Spinning into control

Homelife Crisis 2 Comments

I would like to announce that I went to a spin class. I feel there needs to be a full trumpet fanfare at this point. Because I have been avoiding all things bike, pretty much since I came to Australia and “became a runner“. But, you know, we’re in a bit of a state of flux right now, so despite having seen the physio again, and been told I can start to run (sort of), I had a perverse desire to give cycling a go on Wednesday.

I guess it’s all part of my could triathlon be a thing? experiment.

But before we get to that, let me tell you about when I saw my physio again this week.

I was very daunted before my first visit, (but I am often daunted. For example, last night I was thinking about handstands and how daunting they can be. It involved ponies. But I’ll tell you about that another time).

I’m easily daunted by visiting medical professionals. I put it down to being brought up in the NHS system, which is properly free, not like Medicare free. So it’s prone to time-wasters wasting time, which has to be guarded against and discouraged.

But as I’ve told you before, I’m a massive hypochondriac, so it’s difficult to judge if I’m just being a time-waster. And I’ve been known to call it wrong…

Plus, I then realised that RHP Physios treat serious athletes. The sort that get air time on TV. (I felt obliged to check first that they treat ordinary people before I rocked up, by the way. I explained, noticing that my voice was getting increasingly high pitched and more giggly, that I was only a plodder and fell in the category of er-late, as in “when did you finish the race? Oh, er late”. Not elite. Are you cringing for me? I cringed for myself afterwards, too).

Anyway, I really like my physio – he’s a great guy and talks to me like I’m actually – you know – not completely sub-athletic. And he referred me to Caitlyn, my podiatrist, who sorted out my shoes and feet a bit the other day. This is the strapping technique she taught me:

Trying to love the strappy look
Trying to love the strappy look

What follows is shameless name dropping. Why am I doing that here? Well, a. I’m like that and b. I feel like I need to apologise to the universe for not being a massive netball fan.

Caitlyn plays for the Firebirds. Yep, an actual elite netballer. I didn’t suss this until it came up in conversation, obviously, and luckily it was later in the appointment, otherwise, despite not following netball, I would have been incapable of uttering anything coherent for the time I spent making her put her face near various pairs of my used running shoes. But still, I have to ask you, why the flip have I never been more interested in netball? Why?

But anyway, back to Kerry, the physio. Who is obviously entirely to blame for Monday’s melt down *cough* due to banning me from running.

So, having demonstrated my prowess at making an arch in my foot without scrunching up my toes – oh, that’s right – I haven’t quite mastered that movement yet, I let him into my little secret notion that I’m toying with the idea of giving triathlon a whirl.

And he said, without any hint of sarcasm (that I detected anyway), oh, I didn’t think triathlon would be for you. I thought you’d be more into adventure racing. To be fair, he was sticking needles in my leg when he said this, so if there was a demonic glaze in his eye, I wouldn’t have known if it was due to messing with my head or because he was enjoying tensioning the pin over the tightest bit of my muscle.

So I was very delighted to be mistaken for a badass adventure racer!! Not the sort of person that nearly cancels appointments because they are daunted by the profile of the practice’s clientele…

But back to spinning. I thought I’d got to the gym on Wednesday in about enough time… Except there was no parking, bar up a hilly side street where I had to abruptly abandon my car because it was either that, or I was going straight home to sulk at the appalling lack of parking. And no-one worries about how steep a hill is BEFORE a spin class, do they?

I hopped on a bike and hoped I had correctly adjusted the saddle and handlebars, because I have no clue. But before paranoia could strike, Jimmy Somerville started asking Why, and suddenly my little leggies were pumping to a disco beat! Well, that was unexpected. But in a good way. Jimmy and I spent a lot of time together back in the day. Sometimes alone, sometimes in groups. But together. In my head. And here he was again.

Sadly Jimmy, his disco beat and the instructor’s call to crank up the gears meant that I emerged from a smokey dance floor somewhere in Germany circa 1990 to realise my legs were already fried and were incapable of moving the peddles anymore. And we weren’t even 7 minutes into the 45 minute class. My mind immediately flashed to the image of Bridget Jones collapsing off her exercise bike. Aha, I thought, maybe I need to crank the gears back down… (Aha – don’t get me started on those Scandi boys. Because that wouldn’t need an exercise bike to raise my pulse. Ooof!) Anyway, I held onto the thought of Bridget’s little misfortune, and despite my good girl need to do as I’m told, ignored many commands to increase the resistance for the remainder of the class…

So that’s 2 cycles I’ve done at the gym. I haven’t been outdoors cycling on Herbert’s bike, because, well, the type of hills round here appear to be the sort that don’t get any flatter at the flick of a switch when your legs are tired, unlike the ones in the gym.

But I thought I would share with you the difference in effort I put in when I was cycling solo in the cardio room, listening to Run Like a Girl, (thankful we’d just got to the chapter on Injury, otherwise I was worried I’d fall deeper into my no running funk), compared to being in a Spin studio surrounded by what appeared to be a group of very fit women who seemed capable of climbing virtual hills forever…

Spinning to control
Was it the music or the group that made me work harder?

Anyway, I was going to go back to the spin class today until I realised there was a laundry crisis with my sportswear. I blame the Grumpster, because, quite obviously, that is his fault.

So instead, I will go to the pool. I have been flicking through a number of triathlon blogs and club sites (in the name of serious research – I was NOT just avoiding housework AT ALL). There seems to be a consensus that you should be able to swim 50m before embarking on actual training. Now, I’m pretty sure I could swim the equivalent of the English Channel (except, it would have to be in a heated pool because I have no desire to dodge poo and tankers whilst covered in lard) so long as I was swimming breaststroke. However, more than 20m of freestyle induces drowning.

So if you hear from me again, you know that the triathlon experiment could be go.

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