CYCLEBAR Columbia Pike Spin Club Studio

The results of three days of inactive recovery and some motivational words from my best friend

I canceled my Friday ride last week and took the weekend off. No spinning or CYCLEBAR for me until last night. And, despite what everyone said, I didn’t do any amount of active recovery (though I do consider that to be a mistake I don’t regret but will try to learn from). I could tell I was recovering nicely because after one day, Friday, I stopped gimping around. After two days, I had a bounce to my step. After three days, I didn’t even feel a subcutaneous soreness deep in my quads and using a massage stick started feeling good and satisfying (TMI), getting some myofascial release from my fascia adhesion.

The only downside I had is that I almost canceled out last night and only got there because I cheated by jumping into an Uber since I had run out of walk time. So, I got used to not going and thought “what heck, if three days helped, imaging how recovered I would be after four.”

So, I arrived in plenty time with the help of taxi service. So, I got ready, got in there, made sure I was sufficiently hydrated and had enough time to warm up before the class started with just some light to moderate pedaling, and then choked for the first 25-minutes of the class. Dead-fucking-last on the boards (and, 38th out of 48 riders at the end) until I finally spun up, warmed up, and locked in at around halfway through and finally put in some hard work, getting me to the top-three of the two end-of-class 30-second sprints that Sam, our beautiful instructor, asked us to do.

So, I guess instead of feeling frustrated out of the stocks, I need to allow my 48–almost 49–year old body to adapt, adjust, and warm up at the pace and intensity that it’s going to and not just feel frustrated. I am a long-distance athlete by nature, especially running, and when I do run, I am indeed sore and cranky and creaky for the first ten or so minutes: tight of feet and calves and generally huffy and puffy; however, after ten minutes, I get though all the mental blocks (I fancy it might be more mental than physical) and get warmed up (and my body finally submits to the fact that, yes, this is what we’re doing: we’re running 8-10 miles right now), then I can run slowly but surely for a couple hours.

And then, after the ride, I saw that my buddy, Mark Harrison, had called. I called him back and we spoke of the very hot ride and the slowness and DFL pace I felt like I was on and he reminded me that simply by attending the CYCLEBAR class on Columbia Pike I was doing something that only 23% of Americans do every day: get enough exercise.

He also said that my performance was better than the Chris Abraham who hadn’t attended spin class or ran or walked or did anything for days at a time–my SOP, standard operating procedure over too many days over too many years.

So, by just getting on that bike every weekday, I am doing more than 77% of Americans. So, while I might have ranked in the 77th percentile in my class last night, I ranked in the top-23% just by attending the class.

This lovely motivational-as-hell reminder is an echo of what I went though almost three years ago as a runner in the Four Courts Four Miler:

“I may well have been 960th place out of 970 runners and there were hundreds and hundreds more less than a mile away at the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K Race 2016 as well, but there were also thousands if not millions of folks in the DMV, the Greater Washington region of DC, Maryland, and Virginia, who weren’t out there.”

So, for that I am very proud indeed. I have another ride tonight at 5PM so wish me luck. I shall aspire to walk there and back (sorry Uber) and do my very best when I get there no matter what the board says.

Like most of us, I am my own worst enemy; however, by spending 45-60-minutes every day walking, rowing, kettlebell-swinging, SkiErging, running–and Spinning, I am also my own best friend.

Invictus!

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