The other night, I really freaking wanted to get take-out tacos for dinner.
I mentally justified those tacos a million different ways: they’re not that bad, it’s only one meal, I’ll get back to eating better tomorrow.
But Gretchen Rubin’s new book stuck out in my head. It’s about the habits we create (or don’t) and why. There’s a whole section called “Desire, Ease and Excuses” and a chapter on loophole spotting that really stood out to me.
She talks about how her TV writer sister tells her that nothing else matters when she’s shooting a pilot, that it’s “separate from real life” so it “doesn’t count.” Gretchen tells her that everything counts.
And it does. That extra glass of wine, that skipped workout, that extra guac on the tacos — they all add up, and they all matter. That skipped workout. They all matter.
As I’m trying to lose some weight I’d gained back, that’s a really helpful constant reminder to me. The fries with the turkey burger AND the wine? Yeah, they both count. The skipped or cut-short workout? Sure, go ahead and half-ass them, but it’s only going to hurt you when you don’t PR in your race. (Jess has a great post up about sacrificing for your goals.)
We’re only given one life (unless you’re a cat), so, yeah, everything counts.
How do you call yourself out on justifying and loophole-spotting?
About a month ago, I had lunch with a former colleague and we got to chatting about sportz. Somehow I mentioned that I’d done afewtris last year.
“You have talk to my friend Jeanne!” she said. Jeanne is an awesome triathlete and one of the founders of T2, an indoor cycling studio on real bikes.
And so I found myself reading and researching a whole lot more about cycling, and even writing an article about it for work, that’s going live tomorrow. (One of the cool things about my job: when I want to learn more about something, I can usually write about it. Like how to conquer your fear of the open water swim.)
When I was trying to train for tris last year, several people recommended either getting a CompuTrainer or trying out a class. I didn’t want to invest in a trainer when I a) live in a studio apartment and b) wasn’t sure how into cycling I would or wouldn’t get.
I didn’t try a class, because I was scared. I am a terrible cyclist, and I have no idea what I’m doing, and I didn’t want to look like an idiot.
But I couldn’t write about T2 without trying it, and so I finally took a class there Monday night.
SO MANY BIKES!
photo via T2
So how this place works: you can either bring your own bike or they have a fleet of fancy Specialized bikes. It was raining on Monday, so I chose to just use one of their bikes. It’s mounted on the CompuTrainer, and you follow along to these rides on the screen, and the trainer can simulate an incline. OH CAN IT! On the screen, you can see your distance, MPH, gap from lead rider, RPM and watts. I had heard about this #watts concept from following triathletes on the Twitters but wasn’t super-familiar with it myself. Basically, watts are a measure of the power you are (or not, in my case, ha) producing on the bike.
One of my Junior League buddies, Sarah, is a T2 devotee, so I dragged her along for the ride, too. And thank god! It was really nice to have her next to me, helping me calibrate my bike and explaining when I’d want to shift, etc.
In the class I took on Monday, we did a warm-up, followed by a block of 7-8 minutes hard work, followed by a nice flat road recovery for a bit, followed by 18 minutes of hard work, followed by the best cool-down of my life. During these blocks of “hard work,” we started with a 70-80% effort level, brought it up to 80-90%, then to 100% for intervals of either one or two minutes, depending on the length of the interval. Needless to say, 100% effort is REALLY HARD.
photo via T2
When shit got real, I found myself staring at this sign on the wall and daydreaming about the summer.
I’m back to focusing on running this year, so I don’t foresee myself becoming a regular here, but I’ve heard amazing results from people who train here. Since it’s really hard to get speed riding in NYC without killing someone, T2 is an awesome place to work on speed and get faster for tris or other bike races, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Jeanne also told me about some awesome stuff for female cyclists. Specialized has declared May 31 Women’s Ride Day and is hosting events around the country. Bicycle Habitat has put together an awesome women’s ride program that includes weekday rides in Central Park and Prospect Park and weekend long rides.
Your first class at T2 is free if you go to T2NYC.com, pick a 45- or 60-minute class and email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject FIRST CLASS FREE…or, since I’m all about the giveaways lately, you can enter below to win a pack of five classes ($164 value) to T2. They’re also on ClassPass.
To enter, leave me a comment telling me either your favorite cycling tip, or, if you’re a weenie like me, why you’re afraid of cycling.