This section of my website used to be dedicated to triathlon training, personal race results and certification reviews, like Turbo Kick. I am expanding it to include more generic health & fitness topics. Also, I talk a lot about "D" -- he's my husband (Dave Liu)!

Monday, June 07, 2004

Subbing Indoor Cycling for Donna

I rarely teach at the El Camino Y in Mountain View because it's 30 minutes from work and in the wrong direction from my return route home. However, Donna needed a sub today for indoor cycling so I thought I'd be a good citizen and volunteer since I know it's hard to find a sub for evening classes. Plus by teaching the class, I would be forced to actually do some indoor cycling for a change. I'm embarrassed to say that I've fallen off the wagon with respect to training so teaching is one of the few things that gets me exercising these days.

I had planned to create a CD mix for class, but of course never got around to it. Not only that, but as I was packing my bag this morning at 5:45AM, disaster struck - I couldn't find my cycling music! And wouldn't you know, I only have one cycling CD (two really, but they're part of the same set). The funny thing is that the CDs were in my car at one point, but I distinctly remember taking them out to burn backup copies. Not only was I unsuccessful in making backups, I had lost the originals!

I was all depressed as I drove to work and desperately thought of alternatives: borrow one from the Group Ex Director? When I arrived at the office however, I found them one of my bags. Phew, crisis averted.

Class didn't start until 7:15PM and I arrived at the gym at 6:45PM. Assuming I had plenty of time, I took my time changing, dawdling a little, and then realized... the studio door is locked! That's when I sprinted downstairs to open the door, turn on the lights, etc. I didn't want people to think that class was cancelled due to Donna's absence.

At 5 minutes to 7PM there was a grand total of one participant. I greeted her and asked, "How many people usually attend this class?" "I don't usually take this class," she replied, "I usually ride on the road. I'm part of the tri club. But when I used to come, there'd be anywhere between 10-20 people. With the days becoming longer, people may start exercising outdoors so there will probably fewer people." Well I'm glad she set my expectations low, because I was pretty darn thrilled when 10 people eventually joined the class.

It's been MONTHS since I last taught an indoor cycle class and I couldn't even remember half of the warmup. I muddled through and then started teaching the "real" class. Boy, it was hard. I was sweating bullets and was dripping all over my bike and the floor. I thought I was going to collapse with exhaustion -- which generally isn't a good thing, but all the worse when you're the one teaching the class.

I thought my class was OK, but not great. I would have rated it a B or a B-. I was really worried and then admitted to everybody at the end of class that it was only my second time teaching indoor cycle. I also reassured them that Donna would be back next week. Fortunately, a few of them came up to me after class to let them know they liked the class. Probably just to be polite, but it's always nice to hear just the same. The real test will come when I try sub this class again... it'll be interesting to see how many people will bother showing up knowing that I'll be the one teaching!

I also asked people whether my class was anything like Donna's. I had emailed her in advance to see what types of things she did, and it sounded like a great, safe drills class. Imagine to my surprise, when somebody said, "Your class is more like Dino's". WAHOO! That is the best compliment *ever* since I think Dino's classes are awesome and I have tried to model my teaching style after his. Yay!

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