Spinning is getting both easier and harder

Our instructor described the day’s route as though we would really be out riding the local greening hills: so many minutes of climbing, jogging and even sprinting to a finish line. Installed on a decent bike, I was ready to attack the course as she called it out.

I believe my body is finally beginning to adapt to this new physical challenge. Spinning along with the group, I checked my heart rate frequently, and was gratified to notice that as I worked the bike’s tension according to Erin’s directions, it remained in reasonable ranges. My legs were feeling better doing the work, with less burning. As we got near the “top” of a long, steep climb, I was able to keep my momentum and rhythm but began gasping for air. (Good thing the music is so darned loud!)

Visions of summit day on Kilimanjaro … With so little oxygen at 19,000 feet up, I accomplished that long climb with a rhythmic breathing strategy. A variation of that plus the pounding beat coming out of the classroom speakers motivated me to keep my spinning momentum. Remembering how I felt as I saw the first glimmers of daylight as we approached the top if Kili helped too!

On the final long hill, I was surprised to find myself “dropped by the pack.” For some reason–possibly not pacing myself properly–I lost my steam near the end of the effort and had to “walk” my bike as I imagined everybody elses’ backsides disappearing over the imaginary crest. Just wait until I get my new clip-in biking shoes!

My competitive nature was satisfied by watching my form in the mirror. I try not to bob up and down or side to side, keep my thighs parallel to the bike, my hands light on the handlebars, my ab muscles engaged, and my rear back over the seat when standing. We are constantly reminded of these points. When I compare my mirror image with that of others in the room, I recognize the character flaw that causes me to feel superior to my fellow bikers.

I still have lots to learn, and it’s not all related to Spinning!

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