Perception and Reality

Didn’t work out too much in front of Steve K’s 8 a.m. class @ Rancho San Diego. Just happy to have made it there for a pass with ease. Did find an heretofore undiscovered Ab Crunch machine in the corner. Good to know. The lack of Ab machines was always a mental tick against Rancho when weighing work out options.  Didn’t want to work the biceps, delts or any other muscle that gets plenty of isometric excercise holding my balance on the cycle in standing position. Mainly, I spent the hour stretching out my quads, calves, hamstrings and Achilles heels. Did jump a little rope. Scored this great Spaulding heavy “Sport Rope” on eBay before Xmas.  Cost me sixteen bucks and an hour hour of furious, dog-fight style bidding at a Starbucks. With the kid egging me on. Jeez, what am I teaching my son? How to win an auction on eBay during the final seconds, apparently. Anyway, it was totally worth it. The rope swings around with real purpose: the weight works out my wrists, too.

Steve K. was in brutal form. Wednesday is his flagship class. Since this was Tuesday, one can only assume that he was treating us as boot camp grade fresh meat. Two long ladder climbs to start, both fifteen minutes each, both featuring up and down positions with incremental increases along the way. Almost through the first one, I looked over at the wall clock to see it was only 8:14. At that point, I realized it was only 8:14. Survival skills kicked in and I stealthily spun the knob to lower resistance, taking care to wait till Steve K.’s head was turned. He’s a hard lecturer when he catches someone turning down the resistance before he calls for it.

Overall, just a punishing ride. Mr. K. eschewed the usual intro about how his classes are structured differently than others: how it’s more like a road ride, with hills and flats indicated by his stories. Instead, he just walked the walk, taking us on hilly climb after climb, worthy of the Tour de France’s fabled Alpine section.

“You’ve made it to the middle of the pack,” he said halfway through, “but don’t lose your position to any of the riders you passed up to get here!”

Very few of us were with him in the end, including myself. Very disheartening: struggling to keep cadence to the beat and look over to see his legs always going faster than my own.  Was encouraged by the surprisingly strong tension I felt on my wheel after a climbing off to find tissue for nasal passage clearance. Had to lighten it up just to get the pedals to come around for remount.

My weight is back around 223, which is what I took to my Baja carbo-loading vacation extravaganza. So restricting the carbs these last 5 days off worked. But I need to find a way to eat for energy. Can’t keep running out of twenty minutes into the class. Left during final cool down and stretching. Ten yards from the exit, I spotted a man seated in one of the chairs by the front door. He held up a square object in front of his face, like he was reading. The sun streamed in through the windows behind–throwing him into silhouette. I assumed the square was an iPad. But then, since he was in reading posture, I thought maybe it was a Kindle. This internal discussion took three seconds, the entire time it took me to walk past him, look over and note he was actually holding up the morning paper, opened to the crossword and backed by a good, old-fashioned clipboard.  Amazing how technology has taken over everything, including internal processing of visual clues into belief.


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