Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Class #3 5:10 a.m. Group Cycling – Tuesday (Joe)

There was something about this class that caught my attention when I first looked over our group ex schedule. Could it have been the start time? 5:10 a.m. Five. Ten. A. M. Are you kidding me? Surely nothing starts that early.

Yeah, it does.

It’s only 7:30 a.m. as I write and already several small miracles have occurred today. First of all, my alarm clock didn’t go off (at least I don’t remember it going off). I woke up with a startle reflex at 4:49. Since I live in Hillcrest, typically a 15-minute drive to the Club, my first thought was – well, I better not print my first thought. Let’s just say, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it on time.

The great thing about driving before 5 a.m. is the utter lack of traffic. It’s not that surprising when you think about it, since most people are HAPPILY ASLEEP at that hour. But for those of us rushing to a class, it’s great to have the road to oneself. It’s also helpful to get almost total cooperation from traffic signals, as if they too are pulling for an on-time arrival.

Somehow (and this defies most laws of physics) I pulled up to the Club at 5:04 a.m. Mind you, I wasn’t sleeping in my bike shorts or shoes. Like I said, it was a small miracle. I even had time to go up to the front (I came in the employee entrance) get some water and chit chat with Club openers, Derek and Mitzi – truthfully, I mostly went up there to prove to D/M that I too could get up so dang early.

I walked in the class as the clock changed to 5:10. Ah sweet victory. I was so impressed with my timely arrival that I forgot for a moment that what awaited was a tough 50 minute class of biking. After just a few minutes on the bike – I remembered.

Fortunately, as part of my “normal” regimen, I attend two bike classes a week – so I’m at least a little bit acclimated to this type of workout. In fact, I always love group cycling class – just as soon as its over. It’s a great cardio workout and I invariably push harder in a group workout than I would on my own.

It’s a good thing that I’m so fond of this particular type of class because there are 24 of them on the weekly schedule...just 23 more to go. Yikes.

Today’s teacher was Joe Barnett. Joe is a seasoned cyclist but a relatively new instructor. In fact, this hyper-early morning class is a new addition to the schedule and a time that Joe specifically requested. He also teaches the 5:10 a.m. class on Thursday.

One thing that really makes a bike class fun is the music and Joe has good music. I’m not all that adept at naming artists and songs but I did recognize a few that I really liked – such as Gimme Shelter (Stones) and a Neil Young version of All Along the Watch Tower. There was also some U2 and other uplifting music that I can’t name. We warmed down to Crosby Stills and Nash – Helpless. Sweet.

It's interesting to note how one's perception of time and what's ‘early’ can change in 24 hours. Yesterday, I was overly impressed with myself for making it to a 5:45 a.m. class. Today, some 20-30 minutes into the bike ride I noticed folks in Kris' Power Pump class setting up on the gym floor and I'm thinking - "hah, look at those slackers, dragging in here at 5:40".

One last observation about today’s early morning experience. Driving back home about 6:20, with the eastern sky just beginning to lighten, I had some insight into the appeal that pre-work exercising might offer for those who do it regularly. What I noticed was a simple but exhilarating feeling. Without any coffee, I was wide-awake, my mind clear and calm and my body felt good. (The next test will be to see how I feel about 3 p.m.)

Riding along with me this morning were 8 or 9 other early birds. Unlike my two previous classes, I’m happy to say that there were some men in this class, in fact a few more men than women. The $25 gift certificate goes one of those guys (Jason Smith). Congrats Jason.

Next up, if I get there in time (always in question) is the 9 a.m. water aerobics class taught by Liz. Talk to you then.

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