Sweating Out the Virus

Not sure which is sicker right at this moment: the body or the mind. Came down fast with flu-like symptoms this morning: feverish, stuffed up head, organized sneezing fits, non-stop nose drainage and phlegm collecting in my throat till it gets thrown up by normal respiration. At high noon, my head felt like it was packed with cotton and I felt the familiar elevated temperature indicating a fever.

Called down to Imperial Marketplace to check whether I had booked a reservation for Sandy’s 7:30 pm ride. The guy checked the roster and answered affirmative. So I booked out of work on time and headed onto 805 south. Sandy is un-closeted and strong as steel pedals.

“I really like colors,” he told us once, “for obvious reasons.”

That either meant he’s an artist who wants a full palette available, or he’s rainbow-friendly. Either way, he shows up about 15 minutes before class starts, does some stretches over in the area that’s roped off for personal training, then takes the room over from the Yoga-ites and rocks it hard for a full hour.

Tonight, as he brutalized us with an up and down drill at a level 8, Sandy explained why he was exhorting up to keep our heads up.

“You need to keep the air-way clear,” he said, “I know CPR, but I don’t want to use it on any of you. It won’t be any fun for me, or you either.”

Sandy wears 3 heart monitor straps, one on his chest, one on each of his knees. He fairly danced on the pedals during several of the songs in his set. He raised his right arm up and over head level , palm flat and bouncing, like he was tapping our collective heads in time to the beat: a physical blessing and benediction. I kept my gray long-sleeved T-shirt on for half an hour. Going into the class, I wasn’t really sure I could make it. My nose drained snot down my upper lip in the bathroom and my head wasn’t good. I thought I might take a bike in the back and just lay back. But then I got into the room, and my competitive nature wouldn’t let me take anything less than a front row seat–the same spot I always grab.  And I felt okay and was grinning like a fool ten minutes into the hour. Sandy had us do some seated drills and jump right up and run–1st at a 7, then an 8. Last night, Cody explained that the object of working out is to “confuse” the muscles.

“Your body is an amazing machine,” he told us, “it adapts super quickly, and the only way to gain benefit from anaerobic exercise is to confuse the muscles.’

Sandy worked of that tip sheet tonight. First, it was graduated resistance increases while sitting and alternating between sprints and beat-tempo spins. Then, it was standing runs at graduated resistance levels. It was all therapeutic for me. I used the 1st half hour to keep covered up and sweat out the sickness. My shirt felt heavy with sweat when I finally stripped down to the white jersey underneath.

Sandy worked us the full hour. He played a speeded up Christmas instrumental standard at the end–recognized the melody even speeded up, but can’t name the tune. Sandy rode balls out and we dutifully followed. Soaked in the jacuzzi for a while, imagining I was feeling better. But my nose is still putting out liquid and my head is still cotton candy. Going try to ride w/Annette @ 5:30 am over at College Grove, but may just roll over and hit snooze instead. We’ll see. Only 2 more days to ride before Christmas closes the gym for the weekend. Have ridden something like ten straight days now and would like to keep it spinning like a record, baby.


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