The spin classes that I've been taking are only taught by cyclists. My two main teachers are The Coach and The Triathlete. I've taken spin from other teachers, but their classes are more like aerobics on a spin bike. I don't wanna do push ups on a bike or squats while pedaling or spin my legs in a Speedy Gonzales whirl. My knees don't either, frankly, and I think since I'm in training to do some events on a real bike, I don't want to practice things that I wouldn't actually do on a real bike. Hi, I think I'll do some squats during this cross-city race. SPIN SNOB am I!!
Anyway, The Coach murders me on Saturday, who incidentally almost had me sobbing on the bike last week, but The Triathlete intensely pulls me through my steady interval training. I take her 6am class a couple days a week and she likes to bust balls at the break of dawn. She's the type that doesn't mean to break balls so hard, but sometimes she just comes across as impatient and hard-core. I like that about her. The Coach is on a god-like pedestal. We are caught under his spell which he puts on us with a kind voice and perfect guidance and by wearing cycling shorts over smooth Thor-like thighs. Mainly he can coax out the best in us by his god-like energy alone. But The Triathlete is human and an intense athlete who doesn't sugarcoat the work of training. I need them both quite honestly.
I ride Loops to spin class, which is only about a mile from my house. And for the last two weeks, I've rolled up as The Triathlete is entering the building. And for the last two weeks she has busted my chops -- in the locker room, after class, before class -- about not wearing a helmet when I ride Loops. I have no argument back. I just don't wanna wear one. I wear a helmet on the road bike because it feels like a completely different dynamic, but on Loops, I feel free and slow and beautiful. But holy shit, The Triathlete won't get off me about it. I told Maya and Mina that my spin teacher was making me wear a helmet to which they said, "Why would you have to wear a helmet during spin class?" haha. I don't know, but I have been wearing one TO spin ever since. (No further lectures needed.)
So training . . .going well. I feel good, getting stronger for sure. My hip is sore today though I don't think my hip has been the same since the marathon. That sucks. But carrying on! I ride Whitey Heidi only once, sometimes twice, a week and our love affair is gradual and romantic. It's a true courtship if anything. My Sunday ride is supposed to be my easy recovery ride. I loop around a gorgeous stretch of road that has a wide bike lane and few street lights or stop signs. The median of the street is home to lush grass and sprawling coral trees. This road is a runner/cyclist magnet and anyone serious to novice is here at all times of the day, any day of the week. When I first started riding this road I felt intimidated and very unsure of my skills, but now I feel I'm able to hang. On Sunday, I passed many a geared-up weekend-warrior dude in the same manner any strong cyclist passes another; with a core-induced circular pedal and a quick wave of the hand. Peace! You're dust, sucka . . .
So, my competitive nature is not dead. That's been made very clear lately. On Sundays, I'm supposed to be taking it easy, but when I see other cyclists, my engines rev and I want to know what my level is compared to theirs. About every mile, I'm telling myself to chill. Whoa, Madness, damn.
Maya's basketball season has started at school. After practice, after all the drills and running are done, Maya, and a couple of the girls and some of the coaches want to play a fun game of Knock Out. Knock Out is when anyone who wants to play lines up at the free throw line. The first two in line have basketballs; the first shoots but if she misses and the second player then makes it, guess what? The first is knocked out. Last week, I showed up before Knock Out and Maya begged for me to play with them. One of the main coaches mumbled to another coach, "Yo, Maya's mom can ball," which he knows because we went to high school together. And secretly I was all pumped that my legendary basketball skills were not just tales that I tell in the most longing of ways. So Maya begs and I'm standing there in jeans and flip flops and a nice sweater and shirt. Another coach says, "Naw, Maya. Your mom wants to go. We'll play next week." Maya ignores this and says, "Mami, seriously? You don't want to play Knock Out?" And I take off my purse, walk to the free throw line and say, "Run it." Mina stands in front of me and I let her take a few shots before I knock her butt out. The coach I went to high school with, Shamel, says, "Dang, just knock out your own child." I said, "She shoulda made it." Then I proceed to knock out everybody, Maya, players, coaches. You're dust, suckas! Shamel slaps my hand on the way out. "You still got it, girl," he says.
I feel a little like a meat head, all pumping my fists and strutting around, cycling past creaky dudes over the weekend and beating children at basketball, though there were grown-men coaches playing too. Next I'll be arm wrestling Lupe and kickboxing infants. It's all kind of fun though. Maybe I should pick a fight with The Triathlete and get my block clocked to send me back to earth. Naw, 'cause in my mind, during her class, I'm so dusting her on the spin bike too, even without a helmet.