Cue the Rocky Soundtrack…

My training has officially begun. 

 “What training?”, you may ask.  Well, unless you’ve been in the Galapagos Islands studying the mating rituals of the Waved Albatross, then you have most likely seen some form of trying-to-be-humorous email/facebook post from me asking you to donate to Ovarian Cycle.  This charity is devoted to supporting organizations focused on finding a more reliable early-detection test for Ovarian Cancer.  While fundraising, Kerry and I, along with our team, “Bro Namath”, will be mentally and physically preparing ourselves for a 6-hour, 100-mile indoor cycling event known as the “Ride to Change the Future”. 

If you are anything like my too-cool-for-school-I-snowboard-every-weekend-and-you-don’t brother, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “That doesn’t sound so hard.  All you have to do is sit there and pedal for 6 hours.  I board at high altitudes all the time.  I bet I could spin for 6 hours right now”.  You know what, you may be right, but let me tell you that if you have never taken a spinning class then you may have a skewed vision of exactly what it entails…and you haven’t met Darryl.

To say that Darryl is an “imposing” man would be a serious understatement.  Imagine walking into your first real spin class and Terry Tate – Office Linebacker walks in.  He’s wearing a sleeveless shirt, probably because most shirt sleeves don’t have the circumference to support something the size of a basketball.  I’m thinking to myself that this guy has literally reached his peak muscle gain and is looking to take off the rest of what little fat is left on him.  Wrong.  Once he finishes lacing up his size 14 cycling shoes, he assumes his position at the front of the class and readies his iPod.  “IS EVERYBODY READY?”, he yells.  A few muffled “yes’s” arise from the back of the room.  I can’t say much because I’m wondering to myself how one man can make a regular-sized spin bike look like your little brother’s tricycle.  He screams, “Alright, LETS DO IT!” and we’re off. 

To clarify, these spinning bikes resemble actual road bikes and are almost nothing like the stationary bike you would typically find in your average gym.  The resistance of the bike is controlled by a dial.  Turn it all the way to the left and you’re cruising…turn it all the way to the right and its like trying to pedal with an elephant in tow.  Darryl tells us that he will tell us when he wants us to turn up the intensity.  He will yell, from time to time, to give the dial a quarter turn, half turn or full turn, thereby increasing the resistance.  You get the point.  So we’re spinning…warming up I assume.  We do some moderate sprints while swtiching between sitting and standing positions.  Then things start getting serious.

I can’t remember what song was playing.  Darryl’s playlist consisted of hardcore rap and some serious techno.  Either way, it was absolutely BLARING, but seemed more like background music when Darryl was voicing his commands.  “ALRIGHT, WE’RE GONNA DO A 3-MINUTE CLIMB HERE…WE’RE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL AND WE’RE GONNA SPRINT OUR WAY TO THE TOP.  LET’S DO THIS!”.  Coincidentally, a new song starts to play and we start to sprint.  Ten seconds into the sprint, “GIVE ME A QUARTER TURN!”.  “I can handle this”, I say to myself.  Thirty seconds later, “ANOTHER QUARTER TURN”.  Now its getting a little more difficult but still manageable.  Thirty seconds later, “ALRIGHT, GIVE ME A HALF TURN!”.  We’re roughly a minute into the spin and I’m already starting to struggle, my legs burning.  Another 30 seconds pass, “ANOTHER QUARTER TURN!”.  Its apparent that the most of the class is starting to feel the burn as well at this point.  After we pass the 2-minute mark, Darryl yells one last time, “LETS TURN IT UP, GIVE…ME…A…FULLLLLL…TURRRRNNNNN!!!!”.  This class has just gotten dead serious.  We’ve got roughly a minute left of this sprint and we’re at full resistance.  This feeling reminds me of when you get stuck in the mud and each step you take, the mud tries to suck your leg back into the murky depths.  I’m cycling as hard as I can mainly because I’m near the front of the class and Darryl has a look in his eye like he’s picking out the weak ones and plans on crushing their skulls like a pre-teen zit.  I feel like my legs are moving about as slow as the second hand on the clock and all the while Darryl is still pedaling at 100 miles per hour.  This guy needs a super bike.  “TWENTY SECONDS LEFT….TEN SECONDS….FIIIIIVE SEEECOOONDS……and, rest”.  Wow.  The sprint is done.  I sit back on my seat and put my hands on top of my head, gasping for air.  It feels like we’ve been at it for half an hour already.  I look at the clock…we’re only 10 minutes in.  I wonder to myself how I’m going to make it through a full hour of this.  The rest of the class passes in much the same fashion as the uphill sprint I just described, but we make it through.  The class ends and Darryl heads out the door, on his way to knock out a few sets of 700lb squats before he calls it a day, I assume.  I check the ceiling for a water leak because I notice that my shirt is sopping wet.  I reflect on the hour that just passed and realize that I’m hooked.  I’ve got a deep burn encompassing all of the muscles of my lower body and I have to wobble out the door, but I’m already excited about the next class.  I know that I’ve got another 6 weeks of this but I welcome the challenge.  My desire to complete the full 6 hours of the “Ride to Change the Future” is helping me to push my limits and establish some new ones. 

I’ll be posting more about Kerry and I’s training regimen as the weeks progress.  If you like what you read, please help us meet our fundraising goals.  If you don’t, donate anyway.  We need your support and I’ll most likely guilt you into donating anyway.  Our fundraising pages are below.  Thanks in advance everyone.

Ryan – http://www.ovariancycle.org/getinv/showPart.php?partID=1213

Kerry – http://www.ovariancycle.org/getinv/showPart.php?partID=1214

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