You Never Know

Feeling a bit “meh” lately about life, I loaded up the kids and headed to teach spin at the gym. We are in our routine, and I’m loving working with people, but there are times when it’s very redundant. People ask for fitness and health advice, but then glaze over when you don’t offer up the “latest and greatest magical 2-week plan to get you in shape with no effort”.

It’s work. It’s consistency over time. It’s making choices to delay gratification to get you to your goals. It’s….boring.

But…it works.

Excited about today’s playlist, I dropped the minions off to do a craft in the childcare then climbed the stairs. Peeking in the windows to the spin room I see no one is there. Ugh. I always worry no one will show. Every single time. It’s happened before and it never fails to be a bummer. After a few minutes, a few showed up to play and off we went. Great class, lots of sweat and awesome effort – I love it when it all comes together.

Wiping down the bikes afterward,  one of the riders approached me and said, “You are my favorite instructor by far.”

“Wow! Thank you so much! That’s kind of you to say,” I replied.

“Seriously. I’ve been spinning for a few years and you are the only instructor that doesn’t make me watch the clock. I’m not just along for the instructor’s ride in your class. I sincerely mean it. I was so happy to see it was you teaching today.”

Me blinking. “Thank you. That means a lot…” We went on to discuss that every instructor brings something to the table and it can take time for an instructor to find their voice, etc.

But the compliment hit home. Especially on days I hold my breath and pray that someone shows. We all question our abilities, and just because someone is leading a class doesn’t mean they are immune.

Here’s my suggestion: find someone who you appreciate. The friendly cashier, a family member, or even your spin instructor – and tell them when they’ve done a good job, that you appreciate them. Not as an empty frivolous thing you don’t really mean, but someone whose work you genuinely benefit from. You never know, it could make their whole day.

You never know.

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Whatever It Takes

Every Wednesday I get up while my family still sleeps and slip on my workout gear. Quietly, I head down to the kitchen to silently brew a cup of coffee, grab an apple and some cereal and gather my gear for spin class.

I love spin. Loud music, adrenaline, pushing beyond what we did last week. Then mixing it up and doing it again next week. The core group I teach are die-hards. You kind of have to be to get up that early, 27 degrees out, to come get sweaty on a bike that doesn’t move. I totally get that spin isn’t for everyone, but for those of us that love it – it becomes addicting when it all comes together. A good instructor you connect with, that challenges and pushes you to become better, a variety of great music that’s loud and motivating; it’s magic when it happens.

As a new instructor, I’m still getting my sea legs under me. With every class, the level of nerves has been decreasing while my excitement has steadily increased. I’m getting comfortable with the class and am finding my voice.

Today’s daily writing prompt is to “tell about a time when you were left on your own to fend for yourself, to show perseverance”. Today was that day.

When it all comes together it’s magic. When all the equipment fails, not so much. No microphone, no music, and only 3 people showed up to class.

(cue doom music here)

Well, the diehards stayed and so did I. I propped my iPhone up on the bike, cranked it as loud as it would go, and the 4 of us got our workout done. The spinning of the flywheel on our bikes drowned out the music. We muscled through and did it anyway.

Hopefully next week the equipment will be fixed and we’ll go back to making spinning magic!

Just Imagine

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There are some days when I just don’t feel like working out.

When the warmth of my comforter feels much more inviting than wrestling a sports bra, slipping on workout clothes, consuming fuel and heading out into what still feels like the middle of the night.

But imagine what I miss when I don’t get up. Just imagine missing out on this sunrise, and the way the colors change right before my eyes.

Imagine missing out on some time alone, so I can be a better mom, wife, and friend.

Missing out on the chance to work this body that has given me so much. Working out is a privilege, an honor, and a way to tell it thank you. Thank you.

Just imagine missing out on the endorphins that keep seasonal depression at bay. My body needs this. Even if sometimes my mind has to be convinced.

Imagine missing out on the gift of meeting new people, growing and learning, even if it’s against my natural hermit tendency.

Just imagine…

I can’t imagine missing this.

So I won’t.

The First Class

(The WordPress daily prompt was to discuss beginnings. How perfect!)

Well, I did it! I didn’t puke, faint or fall off the bike!

There was however a problem with the equipment. My phone (where my music is) was not compatible with the dock at the gym. Can’t very well have a spin class without music. (You could, but it wouldn’t be very fun.) As much as I loathe WalMart, I have to say I was very thankful that they are open 24 hours! This tiny little piece of plastic stood between me and my first class:

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Good thing I am an early birdy and got there 45 minutes early. I zipped to WalMart, grabbed the converter and I was off and running. Back to class with 10 minutes to spare.

I was pretty nervous, which was to be expected. The playlist was good, although it ran a bit long so I opted out of the last sprint track. All in all, it was a success. I’m glad to have the first class under my belt and to keep improving from here. The class was gracious, thanked me, and were easy on me, but more importantly – they were all wiping off the sweat and had a great workout!

And now I can come down off my adrenaline high/nausea and work on a new set list!

Here’s to next week!

Music…and a New Adventure

For the past month or so, I’ve been slightly freaking out. Going about the daily routines; taking care of minions, grocery shopping, laundry, etc., but just underneath the surface: freak out central.

Not life or death freak out, but first-job-in-six-years kind of freak out. I accepted the spin instructor position at a local gym and my first class is tomorrow.

Gulp.

I’ve seriously changed my playlist of 14 songs 87 times. I hear music differently now. I mentally decide if the song I hear on the radio would make a good spin song.  While in the car driving, I cue pretend spinners in my imagination. Out loud. My kids have decided that I’m nuts. I’m sure that opinion will stick when they hit 12. Whatever.

A recent WordPress weekly prompt was to write about music. A favorite song, why certain lyrics speak to us, what our life’s theme song would be – all viable topics. My question is how the heck could you narrow any of those down to one song? Like most people, music is more than just noise in the background in my world. Our iTunes library is filled with “please don’t judge me” songs as well as Top 40. Every genre, multiple decades, with both the hubs’ and my tastes thrown in for good musical fun. He’s more of a beat and instrument guy. He loves the intros and the guitar solos. As a writer, it’s not surprising that the lyrics are what speak to me.

Now for the first time, I’m really hearing beats per minute, phrasing, and how that translates to a good spin class. As I crafted (and re-crafted, and crafted again) this playlist for my first class I listened to my favorites, had help from friends, and had to weed them down. As I look over this list now, it’s not surprising how this list speaks to me.

1. It’s Time – Imagine Dragons

Not only a great song for a warm up, great lyrics. I love that it’s (finally) time for me to put this certification and the studying to good use! And to quote another instructor friend who told me “it’s about damn time!”

2. Ali in The Jungle – The Hours

The lyrics in this track are superb for working out. Introduced to me by my neighbor on Oahu, this song reminds me of her and her determination to get healthy despite being in the middle of a long deployment with 4 kiddos. It isn’t easy, but as the lyrics say, “Everybody gets knocked down, but how quick are you gonna get up?” Love.

3. Sail – Awolnation

This one reminds me of my favorite trainer. Not only did she help me in so many ways, but she introduced me to all kinds of music that I never would have considered otherwise.  And every time I hear this song, I can almost feel the Hawaiian breeze blow across my sweat soaked-skin as I panted in relief that I had survived another one of her killer workouts.

4. Crabbuckit – K-Os

When I first heard this peppy little tune, Eric was deployed and I heard it come on the radio. Done with sappy sad songs, I was ready for this one and immediately thought it would be good for some jumps on a spin bike!

5. Dynamite – Taio Cruz

The perfect party song, but also a great running song. This one is always on my running playlist, and I had to include it in my first class. Perfect for a 5:30 a.m. class to get us all up and at ’em!

6. Everybody Talks – Neon Trees

Not a great thinker in terms of lyrics, but I like it and it works good for spin. It just sounds “happy”.

7. Money Make Her Smile – Bruno Mars

I love Bruno. Every single song. LOVE. That is all.

8. Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself) – Ne-Yo

When you’ve been believed in by someone who sees your potential before you do – that’s magic. That’s what I take from this song.

9. Give In To Me – Michael Jackson

For all of us growing up 80’s, Michael Jackson typifies the decade, among other things. Not only was this my favorite song when I first started going to spin, but I remember much of my struggling in that first spin class. Pushing beyond what I thought I was capable of. It was time to “give in” to the process and trust that I was going in exactly the right direction!

10. China Grove – Doobie Brothers

The first time I heard this song in a spin class, you could just feel everyone smile with recognition. I love a song that EVERYONE knows.

11. Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi

Oh Bon Jovi. I remember watching him on MTV, rockin’ out with my hairbrush microphone and my mile-high bangs. Good times. And it works for spin – bonus!

12. Shake it Out – Florence and the Machine

This song made me cry when my friend Katy sent me her spin playlist. At the time she had just started teaching, Eric was deployed and I remember it was a rough week. I had put the kids to bed, plugged in her playlist and imagined myself halfway around the world in her spin class. When this song came on it was a sort of release of knowing the end of the deployment was in sight, I was shaking it all off, all the tired, all the stress, and just trying to get back to myself. Tomorrow I will imagine her smiling at me in the back of my first class.

13. Red Hands – Walk Off the Earth

This song reminds me of endings. Ends of relationships. Ends of struggles and sad goodbyes. Goodbyes are hard, but out of them can come tremendous growth.  A tad melancholy, but makes for a great cool-down!

14. Home – Phillip Phillips

I love the beat of this song. I love the lyrics about making this place your home. As a military family – wherever we go is home. “Pay no mind to those demons they fill you with fear” speaks right to the whole Brene Brown and Daring Greatly thing. I have a feeling that spin may be my home away from home.

So there it is. Tomorrow morning me and a few friends will be spinning our hearts out. May I not puke, faint, or fall off a stationary bike as I did so gracefully in my dream nightmare last night.