Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Last. Class. Yay!

It felt, for many reasons, like a final spin class and it was oh so many shades of dammit mixed with awesome. You know how turquoise is a blend of blue and green? It was just like that.

To get the night off to a great start, I arrived at the studio late. Huh? I'm never late for this class, but I was nervous for this one. Not sure how it took me 20 minutes to put on eyeliner, but yeah, it did.

There were tons of people attending. I chalk it up to cooler weather plus the desperate need of participants to finish off their 8-class card by the end of the season. Among the gang there were lots of regulars and at least four new people I had never seen in my class before. Which meant that I would have to evaluate where they were on the experience threshold, if there was time. There wasn't. I was sorting out pedals like a madwoman and then I remembered that my boss was in the shop so I wrestled him in to the studio and put him to work changing pedals. Even with his assistance there was  much set up work to do, and I had to start the class a bit late (but assured everyone that it was just a longer warm up).

It can be intoxicating to look out to a roomful of people waiting to do your bidding, the nastier the better. When the room is full, I transform, like a werewolf, into a monstrous version of myself, acting and demanding and generally throwing instructions around like the Queen of Hearts.

Tonight I rocked a new type of class, one that mirrored an actual bike ride up many, many hills. It was tough one, and probably more challenging than my previous classes because we were never allowed to get comfortable in one position. We were up and down like seesaws.

A nice couple brought me a CD of punk music for future classes! And I consequently gave the woman, Cathy, the most intensively painful charley horse of her life from lots of sprints! Argh. But a cramp is a million times easier to live with than a heart attack, so I am grateful that Cathy is still with us (albeit limping). It was a buzz kill, though. I could feel the concern in the room and some people slowed down. Good thing only 10 minutes remained for the class.

After locking up the store, I ran to the veggie resto for take out and while on the sidewalk my nose caught the aroma of grilled steak and dwelled upon it for at least three blocks.

A few people said goodbye after the class. I will particularly miss the mother and daughter dynamic duo that have attended faithfully for the past 2 seasons. They rock!

So, it's been a few hours since the end of the class, and I am starting to come down from the high now. I will miss the workouts and the participants, the thrill of teaching, and the never ending task of trying to motivate people work hard and give their all while sitting on the wobbly, uncomfortable seat of a bike that doesn't move. I will actually miss seeing these people every week which is weird. I can't believe how attached I can get - I'm like a housecat, but for people.

What will I do on Wednesday nights from now until the end of summer?  Write your ideas in the comments section.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On the edge of transition

We had ourselves an enjoyable class. Wild tunes blasting through the studio, and waves of air streaming through the open door. A pleasant number of participants - loads more than I bargained for on this warm evening balancing on the ledge of the window of spring.

Many a red face to be witnessed after just a few minutes of spin, too: it was hot in there. I took longer than usual to catch my breath after the sprints. It takes the return of warm weather to remind me every year that winter workouts are just not as tough (unless you are running in arctic temperatures and risking frostbite). 

Is this because winter lasts longer here, and we are used to preparing for cooler temps while hot weather whips us good; we have fewer resources and anecdotal tales and mottoes to live by, and become trapped by our preconceived notions of heat and what we can do to live with it? 

I welcome the arrival of spring yet there are winter things to miss. I will miss following a snowy path after spin class, giddy with warrior adrenaline, the mirage of post-workout shower and beer luring me back to camp.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Snow drifts and sunny glints

The first Gatineau lunch run with the amigos took a good 5 minutes longer than last summer's average. So many reasons for this! 

It was hot hot hot yet there were heaps of snow clinging fiercely to the paths. There we were in shorts and tees and up to ankles in snow, like snowbunnies who forgot their skis but showed up to the hills anyway out of habit and for the pure joy of t-bar runs. We were sweating in snow.

We made a game out of running through it, icy and slushy and clearly on its way to a permanent meltdown. It looked and felt like sand, so yeah, we were running on a beach. A waterless one. At times, the snow complained loudly with a combo of crunch-slosh-crack noises but we laughed loudly in response, and also because my colleagues are pretty funny guys. 

And we weren't the only ones taking advantage of the beautiful weather. We saw walkers, runners, skiers and cyclists, and an impromptu daycare of little kiddies sitting on a quilt on the road (still closed for the season). 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Miracle Monday

Today was the first work day that involved the DST change but I didn't have a tough go of it at all. And I'm pretty sure D is the person to thank here.

Since his body clock was a bit off from his work schedule and he was fighting the heavy eyelids, he went to bed super early for a Saturday night - 10:30! Suffering succotash! - and I went along for company, I guess. Miraculously, I slept until morning with only a teensy break (woke up, tossed and turned for a while) so I'd say I was tired, too. When I finally got out of bed at 9:30, I felt weirdly peaceful and energized. As if my Dead Space space suit health meter had completely refilled with neon green goo. I was ready for the mutant zombies. Here, kitty kitty.

Just 5 more minutes
Sometimes I forget how progressively sleep deprived I become by getting an average of 6.5 hours of shuteye a night for a week. That amount is usually self-imposed: I like to stay up late and do. I do not like to rise at 6:30 for most reasons but especially for bussing to the wilds of Gatineau for a job.

Weekends are the best time (I can hear my mother's voice here) to pay down the ol' sleep debt so as to avoid sub-prime depression and stay on the good side of health banks, but they are also the best time to see friends, watch films and have staying up late, of course!

So following a late Saturday night, I doze until 1:30 on Sunday, then can't sleep Sunday's an entropic snowball that can leave me staring up at the start of a demanding work week feeling weaker than I had when I polished off the last week.

Not so today. I went to bed shockingly early last night. Still not pleased by the screeching chimes of clocks in the morning, but I can suffer my way out of bed much easier after a decent rest, and on to busses without an undignified amount of swearing.

Merely a dignified amount.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Trick rabbit

Can you find the hidden sentence?

Gold you are like gold to me I
said before you compared me to a timid rabbit and now you bury
your face in your midnight pillow as though you
just blew a house down. All I want is for
you to say something nice I said, one goddam nice thing the
anger rising like steam and I could see your thrill
at my hurt and then you said, okay you remind me of
a ruby-throated hummingbird digging
nectar from lilacs. I smiled, me the sword and you
a magician dreaming the most delightful way to swallow me up

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Subliminal Control

Plastic playstation prawns provide pensive potions 
Loose with lethargic lullabies and last light languages

Anesthetized astrologies of authentic aspartame

Yearn for yesterday’s yellow yolks and yerba

Multiplying moths in motionless mustang marrow   

Edged evenly with electrifying eggshell echoes    

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Coconut Lagoon

I had dinner this evening at Coconut Lagoon, which serves South Indian cuisine. As we were deciding where to eat, I told my friend, I like the word coconut and I like the word lagoon, and she said, I heard it's a good resto, so we hunted down the address in the middle of a blizzard and tried it out.

We ordered a peas and cheese dish and a veggie korma, along with steamed rice and a basket of paratha, which I guess I would describe as South Indian version of naan bread. It's made of coiled dough, and is easy to pull/rip apart.

The dishes were well seasoned and creamy, and the paratha were steaming hot. The vada were also really good, perfectly bland vehicles for transmitting the tasty coconut and sambal sauces to the mouth. Sadly, no pictures were snapped of our dining event, so you will have to take my word that it was a damn good tasty meal.

Next time, though, I'm getting the thali. I spied the round trays of stainless steel on other tables and the variety of dishes beckoned to me. 

And I went running last night for an hour! I woke up (after 10 marvelous hours of sleep!) to the familiar calf tingle - not pain, just a feeling that the calves had been used. Hopefully I can get that going again tomorrow. 

Meet me here for a pina colada around 2pm?