Spin class and the definition of fun….

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It’s a Sunday and I’m contemplating the week ahead of me. This will be the third month that I attend two weekly spin classes at The Core gym in Whistler. The spin group is a mixture of people, but all with the dedication of dressing in lycra and being there at 7.30am. You need to get there early if you want a good bike, and a place near either the door or fan – it gets hot! John, our instructor, has a very unique definition of the word ‘fun’ and starts our class proudly wearing his Test of Metal t-shirt. The guy has no body fat, and as I glance around the room there are some elite athletes spinning their pedals. What am I doing here? Well, I am gearing up to my third M.O.M.A.R. (Mind Over Mountain Race) and I need to get into shape. The winter months in Whistler are great for enjoying the hill and powder days, but by the spring it definitely shows that you’ve not been on a bike in half a year. Spin class often consists of interval training, where we seem to go hard, then a bit harder, then harder still. John keeps us motivated, or rather preoccupied by telling us the calorie count in Dairy Queen ice cream (his weakness). By the midpoint of the class we’ve probably earned a small scoop. Throughout the class you’re mainly concentrating on your RPM, making sure the gear choice allows you to hit the target. This obviously changes throughout the class, John, and his idea of fun, take us through sections of the Test of Metal, or even the Grand Forno as we climb hills, and then speed down the other end, only to start another climb. What’s amazing about spin is that although I feel very thankful that the class is only 60 minutes in length, there don’t seem to be many side effects. It’s easy on my knees, which have certainly taken a beating, and tough on the calorie count.

My dog escorts me to the gym in the morning, much to the amusement of the other gym goers. She occasionally cheers us on by howling whenever the door is opened. Her patient waiting means I owe her a run. So after class we head off round the golf course. This is a 5km loop, not very far, but after the spin class it’s more than enough – for now! The trail is icy and wearing grips on my runners saves me from some nasty tumbles. Not fail safe however, so you have to watch your footing and it’s slow going when you hit the trail before the snow clearer. I hope to build up my speed and distance, but with half an eye on my wayward dog, and my mind fascinating about breakfast, I feel proud I can achieve this distance today.

I have attended a few weights classes, and today I am feeling achy from yesterday’s yoga class. Why is it that yoga feels so relaxing, yet the next day those downward dogs don’t half come back to haunt you? Scheduling all this round a 40hr work week is quite the effort, although looking round the gym most people seem capable to squeeze in more than I could do on a day off. I must admit that when I am finished my morning workout, I feel I can accomplish anything – the hard part is done!

This will be my schedule for now – 2 x spin, 1 x run, 1 x weight class, 1 x yoga/hike/snowshoe. I am half looking forward to the spring when more trails will become available for a bike or more running, however this means more hard work. I have signed myself up for Cat Smiley’s boot camp come May 1st which I am sure will be the source of stories for upcoming posts. This camp entails heading to a beach by Lost Lake and working out 3 times a week for a 1 1/2hrs at 6.30am – intense. I am working on sit ups and press ups so not to completely embarrass myself come May.

One of my friends thinks this is all crazy, but in all honesty there’s something good about pushing myself physically and getting outside with my dog. Whistler is truly beautiful, and when I’m catching my breath around the golf course I look at the mountains on the horizon. The upcoming race is a good reason to get my bum out of bed, but once I’m up it’s the feeling of challenging myself and being part of something that makes me go further. More to come on race prep!

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