Sometimes motivation doesn’t come from within…

…it comes from the spin instructor who hopped off her bike to give more personal direction.

Yes, it really happened.

I thought my workout motivation was high. I sprung out of bed at 5:30am Monday to do my morning cardio and weights routine and still looked forward to the evening spin class. Tuesday, I hit snooze. Actually, it was worse than that. I completely reset my alarm making a deal with myself was make up my morning routine after work before my evening workout.

Are you still following me?

So, after work, I went on a 2 mile walk and started planning my gym workout. I considered doing intervals on the different cardio machines, but I just wasn’t looking forward to it. In fact, as I wrapped up my walk, I thought “Maybe I’ll just stay home and watch movies.”

Uhhhhh… no. Friday and Sunday were well-deserved rest days. I certainly didn’t need or deserve another one already. So I trudged to the gym, still not knowing what my workout would entail.

Fortunately, a spin class was starting up just as I got to the gym and there were just a couple bikes open, so I decided to hop on one. Even my worst spin workouts aren’t horrible because I manage to keep my heart rate up and at least try to look like I’m following along. With this instructor, there was NO faking it.

The music was nonstop and she called this class “The Dragon Race” due to how hard it was going to be. We did steep hills, and when I thought I couldn’t go any further, she asked us to increase the resistance or our speed just a tiny bit more. She had us focus on various muscle groups, at one point directing us to concentrate on lifting our legs instead of pushing the pedals.

Then, she hopped off the bike and sprinted to the center of the studio.

“Noooooo!” she roared. “I can tell you’re not isolating your muscle groups. You know why?”

The class was stunned into silence. All you could hear was the whirring of the wheels and the panting of the participants.

“Because you’re doing THIS!” she shouted, launching into some kind of funky chicken dance with exaggerated body movements.

“You should be doing THIS instead!” she shouted as she marched stiffly, knees clearly moving straight up and down. Then she walked along each row either correcting or congratulating each of us on our form. It could have been embarassing or demeaning, but ended up being supportive and motivating. Those she corrected, swiftly discovered the right form, earning a “Right on!” or “Awesome!” from her.

“Great! Now faster, faster–just increase your speed by 10%. You think you can’t do it but it’s all in the head. Keep it in your head, not in your legs!” she said as she hopped back on her bike, pedaling quickly.

I’ve never been so aware of my body or my ability to perform before.

Normally, my heart rate ranges in the 130s to 160 for spin. I tend to recover quickly, dropping easily back around 135 during any recovery periods in between intervals. This time my heart rate stayed consistently between 150 and 170 throughout the entire class.

I’ve never gone to the Tuesday evening class before, but you can bet I’ll start including it in my routine. I’ve continued skipping my morning workouts and sleeping longer, but I’ve added those workouts to my evening activity or completed them during my lunch break. While physically, I’m still feeling a little worn out, mentally I’m much more prepared for my workouts. I did a two mile walk during lunch yesterday, and I did my weight routine after work, followed by a spin class. Thursday is a relaxed workout day: ab exercises, yoga and a walk. Fortunately, I have three day weekends in the summer, so fitting in my workouts isn’t as challenging and doesn’t require early mornings. Aside from a spin class, my weekend workouts are weather dependent, but I hope they’ll include a long walk with Evan along the Delaware/Raritan Canal and maybe some more tennis lessons.

You can bet that by Monday, I will be more prepared for my morning workouts again: I’ll set the timer on the coffee pot, set two alarms, lay my workout clothes out in advance and make it to that morning session at the gym.


2 responses to “Sometimes motivation doesn’t come from within…

  1. maybe I should start going to a spin class to find my motivation!

  2. Pingback: Killer Workouts & Planning for my Trip « Downsized!

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