Thursday, March 11, 2010

Class #33 Cycling 5:00 p.m. Wed. (Krissa)

Due to lingering issues with my gradually improving neck I’ve decided on a precarious double dose of group cycling this evening. Descending straight into the maw of cycling hell, I plan to tackle Krissa’s 5 p.m. class followed immediately by Martha’s 6 p.m. class.

I had strongly considered going to the 4:15 Zumba class and chase that with a single bike session but I was worried that the attempt to gyrate my hips might instead tweak my neck. There’s also, I’ll admit, some allure to the prospective challenge of back to back cycling classes. Can I do it? Should I? Oh, why not?

I realize that for “real” bikers, ninety-minute rides are child’s play but I’m plainly an imposter as a cyclist. Only the photo-shopped image above makes me look like the real McCoy and that’s all smoke and mirrors. I don’t even have bike shoes for goodness sake. Still, I know that pushing myself today will improve my stamina and will pay dividends down the road or so I hope.

When Krissa enters the studio she immediately engages with the entire room as if playing to an audience, which in a way she is. She’s a natural performer with an infectious personality that’s impossible to resist. She knows everyone in class by name and her beaming smile welcomes us to her world.

Among cycle instructors, I’ve noticed, there is a continuum of interchange with the class that runs from “all business” to regular and/or playful banter. Krissa is on the far end of the banter pole. During warm up she tells us stories that make me laugh. For instance, she asks who watched the Oscars and then launches into a bit she heard from some wag on the “worst dresses”. At the top of the list, she tells us, was Charlize Theron and her blooming d cups….the “expert” suggesting that they seemed to beg for water. Second worst was the dress worn by Zoe Saldana, the star from Avatar. Apparently it had some mink lined hem and weird embroidery that made her “look like a piñata”. The commentator suggested that any dress one wears that makes you want to hit it with a bat must be a bad idea.

Another aspect among the banter group is a penchant for asking rhetorical questions. Things like, “are you ready to push hard now?” or “can you pick it up some more?” These questions don’t require explicit answers because the implicit reply is always “yes”. Krissa has a habit of answering her own questions aloud as our proxy saying “yes” or sometimes “yes yes”. Meanwhile most of us avert our eyes so she won’t see our desire to yell out “no no”.

None of this banter, by the way, detracts from the challenge of the class. In a way, it’s all psychological sleight of hand designed to distract us while the work keeps getting ratcheted up. It’s effective too. I find that by the end of class, I’ve pushed harder than I meant to since I wanted to save a little juice for class #2. Now, I’ll have to survive on fumes and hope for the best.

As many of you know, Krissa Thoreson is one of Lisa Cooper’s younger sisters. Lisa is the Club’s long-time Fitness and Program Director and lured her sisters (Krissa and Holly, pied piper style from Minnesota to Little Rock. All of the sisters are first-rate athletes and the picture of good health and fitness. Krissa is an accomplished runner an triathlete, she won the huge Komen Race for the Cure a year or two ago. Currently she’s training for a half-Ironman to be held in Lawrence Kansas in June.

When Krissa first moved to town she took a job as the Fitness Director at the North Little Rock Athletic Club. Unfortunately we eventually lost her to the Little Rock Country Club when they opened their fitness room and needed a manager of that area. We’re happy though that Krissa is a group ex teacher for us because she’s excellent at it.

At the end of class I gather names and e-mail addresses for the $25 gift certificate drawing from the 15 or so participants. My tennis buddy Tim Orellano is among the entrants and he requests an immediate and public drawing. Leave it to Tim to come up with a new wrinkle on this process. Krissa does the honors and picks Jan Bartlett as the winner. Sorry Tim.

Okay, no rest for the weary, I’m staying put for the double feature hoping that my legs have more left in them than I think…..

ps Due to technical difficulties and/or incompetence on my part I couldn't load the photos of Krissa that I have. Furthermore, I'm out of town and don't have my usual computer with me. I'll add the photos when I get back home - you know, maybe:)

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