A Long December

So, I've been shoulder-deep in a few of my favorite things this holiday season.  No, I don't mean in the Julie Andrews, "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..." kind of way.  While I can completely see myself spinning on a gorgeous green hillside somewhere, you already know the type of "spinning" I'm talking about.

I'm one of those people who struggles through the pre-holiday madness, who only begins to see the beauty of the season somewhere around 11:59 pm on December 24th.  I'll spare you the internet dirty laundry, but let's just say "Long December" by the Counting Crows (remember that one) was on repeat as my theme song for the month, more than once. I'm not exaggerating when I say the lyrics marked the margins of my graduate school notebooks in 1996.  That year was only to be outdone by December 2003 and a milder version again in 2008. Yeah, I pretty much approach the whole month with a slight PTSD that only begins to fade after that shiny ball drops in Times Square. 

At the same time, I'm a believer in change so, with lots of support, I look to this season as a time of introspection and self-exploration, and I am willing to embrace whatever lessons come my way.  As humans, I think, we are faced with a greater contradiction during this time of year than any other.  Instinctually, winter is a time of darkness, solitude, hibernation, quiet, and a looking forward to the return of the light.  I feel the natural pull, within myself, to close the shutters, curl up in the ultimate comfort zone, reflect and BE still.  Yet, our culture asks us to be busy, to take the idea of "giving" to a frenzied state, to entertain and be entertained.  We are challenged to put energy OUT, when we naturally want to be IN.  

This year has been no different.  The energetic imbalance I usually feel in myself was only compounded by the difficult events I discussed in my last post. However, sometime around 8:00 pm on Christmas Eve, I was sitting at a warm local bar with a close friend, a glass of wine and sweetness and laughter.  I looked out the huge front window, framed in tiny white lights and saw that it was snowing, falling in feathery flakes on the quiet street.  It was a perfectly beautiful moment, requiring a deep breath and the knowledge that there was nothing left to do...but BE.  The older I get, the less I feel like I know for sure, but I do know to stop and enjoy those moments, because the web that is created by linking them together is truly where joy exists.  

Over the last few weeks, I had just decided to feel good (YES!).  I scheduled and put together classes that challenge and appeal to me.  It's the only way I've been able to pull up the energy to teach at the level I expect from myself.  While an evil head-cold has given me an extra challenge, I think it's all worked out okay great.  I kicked it off by teaching class with a live DJ.  I didn't know the music and had no profile planned, but it was probably the most fun I've ever had in the room...letting go, teaching on the fly, and owning the confidence that it was going to be awesome.  Additionally, I created 4 new classes of my favorites, and I'm sharing those playlists today.  Think of it as an "End of 2012 Library of Favorites and All Things FeelGood."  Playlist number 1 is some of the favorite music I added to my teaching library this year.  It was edited down from 3 hours.   Number 2 is my favorite mash-ups that I added this year.  Number 3 is my annual "Countdown" Class, in which I teach to iTunes top sellers of the year (in order), even if I don't like them.  It's always a challenge, and a hilly one this year.  Finally, number 4 is a newbie on the holiday block...a New Year's Eve Class to the music of Pitbull (and friends).  Hot.

Wishing all of you in the indoor cycling land, and beyond, an amazing 2013!  May you all find your moments.  Cheers!



2012 iTUNES COUNTDOWN RYDE (#15 is the top seller, #16 is cool-down)



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