Sunday, January 31, 2010

Success

So last year, I bought this jersey in a size I KNEW was not going to fit.  Although it was an XL, in the cycling world, an XL is like a normal mens medium as most cyclists weigh about 140, not 200 lbs. 

Fast forward to today.  One month into my hard core training and I know I am down a bit of weight but not sure how much... as I never weigh myself.  I go by look and feel.  To tease myself, I tried on my jersey and low and behold....not only could I zip it up (which I couldn't before) but it actually fit!  I even wore it to class.  Very happy.  One more size to go to reach my goal. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Balancing Act.

I got this exercise thing down to an art.  I do 2 hours of spinning a day combined with a 4 hour day Saturday with just one day off.  Throw in my 2 bodypump classes I teach and that rounds out my week out pretty well.  I will be adding a 1 hour short track skate session this week but that isn't a biggie.  I give myself extra breaks when I feel worn down but other than that, I feel great. 

Nutrition on the other hand sucks ass.  I just CAN'T seem to say no to the foods I like.  Even while filling out my food journal and seeing how well I have done, I will reach for a chocolate bar all the while saying "stay away from that"!  I feel bipolar most days.  It is a serious roadblock for me.  I will start my day with oatmeal or bran, water, apple sauce and everything will be going great.  I will walk up to the caff for some salad and come back with homefries, bacon and buttery toast.  I literally can't help myself.  I feel possessed.

I am thinking of going to see a hypnotist.  I hear they can help with this kind of mental block.  If I can get my food routine to match my workout routine, hell I will be smokin by the summer. 

And I am tired of hearing people say "find the balance", "don't deny yourself", "cheat everyday"....blah blah.  The only people who say that have 6 pack abs. 

No matter what anyone tells you, nutrition is the factor in weight loss that is by far the hardest to conquer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Goodlife Spinners. A review.

Spinners are always talking about which instructors they like and who they don't like and why.  I figured it might be a cool idea to write a brief summary of each of MY instructors at HuntClub and Queensview Goodlifes so that new members could see what they are getting themselves into.  I am going to break them each down into four categories.  They are:

Task Master, Firecracker, Silent but Deadly and The Technician


Murray (aka The Tattoo Guy)

Murray is one of my favorite instructors.  He falls within the Silent but Deadly category for me but don't let that fool you.  He doesn't scream, his energy is steady and he motivates you to work at the top of your level without being fake.  He has a funny personality and has the most amazing array of music, especially for his All Terrain or Road Drills class.  For example, yesterdays class had Janet Jackson, Blue Rodeo, Brittney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and some folk Dylan like artist.  Throw in Sugababes, Avril L, Motley Crue, Van Halen and Adam Sandler (yes you read that right) and you will never be unsatisfied with the class.  You get out what you put in with Murray's class.  I would say he is perfect for experience riders who want to be focused while in the zone.  Murray teaches RPM and the All Terrain classes on Saturday morning at Hunt Club.

Guiseppé

"G", as he likes to be called, teaches the Monday class at HuntClub.  G falls into the Firecracker category.  From the very first turn of the dial he is loud, in your face and full of energy.  It is all about the sweat and pump with this guy.  For 50 minutes it doesn't end.  Once he clips into the pedals, you are in for a full on energy rollercoaster.  The music is a bit loud for me in this class so if you are sensitive to volume, I would recommend earplugs.  Otherwise rock out and push it to the limit. G's classes are suitable for everyone at all levels.  Just expect to work.  He doesn't go easy on you.

Robert

Rob teaches the Tuesday RPM class at HC.  This one is a bit difficult to categorize.  He falls between Task Master and Silent but Deadly.  He makes you work but doesn't overdue it on the energy levels.  Which is good.  He balances technique and motivation perfectly and is able to send that out to the class.  He gives good instruction and gets the class working hard but also keeps it toned down when you are working your zones.  His classes are suitable for everyone but if you are brand new and are wondering what it is all about and don't want to feel intimidated, Rob's class is the one for you.

Tracy M (the one who always wears a jacket)

LOL, Tracy scares the shit out of me.  But in a good way!!!  She is definitely a Task Master!  Now don't get me wrong, she is the nicest person (and very funny to) but she makes you work and work hard.  She takes no shit and puts it to you from the get go.  She is a strong technician and makes sure that everyone is giving 100%.  From where I am sitting, she doesn't seem to worry if you are having a good time....she is more focused on whether or not you are giving it all you have.  And the funny thing is, if you are giving 100% with Tracy, then you ARE having a good time!  I love that!  She gives good feedback to new members and is always on the lookout to make sure people who need support and help get it.  Awesome!  If you want a hard workout Tracy has what it takes to give it to you.  Class is suitable to everyone.  Tracy leads the Tuesday 6:30 class at HC.

Mat (the new Road Drill guy)

Okay, Mat is hillarious.  He looks 12, weight probably 80 pounds and has one of those smiles that just won't give up.  Seriously.  You have no idea.  Mat for sure falls into the Firecracker category.  The second he walks into class he is bopping to the music and full of energy.  He is dancing and moving non stop.  His energy translates to his class very easily although there are never many of us who sign up for the 75 minute class.  Which is too bad.  Mat makes eye contact and sends positive feedback to almost every one in his class which keeps the motivation high during those long 8 minute tracks let me assure you.  This class is suitable for everyone who wants a long Zone 2 and Zone 3 workout.  Total fat burning heaven.  Music is great as well.  Remixes of your favorite songs make you feel you are at the club dancing.

Lynda B

This club favorite instructor is easy to categorize.  Lynda, who teaches out of Queensview and Strandherd falls perfectly balanced between the Taskmaster and the Technician but does it all with an energized and positive approach.  She makes you work at your top level and ensures that your technique is on point.  What I like about Lynda's classes are that she personalizes them.  If she sees you are working at your limits or are struggling a bit, she is right there with winks and even words of encouragement.  But she isn't afraid to kick ass and take names!  Which she actually does.  Lynda isn't afraid to call your ass out on the floor to make sure you are giving it your all.  If you want to work with a high level of fun, then this is the class for you.  This class is suitable for all levels but I would say the experienced riders get the most out of it because she makes sure your technique is at a high level.  By doing so, the workout is intense!

Lynn D

If there was a picture in the dictionary for the word TASK MASTER, then Lynn's mug would be front and centre.  This no nonsense instructor could care less if you are hung over, tired, had a bad day or whatever.  She is going to make you work and sweat like you never have before.  When things like your ears, your elbows and knees are sweating, you KNOW you are working it out.  Lynn will bring that out of you.  Her famous 8:15am Saturday class is not for the faint of heart.  She knows who you are and will make sure you are putting in the effort.  It is zone 4 all the way baby... for 75 mins.  If you have problems motivating yourself or pushing your limits, Lynn will bring that all out of you and leave you feeling like a million bucks, if not soaking wet.  Classes are suitable for most but experience riders and hard core spinners will benefit the most from this high energy and often unbearably steamy class. 

Tracy (the blond one)

Tracy's Sunday back to back RPM classes are awesome.  Tracey is the only instructor that I would say hits almost all categories.  She has her Firecracker moments and then can just as easily turn Silent and Deadly during a long race track.  Classes are always full of energy and perfect for new members just trying out spinning for the first time.  You can work your levels or just stay constant through the class without feeling left behind.  Highly recommended for those of you who want a challenge first thing on a Sunday morning before that fattening brunch.  ;)

Diana

Much like Lynn above, Diana has her own picture in the dictionary.  FIRECRACKER!!  Do not let her early morning silence fool you.  Once the clips go on, her hair is pulled back and the jacket is tossed to the floor, her ignition is lit and she doesn't stop for a full hour.  It is like she has an "ON" switch.  There is really nothing more to say.  Diana is full out, 100%, no nonsense energy and fire on that bike.  Cheerleader on crack and caffeine!  You want to be gasping after every track?  This class is for you.  It is go! go! go! make no mistake.  Diana is another favorite among regular spinners.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome to 2010

So, as you know, 2009 was not a great year for me.  Sure there were some great things that happened (weddings, babies, new relationships...etc.) but for the most part, it sucked.  Looking back and reflecting, I have determined that other than the events that I had no control over (family stuff and work crap) I entered, created and scored myself throughout the year on one criteria.  The word for that criteria was "Expectations".  I went into 2009 with expectations and when I didn't meet those expectations, for whatever reasons, it felt like a personal failure.  I was the judge, jury and executioner of those expectations.  And this isn't one of those times when you can sit back and say "you are being too hard on yourself".  No, this isn't one of those times.  I wanted 2009 to be such a great year that I think the fates revolted against me just to make a point.

This year, sadly, there is also a criteria that I am entering the year with.  The word for this years criteria is "Fear". 

As this will be my 40th year, I find myself feeling much like I did when I was entering my 20s.  Sure I fear getting older, feeling older etc., but most of all, it is the fear and uncertainty of what is to come.  I fear not being "here".  I fear missing something.  Is the path I have chosen the right one?  Where am I going in life?  What is the purpose of my life?  Am I making the right decisions?  Why am I doing all this? Am I living a true life?  All these questions swirl around in my head and I don't like the fact that I don't have the answers.  In fact I "fear" I will never have the answers.  And when I say "fear" I don't mean "I realize"  I mean "I am afraid".  How do people stumble through life without the answers?  Up until this age (time in my life), I think that I have just been distracted.  Things have kept my focus on the shiny sparkly things in life.  Now that I can see those things for what they really are, I find myself looking around for the next big thing.  And you know what, I fear there is nothing.  I am hoping this is what they call a midlife crisis.  Although I only feel 30, and probably only act 20, there is no denying time. 

Lily Allen (UK artist) sums it up very well: "I don`t know what`s right and what`s real anymore, I don`t know how I`m meant to feel anymore, when will it all become clear, `cuz I`m being taken over by the fear"

So I enter 2010 not knowing what is to come.  For the first time in 20 years, I am entering a phase in my life where I have no preconceived direction.  I am taking that first step in the dark.