In the last few days, after weeks of mild North Texas spring-like weather, we found ourselves back in a cold-front funk. Howling winds, overnight freezes, the works. Or as Brent put it, “I’m ready for Christmas to be over.” So Saturday and Monday, instead of riding my bike out on the road, I got busted back indoors to use the trainer.
Me and my favorite cycling buddy.
Brent had left one of his Graeme Street
training DVDs in the player and suggested I try it: “Lightning Leg Agility.” Lightning? Me?? Yeah, right. My pedaling cadence normally tops out at around 120.
I started the video anyway. Graeme explained he would signal short intervals of high-speed pedaling in an easy gear. One set would be thirty-second intervals with a rest in between, but most speed intervals would last only ten or fifteen seconds. Fifteen seconds? Welllll…. I’ll try anything for fifteen seconds. Then relax during the recovery intervals.
After a warmup set, we got down to business. I forget the exact sequence of times and speeds. My eyes were glued to my cadence meter.
In the first speed interval, Graeme egged me on to break 130 RPM… but I didn’t. I think I hit 128, though. I’m not sure because the vibration made the numbers hard to read. During the recovery, I told myself I would be cutting this workout short. I couldn’t keep up, so what was the point?
But each set provided four chances to hit the target RPM. By the third or fourth interval, I saw the second digit on my cadence meter turn to “3.” Wow!
Never satisfied, Graeme soon had me shooting for 140. Pffffft. As if. “Now, if you can’t do 140, don’t worry,” he advised. “Just go as fast as you can. Keep at it, and you’ll get better.” Like he read my mind.
Would you believe it, by the second set of 140s I had actually seen my own cadence hit the mark. It may even have been a little over 140, but I couldn’t read the number clearly because my lightning leg speed had my bike bouncing around.
But Graeme gave me no time to congratulate myself. “This time I want a max effort–150 RPM. C’mon, it’s just for ten seconds.”
No way. Not 150. Can’t do it. Nuh-uh. Not gonna happen.
And it didn’t happen… until about the third fast interval. Honestly, my bike and I were both jerking around like a paddle-ball and paddle, only with a really short string. But never mind that. The point is, though I could barely read the numbers, I am positive I saw a “5″ appear in the middle-digit spot.
Euphoria or perhaps insanity kicked in, and I finished that whole stinkin’ workout. Not only that, once I recovered for a few minutes I stayed on to challenge myself with another minute of constant acceleration. Just to show myself I could.
I may have ambled into that workout room, but I strutted out. Panting, red-faced and Jello-legged, but victorious. Taking small, challenging steps toward an impossible goal had pulled that goal within my reach. Who knew?
As near as I can figure, this experience confirms my long-held suspicion that:
The more you do, the more you can do.
And somehow, today I found the gumption to complete my first blog post in weeks (the one you are reading) and work on my novel. Maybe tomorrow I’ll complete my next chapter.
You never know until you try. And push yourself a little.
Thanks for reading!
PS: I am linking up with my encouraging friends at Jen’s Soli Deo Gloria party.
PPS: You, too, can have Graeme Street yell at you to push yourself. Click here to visit his website.