Our sound system is possessed. We will go along just fine and then one day the mic won?t work, or the tuner must be switched to cd instead of auxiliary (though it has worked on auxiliary for iPod use forever), or there?s a whistle in the speakers, or as happened this week, the ear-splitting static was so overwhelming I had to turn the blasted thing off. Silence. Blessed silence. Well, compared to the screeching, screaming static, that is?.
Then reality hit. I was faced with a scheduled 45-minute Strength Energy Zone training ride and I had no music.
OK, I told myself, stay calm. Don?t let on that I am freaking out. I know that teaching without music is valid ? but for 45 minutes? I thought that was just for 10 minutes, or something. Breathe. Empty my mind and be open to some major creativity. I can do this. Perhaps this is an opportunity to be MORE rather than LESS.
Thank goodness for dedicated students. No one left. No one asked for his or her money back. When I asked them to begin by closing their eyes and allowing themselves to become centered and sustained by the rhythm of the pedals, they did so. Caught in the vortex of the momentum, balanced by the steady movement, we began to tune into the sound of the flywheel. As we continued, we became intimately connected with the communal whooshing of our bikes and thereby with each other.
Riding in silence creates an almost urgent sense of community. It requires total commitment. A week link will cause the whole to malfunction. Soon the sound of the flywheels was joined by the sound of our breathing. Oh how easy it was to hear when someone was working too hard! We were climbing. But, we were not doing intervals. Our breathing illustrated the story.
I quickly abandoned my profile and divided the session into 10-minute segments. Once our heart rates were elevated to the appropriate level (75-85% mhr) -- and, BTW ? RPE seemed much more accurate in silence ? we segued into the 2nd 10 minutes with ?mechanical? drills including pedal stroke, cadence, etc. The 3rd 10 minutes became an exercise in visualization as we continued to ?climb? nearby terrain and the 4th was sheer fun as we took turns standing and seated, leading, following, passing and reaching the summit. We chatted and encouraged and let our enthusiasm serve as music to our muscles. The cool down was a time to reflect and I am sure that there were as many individual opinions of the class as there were participants!
Our sound system is working again. Thankfully it was golden this morning when I taught my Saturday morning 90-minute class. You know what? The ride in silence wasn?t that bad. In fact, it was pretty cool. I wouldn?t want to do it often, but?. Yes, definitely. I?ll do it again someday. But, next time I hope I will be the one to make the decision to do so and not the *&%^#@ sound system.
Blog posted by Linda Freeman 4/9/2011 for www.spinning.com.
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