Night and Day

January 13, 2011

So good to catch Sandy’s set last night, 7:30 pm. That little guy rocks it hard. He changed his game a little last night, but still had us breathing heavy by the halfway mark.

“Come on, bitches!” he yelled into his headset mike, “get dirty with me!”

And we did. He brings so much energy to the room, it’s hard not to grin like an idiot when he’s up there calling us all out and driving us by example. He’s so light on the pedals, he could easily go another hour. Apparently a friend of his returned to class last night, because he made repeated reference to the “crazy bitch is back,” etc. while looking over to a new female I never saw before. Whatever it was, he was on fire and it was a treat. He told us after the set–while we pushed our bikes across the hardwood against the wall–that he’s gone next week. I went down and tried to sign up for his first class back–two weeks in the future–and it’s already full! The man is truly a rock star.

Woke up this morning with the tickling urge to make Annette’s 5:30 am set at Mission San Diego. That’s over by the stadium and directly on the way to work. So I thought I could make it there–catch her class–and still make it to work on time. But I dawdled actually getting out of bed and it cost me. Didn’t make it into the cycle room till 5:50 am. Still got sweaty, and had the added bonus of watching a fine pair of sweats slowly slip downwards in front of me. Nice.  Annette was typical. She kept the lights all the way up, and it was very bright. Guess that helps keep us from going back to sleep, but who can sleep at 85 rpms? Overall, not a bad workout. Just have to resolve to make it there on time.

Perception and Reality

January 11, 2011

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.

Tiny Dancer

January 10, 2011

My true Gym Dog nature–submerged first by injury in the early 90’s, then buried deeper by a 10 year doomed marriage–has reared its beautifully hoary head again. If I don’t make the gym every day, it feels like a gyp.                In college, I went every day and sometimes twice. That little old gym located on Fletcher Parkway just before the drop into El Cajon is now a Barbecue joint. And we are blessed with a proliferation of much bigger gyms in every city. Time does improve some things.

Caught Tiffany’s 9:30 set at Balboa today. Was standing at the front entrance at 8:15 trying to make a phone call on behalf of a client when Tiffany herself breezed past. She looked different in daylight. It’s always interesting to see instructors on the outside. They truly are minor celebrities. They attract followings and certainly have a fan base they actively cultivate. And why not, they frequently are the reason to show up. The energy level in a Cycle class starts with the instructor. The participants also need to contribute, but the instructor has the lead.

Energy output is no problem for Tiffany.  A kinetic force of nature–she’s up and down on the bike, dismounting to demonstrate position or walk the front aisle exhorting us to push “faster!” and bopping over to her iPod to change the music to “this really cool song .”  She’s like a mini nuclear reactor.

Tiffany led us through a challenging set of ladder drills today: standing, then sitting at ascending, then descending intensity levels. She kept playing with the lights, taking them all the way down till we were practically in the dark then bringing them up to half bright. Only do I get that she was using light to control and intensify energy. At one point she saw that we were all flagging.

“Come on,” she called out, “think of something good you’re going to do today!”

“I’m going to see my dog,” she giggled.

Left right after the final drill. Tiffany was still leading them through stretching exercises when I scurried out. The object is to cool down. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to take that energy out into the rest of my day.

The Pure Room

January 10, 2011

I grew up parochial. Attended a Christian school where we read the KIng James Old Testament every school year and the New Testament if we had time. The Bible tells of the Israelites building a temple to God’s specifications. The temple was comprised of a series of rooms. The outer rooms were more common. The priests could give communion to the tribe members, perform public sacrificial rites and so forth in the outer chambers. But the inner room was “the holiest of holies.” Only the High Priests were allowed there.

For me–now–the Cycle Room is this holiest of holies.  It’s where I go to commune with others in our worship of the athletic rites which we hope will allow us to carry on. And it is absolutely essential that I continue to perform the rites we practise is this inner room. Wish every gym had A Pure Room: a room dedicated only to spinning, where the cycles are permanant fixtures and don’t have to be wheeled into place. However, I am very thankful that there are so many locations available which offer the worship we spinning maniacs crave.

Bittersweet

January 9, 2011

Last night, the stray notion of returning to Grossmont for the Sunday Cycle class popped into my head. But I quickly dismissed the thought. After all, haven’t I reached a level above what that class can offer? This morning, I got up at 6 a.m., enough time to make the 8 a.m. class down at Imperial. The thought of Grossmont occurred again, and was dismissed again. But I dawdled: stretched the cup of coffee out  and kept remembering reasons to come back after I was out the door. Finally, heading south on the freeway at 6:55 a.m., I realized that I was passively aggressively trying to return to Grossmont. If I missed the pass handout at 7 a.m., I would be forced to take the safety option of the Grossmont class. At 7:05, I called down to Imperial and was informed that, indeed, there were “no passes left.”

So, it was back to Grossmont. I haven’t seen that gym in daylight for maybe a month. The interior, the walls, the mats and the machines all looked worn in comparison to the newer Imperial location where I’ve been working out lately. But, the Grossmont location has a warm spot reserved in my heart. I spent the most hours there when first starting on this training regimen.  As early as it was, the old familiar front row spot three bikes down to the right of the instructor was wide open.  I rolled my bike into place and went off to stretch out in the elliptical area.

Coming back with 5 minutes till class start time, there was a very weird feeling in the room. Several of the folks were standing by their bikes and looking out the giant plate-glass windows facing the gym’s front entrance. I wondered if Barbara’s attendance had gotten less reliable. She only let us down one time: and that was really Haitham who failed to show for substitute duties as she promised.  But, no, she breezed in fully dressed in her signature bike shorts and a baseball long-sleeved tee. Her hair is longer and really enhances her overall cuteness. So she started, setting up her bike, the stereo, her music: which thankfully included no Huey Lewis, Bryan Adams or Hootie and the Blowfish.

A block of new, unfamiliar and younger folks was clumped up over across the room behind the front row. One of them–a young male, maybe hispanic (mentioned only for illustrative purposes) cured Barbara’s ire, and drew her fire.  We only knew about it when she called out “well, are you going to join us?!”

Barbara has a really great smile, and she’s the type of person who always smiles after any statement. It’s really a chilling technique: getting called out by someone who’s wearing a great big smile. Cuts you off at the knees before you can even jerk into reaction mode. So we all watched the young man close up his cell phone and put it away. He had apparently been texting in the saddle.

“Okay,” said Barbara, “you should be no lighter than a 7 or maybe a 7 and a 1/2, and uppp…”

The next half hour was like working out in a morgue. I had previously thought that Barbara was hindered by the collective age of the folks taking her class. But the total lack of energy in that room was hard to explain. No whoops, no hoots, no response at all from the crowd. Just Barbara, mechanically cheerful and taking us through drills that had no heart and no fun. The music was fine: contemporary, full of dance-able beats. I dunno, I still find it odd and disheartening. And it made me pine for Jeff B’s regular class.

Finally, at a half hour in, Barbara reached for the old familiar.

“This is a signature 24Cycle drill,” she announced, and started leading us up through a classic “ladder” drill: sitting and standing at increasing increments–starting with level 6 and ending at 9. She told us it was a 7 minute drill and we stood for the final 3. A female voice in the back whooped when Barbara sat us back in the saddle for cool down.

“Do that again!” someone else called, and Barbara smiled. From that point, everybody was looser and we cruised into the forty minute mark with seated sprints at “whatever level you choose, just make sure you’re working.”

The young hispanic male drew another rebuke for lack of effort on the next drill. Barbara called out for a seated level 8. A minute later, she held up 8 fingers at the young man, whose feet were moving too fast to truly be at a resistance level of 8. He should bring an apple for teacher if he ever comes back.

It was nice to see familiar faces. Ed was there in the back row, his great big barrel chest heaving to keep up. Tommy was in the back row, almost directly behind me. He made it through a half hour with only a couple of dismounts for water, his shiny bald head and black horn rims bopping over to the fountain on the side. I felt encouraged that he was actually going to make it through an entire class. But, no, at about 8:15 he dismounted, pulled his bike back onto its front rollers and wheeled it back over against the wall. Au Revoir, Tommy. A lot of the usual ladies were MIA. The elderly asian lady who treated the fan near the door as her own and always parked it a foot away from her right side, the curly-haired, laughing lady who giggled “what’re you on?” to Tommy that time he came in late and wandered aimlessly around for 10 minutes, both were absent.  The tall older guy with a full head of hair, who always rode to the right of me and cracked Barbara up a few times, he was gone, too. As was the bandana-wearing gent who led the whole class when Haitham let us down that one time. His lady buddy, who always matched his standing riding for the entire class was there. She rode standing for the entire class on the bike next to me on my left side. Several times, I stayed with her, standing for a heavy climb after Barbara sat the class down. But I felt embarrassed about standing out, though Tommy–off all people–stood along with us as long as I stayed standing. Happy in the end, wearing a mesh shirt soaked through, I walked out the back door while Barbara led stretching and cool down. Then it was down to the best jacuzzi I’ve come across (so far) in the circuit. A nice bonus and fitting close to an uneven session.

Running on Empty

January 8, 2011

All this week, I’ve been hiding the fact that I’ve felt different about Spin since my 6 day New Years break. I didn’t want to admit it, especially to myself. It’s like the thrill is gone: like I expected something magical during my vacation and the letdown carried over into everything else, including Spin. So it was very welcome indeed to feel the old familiar anticipation this morning. Standing in my kitchen, I gulped coffee and orange juice before taking off to catch Diane B.’s 9:30 set at Balboa. Didn’t eat anything except herbal caffeine pills. Now, last night, I Ate a huge dinner. Three hamburger patties, two slices of sourdough, slathered in avocado, pepper jack and coleslaw. Fries on the side. Eating a big meal at night before spinning early in the morning usually gives me some calories in the tank. 

Some kind of Body Pump promotion going on at Balboa today.  An extremely fit manager in a red 24Hr polo shirt used his tree trunk arms to unfold a table to display mini cheerio boxes and brochures. I passed by him several times to check on the class that ended a mere 15 minutes before Diane B’s. I’m really happy that 24Hr Cycle is such a popular class that they can schedule 2 classes back to back and fill them both. The only thing I would wish for is a little more down time between classes. I had to settle for a bike further from the center than I wanted because my 1st pick was still being used by its former rider as a stretching device. I don’t want to harsh anybody over a bike. If that rider had been given a full half hour between sets, it wouldn’t have been an issue.

Diane was her usual wise cracking self. She skewered both marquee quarterbacks playing for playoff wins today: Peyton Manning and Drew Breeze. After leading us through some ladder drills, she separated us up based on our choice of who would throw more interceptions. Drew’s fan club took the 1st standing climb. Peyton’s fans peddled in the saddle.  And after ninety seconds, she switched us. Diane B. made reference to the Body Pump promotion during the opening climb portion of her set.

“Free Cheerios,” she dead-panned, “bet you can’t get that at L.A. Fitness!”

I did okay for the first twenty minutes of drills. But the last half hour was a struggle. I hit the wall and was totally out of energy. I had not eaten any solid food since carbo-loading the night before. I was out of gas. The thought of bailing out actually crossed my mind. Meanwhile, Diane B. carried on a running commentary about all sports: football, baseball, even lacrosse. She structured the last series of drills on our ages. Twenty year-olds had to stand and run first, thirty year-olds next, and so on. We learned that Diane is in her fifties, because she stood when she called that age out.

“This is me,” she said, to underline the point.

I think age and declining abilities is really on her mind. As this long drill stretched out, she exhorted us find our motivation.

“Keep going,” she called, “think of all the people who can’t do this, who would gladly trade places with you right now”!

I immediately flashed on the crippled folks I used to help get approved for wheelchairs. I realized she was right. And it helped me get to the finish. My shirts, both of them, were wringing wet with sweat. But I made it, and felt better for it.  The room was still dark when I left, the class was still stretching out and cooling down. I walked out to find my lock and make it to the next ride.

When the Equipment’s Over

January 7, 2011

Typically, I ended up going into work on my 1st day off.  Had to make some client contact calls. Five days off is tough when you’ve got cases in progress.  Already decided to catch the 12:30 class at Imperial. Got stuck at work too long–as usual. Had to call down and transfer a reservation from Monday night so they’d save me a pass. It’s okay, I really didn’t want to go down for a night class when I’ve got the whole day off anyway.  

Class was slightly off from the start. The instructor was very pretty. Sharp, prim facial features, scrubbed clean skin, a wedding ring and a very low-cut Danskin top.

“My name’s Susan,” she said, “and I’m subbing for…well, I really don’t know who, (wrinkling her nose expressively) but it doesn’t matter.”

Her headset microphone started buzzing and we started hearing about every fourth word. She jiggled the headset, blew into the mike, all while walking around the room dealing with the usual housekeeping of collecting passes and seeing if anyone needed help setting up their bike. The mike stopped transmitting entirely and she tried shouting.

“Okay, I’ll just have to walk around the room and demonstrate,” she called, crouching down to show us the hover position. She was ready to discard the mike entirely, but she just didn’t have a big enough voice to fill that cavernous room. Imperial’s cycle room is a shared space, not a dedicated one. They hold Zhumba, Yoga and Body Pump classes there. It’s like a giant dance studio out of a movie, a full facing mirror wall and solid blonde hardwood floor.

Susan knew she needed the mike. She kept working with it, wiggling wires and tapping the connectors to discover the problem. All the while, the twenty of us who showed up to spin gamely kept our legs moving and the resistance gradually increasing in the saddle. Susan finally discovered the mike didn’t drop sound if she stood next to the four-foot tall Stereo/P.A. cabinet. So she pulled her bike right next to the stereo. Mounting the bike, she adjusted her headset and carried on. The mike was still a bit buzzy, but it didn’t drop whole sentences anymore.

I wore 3 shirts: a sleeveless tank under a mesh jersey and a long-sleeved baseball shirt over it all. The 3 shirts combined to make a heavy outfit. So I achieved a sweat after eighteen minutes, even with all the equipment drama. Susan pushed us pretty good. But it would’ve been a different class if she had functioning equipment behind her. As it was, she ran us through some pretty intense climbs. I kept the resistance up for her seated sprints, so that was a winner, too. I stripped down to the thin, sleeveless tank top thirty-five minutes in. Still ended the session with rivulets of sweat running off my shoulders and down my biceps. Good start to my 5 Day.

30 Minutes to Glory

January 6, 2011

Looking back into my post archives, “rushing out the door” is a common phrase. Well, tonight, I rushed out the door at work to catch the last half of Laura U.’s set at Miramar. I was just planning on going straight home. But I got the urge to check the class schedule for 24Cycle at 7 pm. Pancakes and eggs for breakfast and pasta salad for lunch: I needed the workout. The only class left was at Miramar: at 7 p.m. So it was already in progress when I called up to discover there were still eleven passes left at 7:02. 

“Okay, I’ll catch the last 20 minutes of that,” I told the girl and hung up the phone.

I popped into a vacant–and lock-able–office and changed into my sweats. The two people still in the office talked amongst themselves and seemed not to notice. I brushed past them to rush out and onto the freeway. It was 7:20 when I walked up to the front desk. The 2 clerks were busy with 2 members setting up fingerprint recognition scan.  I looked down and over the counter .  A  pile of red Cycle passes just lay there. So I picked one off the top. The girl saw me and said “it’s already started,” like it was a movie at the Space Theater, where they don’t let late entrants into the show.

“Yeah??”  I replied in a belligerent tone that implied the missing “so what?”

I immediately felt bad about being a bully to (# 1) a girl (#2) smaller than me by a foot and a half  (#3)  lighter than me by a hundred pounds.  In my feeble defense: the clock was ticking and the wheels were spinning somewhere I was desperate to get to.

The front counter people probably don’t get paid much. And with the new ten key phone number punch pad and finger print scan for easy entry, a big part of their counter duties is gone. No longer do they take a member’s card and check photo ID. Now, their most challenging task is greeting a member by their proper name when it pops up in front of them after the phone number entry and print scan. And they’re suppose to wish every member a goodbye on the way past the counter. Personally, I try to find something to distract me: fiddling with my ipod, switching bags from hands to shoulders, adjusting clothing, whatever–to allow them to ignore me on the way out. If  I was tipping them in say, a restaurant situation, then I would expect the cordial treatment. But I find it somewhat demeaning (for them) and I try not to participate.

So, given the nature of the desk clerk’s duties and her overall job description, it was expected that she wouldn’t challenge me much on getting into the class late. In the end, she just said “okay” and I hopped up onto the split stairwell to get to the top floor.

The Miramar location is weird in that all the action happens on the top floor–and the only time a member is below that floor is during entry and exit. They must have offices or storage hidden behind the mirrors and walls.

The cycling room was half full. The few bodies inside were already well into the set, of course. I smiled a broad grin at the instructor: Laura U. She’s a bigger, middle-aged gal, with spikey peroxide blonde hair. Very big hips and brassy voice. She was leading a climb and alternating walking in place when I started setting up my bike. Knowing the seat and bar height settings by heart now really helped me get into the saddle faster. Laura U. is a strict believer in the muscled confusion concept. The theory is that muscles grow to combat confusion. So she led us through a series of seated sprints, followed by standing runs. She’s one of these instructors that makes promises of an end to the drills, but is very cagey about the actual number of drills facing the class.

Laura U. is a true believer. In the middle of one of her grueling seated sprints, she began preaching the gospel.

“You can burn between six hundred and a thousand calories in one Spin class,” she said.

She’s a broad-hipped lady with legs as big as my own. She’s still got some fat left on her frame. But–as she led us through her tough, tiring set–she told us a short story that explains her physique and her motivations. She told us this story in a loud, slightly raspy voice that never sounded out of breath, though she was working harder than anybody else in the room.

“Two years ago,” she said, “I made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. And as of today, I’ve lost 95 pounds. So always remember you can do anything you set your mind to in here.”

So, I only got in about thirty minutes of total spinning. I broke a sweat after only 10-15 minutes, which was good, ‘cuz I didn’t have much time. But I got some inspiration for my continuing efforts from Laura U. At the end of the session, I was happy that I made the trip up. And, I’m on the 1st day of my 5 day furlough tomorrow, so it’s wide open.

The Sweat Point

January 5, 2011

It’s the point in the Spin class where I break a sweat; it’s one of the main reasons I spin. Sweating is a good indicator of exercise. I’ve been mentally ticking off the point in the session where I break into sweat since I started spinning. When the sweat runs down the side of my temple onto my nose or cheek, I mentally check it off. From that point on: I figure I’m working out.  But the rooms I’m spinning in lately are all air-conditioned. It’s more challenging to break a sweat in a cold room. This morning, I got up and rushed through the routine: pack brunch and dinner after shaving and washing face and hair, get dressed, pack 3 or 4 bags (cuz I planned to spin twice) brush teeth and hurry out the door to start truck, pack truck and speed off to Balboa for 6 am Spin w?Diane B.

Got to Balboa at a quarter to 6 am. Still got a pass, which worries me, because it has potential to just make me continue being that late. I need more time to stretch and warm up, and I would like to have done some abdominal crunches beforehand, too. Anyway, carried all my stuff: two bags, my work uniform on wire hangers, into the Spin room, picked out a bike in the front row further down the line (and in front of the fan) than I’m used to. Kind of a mediocre Spin session: didn’t break a sweat till quarter after, and I had to leave at 6:30 to make it to work. Diane cracked the usual amount of jokes: Norv Turner’s contract was a target, people taking in the back row were gently chided. But I had to leave, and so I did.

Went down to Imperial Marketplace for round 2 after work. Sandy brought the show with him tonight. He was on fire. It wouldn’t have mattered what kind of energy we gave him back–though I tried to reflect my fair share his way from my usual front and left position. Sandy had us climb up through the resistance scale while seated, then, before complacency had a chance, he pulled us up to run out of the saddle, and then back down, and then the same drill all over again. We left it all on the floor tonight. He had us all up and out of the saddle and running at a level 8 resistance with 10 minutes left in the class! And he had us do 4 reps of that running 8 count.

“Only a few more,” he said after the 1st running 8. “Only a couple more,” he said after the 2nd one.

I got my sweat on at about the halfway mark, but I sweated it out for a solid half hour after that. Sandy called out some woman who was taking a break off her bike during that last drill. She was sitting on a stack of plastic mini steps for the Body Pump class.

“Get off your butt and get out of my class!” Sandy yelled at her. And then he yelled it again while pointing at her to make sure she knew who he was addressing. So she did get up and walked out the door. But then she came back into the room a few minutes later and remounted her bike. Sandy hung around the room and then out in the common area after class, talking to some of the ladies. He knew he brought it tonight, and it looked like he was happy to have them flit around him admiringly. He deserved it.

Coming Back Down

January 3, 2011

Got in from Baja trip last nite at 9 pm. Scenery was beautiful as always; weather was cold. Probably will not do New Years down there again. Just too cold to enjoy customary pastime of drinking and basking in sun. Pulled out the bathroom scale this am and got shocked back to reality. Seven pounds gained in last 4 days. Hardly seems possible, but if I’m going to trade in the currency of the bathroom scale, I can’t disregard its revelation of inflation. Did drink 2 cases of full-bodied Pacifico. Ate a lot of starch: sourdough bread, dinner rolls, oyster stuffing, Costco muffins, etc. My buddy Steve ordered 4 tacos, a spicy chicken sandwich, full order of jalapeno poppers last nite after we crossed the border. Listening to him, I felt licensed to follow suit, and ordered a full bag myself: Sirloin cheeseburger, full jalapeno poppers order, “new” cheesy fries and a large Oreo shake. Didn’t have to eat breakfast this am. But did feel the need to go Spin after work. Rode with Nicole at Imperial Marketplace. Still need to finish my instructor reviews,  so don’t want to spoil that, but Nicole does okay for me every Monday. She’s like a female Horseshack, same curly hair, same nasal voice, same loveable puppy dog quality. She’s another short, close to the ground female who makes it look all to easy to whip those pedals around. Got my Amazon order of Irwin Naturals Green Tea Fat Burner this am when I arrived at work. The boxes were sitting on my desk. So I popped a few throughout the day. Was really flying after five minutes of warm-up on the cycle. Nicole had us up and running for about 8 minutes to start her seat. I felt really buzzy, disconnected from the wood floor under us, floating, bouncing on the pedals. Had to remind myself to breathe so I wouldn’t pass out or something stupid like that. My worst nightmare vision of keeling over in Spin class revisited me during this floating stage. At the 8:03 marker, the sweat soaked through both my shirts and breathing was ragged. Didn’t feel so high any more. By 8:20 I was fully crashed and struggling to keep up the sprints Nicole cheerfully put us through to finish. The good thing about Imperial is the jacuzzi is right there. No need to trek over to Grossmont for a muscle soak. The jets are too low, but with some work you can still aim them against key leg muscles. Spotted something ingenious in the men’s room: toilet seats with little lips off the right side for picking the seat up by foot. Wonder why it took so long for that innovation. Nobody wants to put a hand on a toilet seat. The time saved by jacuzzi-ing in same location as spinning allowed me to blog tonite. Tomorrow will not be so lucky: no jacuzzi at Mission Valley Center.