On doing difficult things…

I strike a lot of people as pretty fearless but those who know me know that some things make me nervous. Not fast outdoor bike rides necessarily, but strangers, people I don’t know, they can make me hesitate.

I’ve been thinking of trying the MEC indoor bike trainer class on Sunday mornings. And my friend Cathy went last week and posted about it on Facebook. Tempting!

It’s 2 hours long, bring your own trainer, and ride away in the store before it opens Sunday morning. But this week there’d be no Cathy. My partner Jeff declined. He’s singing in church. Nat wasn’t keen on the early morning, the length of the class, and the need to wear clothes around strangers.

So just me. Alone.

With me it was just the stranger part that put me off.

I did all the usual pre-commitment stuff to get myself out the door. I put the bike and the trainer in the car the night before. Check. I registered and paid in advance. Check. I laid out bike clothes and my heart rate monitor strap, found and charged my Garmin, and packed my bag. Check. Finally, I went to bed early.

And no surprise really, it was all fine.

The instructor Marten was terrific. There was a class of about 15 people, mostly men but some women. And a pretty good mix of people including a woman on a hybrid bike using a trainer, something I’ve never seen before in a trainer class. The age range was big, probably mid-20s to mid-70s.

You can see the workout profile up above. Warm up with fast spinning to wake everybody up, then 6 blocks of 10 min work with recovery in between, and then to wrap it all up 12 sprints. I love sprinting but that was a lot. Four 30 second sprints with 30 second recovery, and then four 20 second sprints with 20 second recovery, and finally, ouch, ouch, ouch, four 10 second sprints with 10 second recovery.

No barfing but I might have been close. Let’s just say that we worked out by the Toblerone chocolate aisle–Cathy warned me–but I wasn’t the least bit tempted!

Luckily I didn’t have to carry my bike and trainer back into the house. I can count on a teenager wanting to borrow the car and I make bringing in my bike and trainer a condition of using the family vehicle.

Tough class but good tough. And I’ll definitely do it again!


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