban mom, and all the other labels that have attached themselves to us over time. And, yes, I have heard all of the above and more. For some, who have lived their lives boxed in and limited by these definitions, the break-out can be challenging and sometimes terrifying.

Some of these limiting beliefs have been taught to us at an early age, either by family or peers, and some are those that we put upon ourselves. I don't think they exist independently. Rather, they overlap and are shaped by each other until we believe them to be true. Then, before we know it, we are living our lives within these definitions or boxes that we have created. Some of us have no problem just opening the lid and climbing out, with or without a little help. For others, it takes work to erase the lines and blur the edges until we can see other possibilities. Some of them have a stronger hold than others. I do believe, however, that we have the power to crush, burn and bury them once and for all. Where do you limit yourself? What are your boxes?

When I was a new instructor, another experienced instructor told me to never let the class "choose" for themselves a section of the ride. This is the belief that, without giving them the exact road, they would not take the challenge and would not work hard. As I have grown into the teacher I am now, I realize just how false this is, and it has now become one of my favorite things to do. At times, I coach students to climb the hill how they want to climb it, to take control of the flat and do it for no one else but themselves. I still motivate and encourage through this part, but they have to do the work. And, when I really think about it, it's not that different than any other part of Spinning class. I am not changing the resistance on the bikes and I am not turning anyone's pedals for them. If you really want to benefit from coming day after day and spinning your wheels, you have to do the work. You have to decide where your limitations are (if any) and then push through them, erase the boxes, jump off the plateau. Leave them on the bike when you leave the room. Or, even better, visualize them being crushed by your wheels. They do not serve you.

In this spirit, this ride is part endurance and part strength, with 2 nice climbs. At the top of each hill, I give each student the choice of how to climb it...how to finish it...how to reach the top.

Monday Morning Climbs

1.T&F Moltosugo Remix (Let the Sunshine In)/Milk & Sugar (warm-up)

2. Listen to the Music (DJ Malibu Mix)/The Doobie Brothers
3. Suddenly I See/KT Tunstall
The above 2 songs are both ridden as flat road. I keep it in the saddle, adding in breakaways or a touch of resistance to make it tougher. Sometimes, come up out of the saddle on standing flats, especially for the chorus on song #2.

4. Place Your Hands/Reef
Hill #1 begins in the saddle with lots of good gear. Take up the resistance every 60 seconds and push the last 30.

5. Shut Up and Give Me Some Pie/Mash-up of Warrent's "Cherry Pie" and the Ting Ting's "Shut Up" by DJ Lobsterdust.
Continuing up hill #1. You're climbing in the saddle and powering up to a standing climb at 15 second intervals (both in the saddle and out).

6. Eminence Front/The Who
Here's the choice...you have 5.5 minutes to get to the top...you choose how to get there. All I ask is that you increase the resistance and make it tougher every 60 seconds. You should be wishing for the flat when this is over.

7. Fire in a Bottle/Mash-up of the Police's "Message in a Bottle."
Hit the saddle, if you are not already there, drop resistance, find the breath you lost on that climb, and let your heart rate recover. You only have 2:40 here and I want to see how quickly you can turn it back up and take hill #2.

8. Step to Silence/Mashup by DJ Matt Hite
2 rollers here...1 minute seated climb, add resistance and take a 30-second standing climb, then do a 30-second run with resistance as you pick up the cadence and break through all that gear. Sit it down, drop a little resistance off, but stay on a climb, and do it again.

9. Show Me What I'm Looking For/Carolina Liar
Second section of hill #2...seated climbs with switchbacks out of the saddle at the chorus. If you "use the music," it should give you about 30-second intervals with a longer push at the end of the song. Take the resistance up before you come out of the saddle and try not to drop it when you sit down. Your quads will love you for it!

10. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (Rattle and Hum Version)/U2
Just like hill #1, the top of hill #2 is a choice. It's all up to you. Take the resistance up every minute, and you have 6 minutes to the top and a glorious, well-earned flat on the other side (if you did your work).

11. Disco Lies (Spencer & Hill remix)/Moby
12. Fanfare (Masterpiece Theater)/Michael van der Kuy
After the 2 hills, you get about 30 seconds to re-group, hit the flat road, and start the push for the line. I usually do some sitting/standing intervals during song 11, but song 12, is an all-out, in the saddle push. I want you to pick it up (cadence, resistance or both) every 60 seconds until there are 2 minutes left. Then, we make it tougher every 30 seconds. The entire last minute is a "build" until you cross through the line...

13. Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth.../Primitive Radio gods
14. Crash Into Me/Dave Matthews Band
Breathe, consciously lower your heart rate, cool-down and stretch.


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