Showing posts from 2010

Year-End Blizzard

As I type, the East Coast is getting slammed by our first winter storm and it's a nasty one.  On Long Island, we are experiencing blizzard conditions, high winds and, possibly, 20 inches of snow. The gym just cancelled my morning class and, while I'll miss the Monday Morning energy, I am grateful that I have a warm home in which to wait this one out.

As usual, my end of the year post finds me reflective and, in all honesty, I am glad ELATED to leave 2010 behind.  On the surface, it was not the best year for me and it ended much differently than I intended, but I realize where my own growth happened. Much like a steady hill climb in the Spin room, I fought every turn of gear that I was asked to put on instead of just surrendering and believing my legs could handle it.  Duh. Any of us who have ridden know that this is when it hurts the most.  Yes, but, the beauty is that something always has to give. We either fight it until we are exhausted, get off the bike, or surrender and …

It's Time to Burn the Turkey

Burn it off that is.  Well, it's actually everything else that goes with it that we really need to work off, no?  No time for guilt.  My wish for you is that you get to spend the day wrapped up in love...not much else matters.
I had a blissed-out moment while teaching today.  You know the kind.  I was partially into my second class in a row, with sweat running off my forearms, the class was in a groove, the music was pumping in perfect rhythm and everything just flowed...easy...effortless.  It was clearly an "in the zone" experience, causing a big smile to cross my face, one of those that makes the students wonder what the (bleep) is wrong with me, but that's okay, I like it that way.  Today, I am grateful for experiencing that moment, not just the details, but the feeling of it, the way all of life is supposed to feel.
So, in tradition, it's my 90-minute, day after Thanksgiving playlist.  Most of the mash-ups can be found here, at Bootie.  Enjoy your moments.
1. U…


Okay, so I'll admit that there is a small piece of me that hates fitness trends.  As in other areas of my life, I kind of stay on the outskirts and observe before I jump headfirst on to the newest "bandwagon."  I guess I'm a minimalist, but I just can't see myself swinging from straps in the least not in the Spin room.  I also have a hard time imagining interrupting the flow of a ride, to which I am so addicted, to pink up tiny pink hand weights and do some upper-body work.  My intention, here, is not to stir up this debate and I fully understand the reasons these things are done.  I just can't shake that little voice inside that keeps saying, "Just get on the bike and RIDE, already."
Then again, if it wasn't for jumping into this trend called "Spinning®," taking my first class sometime in 1996 (and, more importantly, giving it a second chance), I would not be writing this right now.  I would not have had the opportunity t…

Dani California

I often get asked if I start planning my rides with the music or the profile first.  Honestly, it's a bit of a split, but heavily weighted on the side of the profile.  I really think about what and how the students have ridden lately and where our training needs to go.  Only one facility where I teach requires me to do a certain type of "training" each class.  Everywhere else, it's all by my planning.  However, I do like to keep us on some sort of a program, even if it's loosely designed, and I keep track of every class I've taught.  
Not today. Today's ride started with the music, and it was a collaboration.  I wish I could take 100% credit, because it works so well.  We did not use exactly the same songs or profile, and each of us brings our own personality to the ride.  I would hope the same holds true for those who borrow ideas from this blog.  It's great if you want to use the exact ride I put out there, but I think it's even better if you get…

Balance. The 9/22/10 playlist.

So, this go-to ride is archived here sometime back in 2008, but I had a request for the playlist from today, so I'm posting it again.  The playlist is slightly different, the profile is slightly different, I am slightly different.  Everything grows and changes, as is evidenced by the trees changing colors, the leaves floating to the ground and the fact that I can make eye contact with my oldest son without looking down.  Today is the equinox, a time of perfect balance, day and night, dark and light.  I've been super busy and have only had a glimpse of where my balance is today....time to check-in, assess, and, yes, grow.  p.s. As it has been lately, there are some mash-ups that made their way into this playlist.  If you want them directly, drop me an email.
Roller Coaster Ride Playlist:
1. I Feel the Way Love Goes/Mash-up
2. Everybody Got Their Something/Nikka Costa
3. Disturbia/Rihanna
4. Do It!/Von Iva
5. So Fine in the Sun/Mash-up of Weezer (Island in the Sun) and Mary J. Bl…

It's All About Me

I was looking for inspiration for a ride a few weeks ago, and wasn't really sure where to find it.  I pretty much teach classes that I like, but I design them to give students variety and balance in their workouts.  I always "like" my own classes, but they are not always exactly what I would choose to ride.  So, I sat down with myself and asked the question, "Jen, if you walked into a Spin room today, what would be your ideal, perfect ride?"  I really wasn't concerned about the music.  Let's just assume that the music is good, that's a given.  But, what kind of road would I like?  Where do I want to be challenged?  A few points came to mind.  I'd want to ride some strong flats, incorporating stretches of road that I'd have to hold until my legs were screaming.  But, I'd also want challenging intervals that would leave me begging for them to be over.  I'd want some up-tempo climbing and, of course, at least one big steady hill with ge…

Let It Go

The other day, I was struggling with letting go of a major goal. I was signed up and in heavy training for a 6-day ultra-marathon in Colorado next month. For many reasons, this is not going to happen, and I needed to accept it. Ever since I watched Julie Moss' epic performance in the 1982 Hawaii Ironman, I have been intrigued by human endurance. Ever since the Eco-Challenge debuted on the Discovery Channel in 1996, I have been curious about adventure racing. Over the past 2 years, various factors in my life have come together, including my children getting older, that have made doing a really cool event a possibility. Unfortunately, it ended up feeling very much like the cliché of the carrot being dangled out in front of me. Oh, I can see it, but I just can't seem to get there. As I've posted in the past, I know that I create my reality and there are things in place in my life, whether thoughts or otherwise, that are preventing me from achieving this goal. Regardl…

The Comfort Energy Zone™

This post has been sitting in the "draft" pile since February 15th. I ask myself why I haven't clicked the "publish" button. I knew it was hanging out there in cyber-land, but it just felt incomplete. I planned to add a ride profile and playlist to the end, something meaty to sink your teeth into...something to move students beyond their comfort zones. However, it was not until I just re-read the post that I realized, in this case, the music, profile and road do not matter. How can I choose which ride will push someone to a new awareness, to a new level? I can't. For some, it's that crazy hill climb that I teach. For others, it's an endurance ride: "How many minutes on a seated flat? OMG..I will need therapy after that" (yes, I really heard that once). So, there's no ride to be posted, because it can be any ride on any day.

My own comfort zones have also been under challenge over the past few months, more so than I was aware …


Let's talk about sex and the Spin room. Did I get your attention? Just about a year ago, there was a Facebook challenge going around among my friends to list 200 things about yourself. They could be random, deep, factual, opinions, whatever you wanted. It was actually a great challenge and I highly recommend it. Very telling, introspective and also amusing to see how the mind works. I offered up some small facts and some deep comments, but it was #17 that got the most attention..from everyone who read it. It said: "I know what you are like in the bedroom by the way you ride the bike." Come on, instructors, you know exactly what I mean. And, if you don't, have fun in your next class. It became a hot topic of conversation, among students and instructors, with interesting stories coming out all over the place.
I'm not sure exactly what it is, but there is something about sex and the Spin room. I think it's a combination of things: the "obvious&…