Sunday, January 29, 2012


I am a member of Cyclo Core, it is an internet based cycling club and for me is a font of information. Today there was a great podcast that spoke about many of us not fully committed to change. In this case, the change was doing the work, the drills etc necessary to become a really good cyclist.

I thought about my obstacles, my excuses and realize that all of my excuses are just that..lame and perhaps the reason I have not seen dramatic progress in this and indeed other area of my life, is that I hesitate.

1) My weight. I know all it takes to fix it, and yet at times I still sabotage. I could lose 15 lbs which would improve my cycling. Why do I keep that extra weight? What purpose does it serve, other than to reinforce my feelings that I am not up to it?

2) My fear of cracking. When I am really pumping and pushing, I will sometimes stop just short of pushing myself beyond what I think I can do. Deadly for making improvements

Biking is a good metaphor for life. I believe we keep problems alive because they serve as an excuse. "I could ride faster if I was lighter" or " I never pushed myself". Likewise in job situations, I have found excuses and not seriously tackled them.

The question I must ask myself is DO I WANT TO LIVE? Do I want to cycle or play at it, do I want to continue my work as a psychotherapist or dabble and dream.

Dabbling, and dreaming, and half training does not satisfy me and leaves me feeling anxious and waiting for 'more'. It is like a drug craving, you always want more but cannot have it. I always desire and yet at the same time and starting to realize that my very fears and excuses are what is hampering my progress,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sort of Housetrained

Three weeks ago I adopted a little dog from a puppy mill. She had been fostered and was housetrained..or so I was told.

Luna is sort of housetrained...if you live in a barn. I have read numerous books on the subject and now take her out every two hours. She is a dear little soul who truly believes that one should not stop the progress of the call of nature and when nature not delay. This unfortunately means the livingroom carpet.

Housetrained in my mind is a dog that asks to go outside. It is a dog that associates the great outdoors as a litter box. I have seen pee pads for sale. What is that all about? The idea is to get them to pee outside not on a pad in the house...still I suppose if I had one I would have been spared my pre breakfast cleaning chore!

Luna learned the "come" command in a matter of minutes and I suspect will be equally quick in all of her obedience training, she walks polite, gentle and charming..but has no concept of inside versus outside. Patience..patience.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why I train in the basement

This is my bike on my Tacx trainer. My bike is a 30 year old Cambio Rino bike, a beauty that was used in the Montreal Olympics. It has 10 speeds with the changer on the frame. For many years it was hanging on a wall. No bike should retire like that! I knew it had life in it and bought it as my training bike where I set up a training studio of sorts.

In this space, I regularly do Cyclo Core workouts...pretty amazing and high intensity stuff with weights and yoga. I have seen my fitness level rise and for the most part my motivation is high.

I sometimes wish I had a fancy training studio that I have seen with some of my friends. One that would have room for my weights and stability ball and one where I need not worry about the hot air blasting down at me from the dryer vent...and yet there is something interesting and challenging about working out in a dungeon. It calls for the creative in me. Did you know a full gallon paint can can make a pretty decent medicine ball? Did you know that a full tool box when held overhead while doing crunches also can add intensity?

One advantage of my training dungeon,  is that I have no distractions. I can't really see outside and I can't hear the telephone,...oh it rings but with the fan, the furnace, my trainer whirring I just can't hear it.

Getting older has meant that I am more realistic. Many of my friends sign up for fancy spin classes, in shiny gyms lead by people with perfect teeth and names like Scotty. They drive to them in some ungodly hours...rush in and listen to the loud music and instructions. They like having workout partners!

I did that, the gym spin thing and found that the music was too loud! I also  found it stressful having to be there at a certain time. The lockers were always full and you had to rush to get changed. There was never enough room and I always worried about the cleanliness of the showers. For the spin classes it seems that the best bikes were always taken, reserved as it were by people who threw towels over them. When I arrived I always had a bike where a clip did not work that squeaked for the duration of the session. I always was beside some woman in menopause who wanted the fans turned directly on her so I endured an icy blast. My workout partners, never had much to say except grunt and pant and honestly, I never liked the music. We did not speak about technique, it was just mash and bash away.

My internet workout protocol has spin videos, I can play my own music, but often I chose not to, or listen to Graeme Street explain techniques etc.  There are times when I do my own sessions, with my own music. Scotty is no where to be seen! I learn techniques, practice skills all in the comfort of my home. I never get a bad bike and there is no rush to get changed, there is always room in my shower.

The only workout partner I have is my dog Bubba. He dutifully sits at the entrance to the basement room where I am and watches me, his eyes shining. I know he thinks I am insane. He endures the whirring, the spinning, and my complaining.

My Cambio Rino has only 10 speeds and therefore I suspect I am working at harder gears. The bike is steel so can handle when I ride standing up for drills, I am not worried about it cracking. It was once a velodome bike and is now working again, this time in my training dungeon!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Where aging Olympians go!

Yesterday I entered the 5k snowshoe race called the Mad Trapper series. I have never run that distance, never raced and have a passing acquaintance with snowshoes. Perfect! The Mad Trapper series is run out of Denholm near Wakefield Quebec on some 110 acres of paradise used for team building. The racers were all super fit and there were some former Olympians. This is what aging olympians do they race up mountains. Did I mention this was a hilly race? It was very inspiring to me to see people older than me with unbelievable fitness levels. All the racers were delightful people, relaxed, helpful and they were a joy to be with.
We all started wearing super little race snowshoes...up up heart climbed as well as I sprinted up the hills...I found a man about my age who was having a hard time and I chatted and went with him for some distance. I wanted more of a challenge and sprinted and caught up with two young girls...paused took pictures and enjoyed the magnificent scenery. It was a race yes, but I was not competing...I was there to enjoy myself for 'comic relief' as I said. I have been doing high intensity bike training and my fitness level has never been higher. I had no problem climbing and running and while of course, the real runners and racers far outpaced me...I was very pleased that I came in at a respectable time! I had a wonderful time and loved it! This has really encouraged me to pursue my triathalon goals!

Karine's Blog

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