Saturday, December 28, 2013

CompuTrain... Me?

One thing I have come to appreciate lately is the bravery it takes to change. Not to change your toothpaste or your sheets; but to erase some elemental part of your life and continue living as if everything is just fine. Which is what it means to end a relationship: you cut away an existence, a voice, a body (half of YOU, really)  and pretend you never needed it anyway which is, perhaps, the farthest thing from the truth.

Anyway, I've decided to expand my social circle, at least training-wise, to include as many people as I can. After all, my favorite part of being an athlete has been meeting all the incredible, special, inspirational and exceptional folk who choose to swim/cycle/run (one, two or all three) on a daily basis to be the best they can. Why and how: all ages, abilities, styles. I've met former Olympians and stay-at-home-moms; I've met middle-age people, college-age people; rippled with muscle or comfortably plump; in short, I've been blessed with the best sampling of humanity; the good-hearted folk who love a sport (or, sports) and thank heavens for that.

So today, I expanded my social realm to include Great Basin Bicycle Shop which operates a CompuTrainer studio. I signed up for the 9:00 am class and found myself one of six who came that early (not so early since I usually train at 6am). I always get nervous before training with a new group. I always worry I will be the slowest, the most lame, the reason why they make people sign up (so you can kick them out or bar them from coming later)-- so I didn't know what to think when Rich (the "leader" of the ride) grabbed my bike, placed it on the CompuTrainer and walked me through its calibration. Or, when he said I pushed too hard with my quads, and that my body bounced too much( am I being exiled, I wondered?)-- but no, we rode and rode: me and five others (the names I can't remember. I only remember Jeni who introduced herself to me and who happens to live not so far from me so I hope to see her on the open road.) Rich had a lot of comments, true, but he only wanted to help me improve.

I've never had someone look at how I ride. I mean: riding a bike is simple right? You pedal, you move forward? But there's a lot more to it than that-- how you position your feet, how you need to pull back and up rather than down and forward. After an hour, I know I have so much to learn!  Or, I know since Rich placed me on another machine that showed me how much power each leg was producing and how. I'm only, at best, 80% efficient in my strokes because I'm accustomed to pushing "down" so much (because I'm a runner, I think). He also adjusted my seat height and its distance from the bars: my seat was much too low and too far back: crushing my power and (sorry prim and proper reader) my essential girl-parts.

BUT wow-- what a great resource-- I'm glad I ventured out of my "safe-solitary" zone today and learned something new. Maybe we all need to do that every so often.

I can't say I'm happy on my own, but I think I'm going to be OK. I'm learning new things, meeting new people and looking forward for more to come.

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