Yes, I am away on an exotic overseas holiday. Witness my amazing technical skills: I can schedule posts to publish automatically at a future time. Abracadabra!
Last weekend I had the
pain pleasure of participating in two of Liz's classes. On Saturday morning, I bravely fronted up for a freestyle cycle class, never having done one before - and as expected, got my arse well and truly kicked. In a good way, of course. I don't recommend doing a spin class in a dehydrated state though, just quietly.
On Monday morning, I once again tagged along with Mistress Liz, the Smiling Assassin, to take part in her RPM class. I should have had an inkling of what I was in for when I discovered that the gym was located in the Tower of Mordor:
As usual, during Track 2, self-doubt began to creep in. Track 2 is always a killer. I gritted my teeth and persevered through Track 3. But towards the end of Track 4, I was sure I wasn't going to make it. The negative voices in my head had started their nasty work: You can't do this. You're not fit enough. Ooh, you're having hot flushes; you'd better stop and have a rest. You won't make it through to the end of the class...
I recognised that particular foe and laughed at it: straightened my shoulders, gathered my strength and pushed through Tracks 5 and 6. It was hard, but nothing I couldn't handle. I greeted Track 7 with relief - Only this one to get through and we're onto the cool down and stretch. Hurrah!
Then, the evil Lizilla uttered the horrifying words: Who wants an extra track? ARE YOU SERIOUS??! People actually put their hands up... were they nuts? I was dripping with sweat, my lungs were threatening to jump out of my throat, and I was seeing stars. Liz pointed out that folks could either use the bonus track as a cool down, or give it all they had - and I immediately thought: Phew. I'm spent; I have nothing left. I'll be just cooling down, thanks.
But once the music started, a funny thing happened. I found myself thinking: Well, I could cool down... or I could give this final 5-6 minutes everything I have and see what happens. So I belted out the best effort I could muster - it may not have been an Olympic effort, but at least I knew that I hadn't held anything back.
Afterwards, I found myself reflecting on how we often underestimate what we're capable of. Many times, I've found myself listening to an inner voice that tells me I can't do something... and yet if I ignore it and give that something a go anyway, then nine times out of ten I find myself achieving a hell of a lot more than I ever imagined I could.
If I listened to those voices most of the time, and believed what they were telling me, I doubt I'd achieve much at all.
Of course, it helps when your coach is up there leading the class, not two metres away from you, and spurring you on to bigger and better things. Perhaps I ought to hire Liz to come and live with me to inspire, encourage and whip me into shape.