Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Class #45 Cycling Monday 5 p.m. (Heather)

Heather’s prime time Monday cycling class is one of the hottest tickets in the Club and I’ve held off attending it before now because it’s usually SRO. I decided it might be safe today because so many people are out of town on Spring Break – surely a couple of regulars will be missing from Heather’s class.

Apparently the folks who come to her class aren’t big Spring Breakers. Fortunately, the room isn’t completely full today, there are one or two bikes left unoccupied.

Heather’s class has a reputation of being very good and very hard. I’m sure that the regulars in here are strong riders and accustomed to the punishment that I feel certain she’s going to be dishing out. I take it that it’s an honor to be part of her class and I feel that pride as I settle in for a good hard hour of work.

There’s something about Heather (Cameron Diaz has gotten nothing on our girl). People just want to be around her and be part of what she’s doing. I’ve known her for almost fifteen years and I’ve learned that she’s one of these folks who simply does everything really well. Whether it’s music (Heather plays the cello and is the Director of an all star high school rock orchestra), running Izzy’s Restaurant (which she co-owns with husband Robert) importing tea from China (she LOVES her tea) or teaching group exercise you can be sure that Heather’s going to do it right.

Heather Isbell

Heather’s style of teaching cycle class is very calm and quietly but persistently encouraging. She doesn’t yell for you to work harder, she just makes it known that it’s going to take your best to keep up. This quiet, confident appeal does the trick and I find myself pushing the limit to do what she asks.

To me, the class seems like one long crescendo where the effort required is slowly but surely ratcheted up minute after minute. Even the music seems to be building, like that of a suspenseful movie, to some kind of climax. I’m sure she must have told us to gear down at some point in class but looking back, I can’t remember when that happened (maybe I missed it). I notice that my heart-rate is following along with the effort and gradually, relentlessly inching up to the point where it’s pounding.

The last six minutes of class are the hardest. It’s a long grueling incline and as we get to the end of it, Heather asks for more pace to pass an imaginary rider or two who somehow got ahead of us – just a little bit more, please! Finally, we cross the finish line and I think “hallelujah”. That was a tough class!

The only problem now is that I’ve got to go play in a tennis match and I seriously doubt I’m going to have much left for it. I already feel sorry for my doubles partner.

There are about 27 in class today - an even mix of male and female. The $25 gift certificate goes to long time member, Linda Donley.

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