Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On humility

Or should I title this post "On sucking ass"?

There's a guy in town who teaches indoor cycling classes. I teach indoor cycling classes as well, but these are different. He's an ex-professional cyclist. He sets your bike up on a Computrainer. (He has to ask you for your weight while doing this, unfortunately. That information is confidential, so to have had to utter those 3 numbers to someone other than a doctor or someone on the other end of the phone who will never be face to face with me was horrible. Especially since that someone is someone I think is a cutie-pie.) Everyone who takes his classes are roadies or triathletes who are trying to become better roadies/triathletes outside. His classes are very popular and his 5-week sessions ALWAYS sell out in advance. So I decided that since I haven't ridden outside since last September (not entirely my fault - damn you, ankle injury and blood clot!) I should take some classes from him. My plan is to re-enter the triathlon community in 2009 as a participant rather than a spectator or volunteer, and to re-enter it strongly enough so I don't embarrass myself. I am a triathlon coach, after all, so I need to at least look like I know what I am doing.

Last night I went to my first cycling class. Everyone else in the class had been taking his classes for at least a year - hell, one of the girls had even dated him, or so I heard - and everyone had been riding and racing all year long. But I thought I was okay - I've been teaching Spin at least once a week for a while.

I think I would've been okay if the setup hadn't been a simulated race, but no. Up on the screen were our names and what "place" we were in. I was in 1st for the first 2 minutes, then slipped to 2nd, then to 3rd, then to 4th, and finally to 5th. There were 6 of us, and the person in 6th had eaten cake at lunch and was feeling queasy. Had it not been for that cake, I probably would've been in 6th.

The competitive side of me HATED every bit of the 90-minute class because of this. Wow - how much more blatant can "Stephanie SUCKS!!!" be??? I was very defensive about the entire thing: "I taught 4 classes yesterday, ran with the group I coach, and I did a 1-hour leg workout." "Man, a Spin bike sure is different than a road bike!" "You have to remember that I haven't been on my bike since September 2007. I had to really think about where my cycling shoes were when I was getting ready to come here tonight." But the harsh reality is that I suck right now. I suck. I was out for the entire summer with injuries and since I've been healthy I've been focusing more on strength training and getting back into running. I know, I know - all of those excuses are valid, but they are still excuses. And I am a triathlon coach, for f*ck's sake! Who would want to hire me after seeing those numbers up on the screen??? I kept trying to tell myself that football coaches and basketball coaches aren't in shape like their players are, but alas - triathlon coaches are different. They're expected to be really good at their sport. I am really good at organization and creating the proper workouts for my athletes (one of my athletes improved her Ironman time by 2 hours and 15 minutes this November - woot!), but I am the Energizer Bunny when it comes to actual competition: I can go for days on end, but speed I do not have.

What this has caused me to do, other than to be pitifully depressed all day, is realize that I need to sit down with a calendar and a piece of paper and lay out my goals and how I'm going to go about accomplishing them. Strength training is great, but the time is about to come when I need to move the spotlight out of the gym and onto the road.

So, without further ado, here is New Year's Resolution #1: COME UP WITH A GAME PLAN FOR THE SUMMER OF MAJOR COMEBACKS.
More resolutions to follow. Happy New Year, y'all!

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