This is a good news story!
I survived spinning class at the CyclingCentre.Ca and this morning I feel wonderful.
Last night….not so much 😦 That’s me trying to keep up with the gang.
You see last night Petrina kicked up the training to the next step and I missed the step. Actually I missed the whole staircase. Not to say my fellow spinners were doing much better (okay a couple of them were barely winded) but I was way outside of my comfort zone almost immediately.
I should explain why I am writing this post. It’s not for me. It’s for you especially if you’re 50 plus and just getting into exercise as a way of life. And when I say life I mean it. Here at Rancho West the chaise lounge tried to kill me last winter. It damn near succeeded so I decided to get fit.
I checked out a bunch of different gyms and disciplines and stumbled into cycling.
Thanks to Aman Kapur, an exceptional runner and a man in midlife who is not going to let ageing slow him down, I looked for a riding group and then, after a particularly humiliating ride, a coach and that my friends made all the difference.
So as faithful readers know I went riding with an exceptional group of serious riders twice a week all summer long. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but also one of the most rewarding. Best of all, it was fun too.
It’s much like I said to Petrina last night as I was reassuring her I wasn’t having a full-blown heart attack right in front of her that I’ve never done anything this athletic in my life. Sure I took karate (who didn’t?) and Akidio (highly recommended) but I never thought to call myself athletic let alone an athlete.
So what took me out last night?
First we ate dinner at Maro’s (on Kerr Street in Oakville. Tough to spend $20 on some of the best meals I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant anywhere and at any price. It’s that good.) and the salad sat heavily on me all night.
Second I took a month off riding (at Petrina’s insistence) and I mistakenly took that to mean don’t do anything for a month. Dumb as a post! I should have been walking daily.
Yes I do yoga twice to three times a week and yoga is essential to my physical and mental wellbeing but it’s not athletic at least not for me. (Although I can do the yoga cool down after spinning pretty easily.)
Petrina is running us through a training course that includes short, intense periods of riding as hard as possible with longish almost leisurely sections of light spinning to recover. Everything I read says this is the way to progress as a cyclist. Cool stuff and challenging as heck. I’d never do this without a coach and team of riders around me.
Because of my limitations of previous heart disease and ageing I have limits I must accept and work within. So last night when my heart rate very rapidly rose towards 150 bpm I pulled the plug.
This is essential good form when you’re older than just about everybody in the room. Let the kids in their late 40s spin their little hearts out. I can’t afford the challenge.
I’m focusing on a short yard running game to use a football analogy. Everyday in every way I am getting better and better…in small incremental amounts that perhaps only my coach can see. (I got a bit of a dressing down by Petrina for overdoing it. I am training myself to obey without discussion as she’s way better to me than I am.)
So it comes down to this….as an ageing athlete (I have trouble even typing the word) I must honour, even savour, my limitations and work to move the fitness ball forward a yard at a time. No more “Hail Mary” passes or 100 yard runs into the end zone for me.
Honestly the biggest hurdle is just to show up. Show up and do what I can. Show up and listen to my coach. Show up and get better. Show up and live the athletic life.
How wonderful is that?