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Reorganize, Reassess and Redefine Your Goals

It is September and another summer has passed. Though there are plenty of sunny days still ahead before winter, we no longer give ourselves permission to indulge in the type of leisure that the summer months invite. School is now in full swing. Some have sent yesterday’s toddlers off to preschool and others have sent their fledgling adults to college. Emotions are conflicting, alternating between a sense of freedom and a sense of loss.
September spells newness: new school supplies, new clothes, new bus schedules, new books, new calendars and new adjustments to homes and hearts. Business is back to usual, vacations are over and new goals are identified.
As a Spinning® enthusiast, either at home or in class, you may have varied from your usual training schedule to ride, hike, swim or paddle outdoors in June, July and August. Now, however, it is time to rethink, reorganize and restart your personal fitness plans and dedicate time to your own training.
Here are some ideas to help you jump back into action, or get “back to school:”
Take time for yourself. Grab your appointment book, iPhone or giant wall calendar and block off time for yourself. You might like to take the early morning Spinning® class that your facility offers before going in to work. You might prefer a quick Spinning® session during your lunch break or to allow time to stop by the gym on your way home from work. You may need to plan your workouts around naptime or childcare or take into consideration transportation or a friend’s schedule. Whatever you have to do, make it happen. Allocate time for your own mental and physical well-being. Be sure to add workouts to your calendar along with birthdays, important events and doctor’s appointments so that you minimize unexpected conflicts in your workout schedule. Then, treat your designated training time with as much respect as you would any meeting.
Make your goals and plans realistic. You may dream of making it to five Spinning® classes a week at the gym or to ride at home every day of the week, but in reality, you might only be able to consistently ride three or four times per week. Commit to the number of classes or rides you must do to achieve your goals and count any extras as a bonus. Then you will not punish yourself for failing to meet an unrealistic goal. Be sure to allow enough time for the entire activity, including travel time and time to shower before moving on to the next part of your day. If you are scheduled for a Spinning® class, arrive early to set up your bike and do not cut yourself so short on time that you need to leave class early. A good warm-up and effective cool-down are as important as the work portion of the class.

Start out fresh. You have participated in shopping trips to equip yourself or children for the school year ahead. Do you remember how exciting it was to open a brand new notebook with clean pages or to put on a new outfit to wear on the first day of school?  Why not do the same for your fitness regimen?  This is a great time to treat yourself and honor your exercise goals by purchasing a new pair of bike shorts, new music or making the commitment to buy cycling shoes or a heart rate monitor. Try keeping a training journal or ride to a new Spinning® DVD on your home Spinner® bike.
Get reacquainted. Take some time to reacquaint yourself with www.spinning.com. Go back to your computer to check out all of the equipment and information that is available to you. You are, after all, a part of a community, the Spinning® community, and there’s plenty of camaraderie and sharing to go around.
Try something new. Cross training is a safe and balanced way in which to increase fitness. As you transition from outdoors to indoors (depending upon where you live and what climate you encounter) or as you peruse your facility’s fall schedule, try to add some new classes to your personal plan. Many gyms and studios offer a variety of strength and cardio classes, as well as specialty classes like Zumba®, kickboxing, boot camp, yoga, Pilates and even martial arts. Some facilities offer Spinning® classes in specific Energy Zones™ and specialty programs like the Spinning® 8-Week Weight Loss Program. So mix it up. Some classes you will like and some you won’t. Find what works for you.
Get certified. Finally, I urge you to think about what Spinning® means to you. If you are passionate about your classes, if you leave each class with a smile, if you love learning about proper technique or the mind/body connection, or if you find yourself telling friends about your recent class, you might want to consider taking the next step—Spinning® Instructor Orientation. Yes, I mean you. You do not need to decide in advance when you will teach or even if you will teach at all. You simply need to commit to learning. The initial process is all about you. It is an immersion into what the Spinning® program encompasses: the skills, the practice, the mechanics, the music and the physical and mental benefits. Spending a day with a Spinning® master instructor at Orientation may well be one of your more meaningful days. Your master instructor will lead you step by step to show you how to share your understanding of the Spinning® program to your own class. Earning a Spinning® instructor certification is doable for anyone, regardless of your fitness level. Becoming an excellent instructor is an organic process which embraces continuing education and practice. You will never stop learning and you will share your knowledge generously.
It is September. It is time to organize, strategize, and convert your summer dreams to action. Sharpen your pencil, click into your pedals, take a swig from your water bottle, and let’s go!

  Linda Freeman
Boston Balance 

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