Saturday, September 28, 2019

Senior Spin Class

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                                                                      Juliet's website

I go to Senior spin class at my gym. I don't go to the the regular spin because they play music super loud and shout and scream and shame the participants if they don't go hard enough.

I know my own body. I've been riding bikes since I was a kid and was seriously "on the road" since the early 1970's. I enjoyed road riding up into the 2000's and then weight, illnesses, surgeries and age set in. Now, although I swore I'd never give up, it's beginning to scare me to ride on the road. There are too many distracted drivers, huge cars, high speeds. Those things, plus my balance is off --a side effect of aging and medication. My knees are shot from riding "accidents" (dog attacks, actually) and various youthful dumb-ass attempts to act a lot stronger and spryer than I actually am--or ever was.

The upshot is that spinning is about all that's left to this old cyclist. Usually we have a great instructor, Boz, who was once even more a hard-core rider than I am, but who now is also old and busted. Although he's still a big road rider, he knows what the 70+ body feels like. He warms up the class, he does stretching afterward, he doesn't play the music at ear-drum piercing levels. He asks us to work hard and challenge ourselves, but he belongs to the "No pain no pain" school of thinking.

Ribbon cutting for the new bike rake at the library.

Some in the class find him boring, but I don't. He, in my opinion, knows how to run a senior spin class. So what if he repeats himself a lot; I do too. I can even take him playing "Highway to the Danger Zone" at every class, especially because I know that he did his time and flew cargo all over Vietnam during our war. (Boz was too tall to be a fighter pilot.)

Yesterday I arrived at class, but Boz wasn't there. Instead we had a youngster, the kind who spends every minute until the beginning of the class thumbing through his phone. The music shakes the walls and over this he shouts that we can begin the class at a high tension and "at least 100 rpm." I can see how this is going to go, but I'm not going to leave after driving over here, so I decide to ride my own class. Whatever the youth says, I will simply scale it back to a level that my knees can endure. After all, my goal is to stay aerobically fit and NOT have knee surgery--a goal that is attainable if I use my head.

Well, it was 50 minutes of noise and absurd demands, but I got through it by just riding my own way. When the "instructor" got down and walked among us, checking up on what tension we were using, I simply kept my head down. I was waiting for him to say something, but by that time I was probably radiating sufficient dislike that even this ditz could see it pulsing around me. Wisely, he kept walking and made no comments to me--encouraging, shaming, teasing or otherwise.

If he had, I had a few choice words for him.

"Hey kid; my goal here is to nurse these knees along until I die. And--you know what? I was riding centuries* before you were born." 

~~Juliet Waldron

                                                                     Juliet's website

*one hundred milers

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