Holiday Cycle

The holiday season can be stressful for a lot of people, myself included and this holiday season is shaping up to be a doozy! I’m not prepared to discuss exactly WHY it’s going to be more stressful than other years, but just trust me when I say that it is.

Generally the day before a “major” holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, my gym always does a group fitness “amazing workout” which usually consists of 2 hours of fantastic music, great inspiration and motivation, and I’m able to clear my head and focus on just me for a short time. Then I come home and all the stress returns though I feel better prepared to deal with it since I’m still on an endorphin high! Working out is just something I need to be able to refocus on the craziness of my life!

 Then  the “big day” arrives and I need to burn off some stress energy. We travel for our major holidays. We head down to my hometown of Venice, FL (best city EVER!!) where my parents, sister and her family, aunts, uncles, and grandma all live. Venice is an amazing little town and recently just completed the most amazing paved trail; the Legacy Trail.  We always bring our bikes when we head to V-Town and we stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites and the Legacy Trail is right behind the hotel property, which is just perfect!! Usually either my mom comes and stays with the trio, or we take the trio to her, but either way, it gives James and I the ability to bike an awesome trail which ends up being about 30 miles roundtrip because we always cycle to the southernmost end from the Hampton, and then cycle all the way up to the northern most end, and then end back at our hotel.

This is a great ride for a variety of reasons, the most important one being that it gives me some much needed “alone” time with my husband. Neither of us listens to our “music” on these rides. We talk to each other. We really talk.  Cycling is a fitness activity that we can do TOGETHER. I’m an extrovert and THRIVE on group fitness classes, and my husband is an introvert and prefers to work out alone, cycling being his preferred activity and this is something that connects us together. Life can get so crazy and with kids, jobs, bills, obligations, etc, etc, etc, we sometimes forget what it was that made us fall in love in the first place. Cycling allows us to re-establish that connection. We do cycle together more than just at the holiday time, but this is our favorite ride because we know the kids are in excellent hands (my mom or sister!!) and we can just go and reconnect.

We both really look forward to our Holiday Cycle rides and this year is no exception. I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to play out because of the (alluded to) stressors, but I know it will all work out in the end.

If you are a Tampa Bay area cyclist and looking for a great trail not too far from home, I highly encourage you to check out the Legacy Trail. It’s always fun to check out new trails. We’ve done a lot of cycling throughout the Tampa Bay area and this one ranks right up there with the best! You cycle through some of the most beautiful spots in Sarasota County, see a variety of wildlife, yet can still easily hop off the trail for lunch/water/bathroom breaks.

Where is your favorite place to cycle?

 

 

 

Why I love indoor cycling

I began indoor cycling when I weighed around 275 pounds. It quickly became my FAVORITE form of cardiovascular exercise. Why? It's easy on the joints, the knees, YOU (the rider) are in charge of your own resistance (and no one knows how light or how heavy you are going with your gears!!) so you can make the class as hard or as easy as YOU want. It's all about YOU!

I was contacted by Spinning International/Mad Dogg Athletics in May 2011 right when I hit my goal weight. They had heard of my weight-loss success with cycling and offered me the opportunity to fly out to San Diego with my husband to film a commercial for Spinning. I jumped on the chance and my husband and I flew out for 5 days at the end of August 2011. It was an amazing experience and furthered my love for indoor cycling. While I was in San Diego, Mad Dogg asked if I would consider becoming a certified cycling instructor. At that point I didn’t feel that I was ready, so I declined.

Fast forward one year, lots of cycling later, and some encouragement from some pretty awesome cycling instructors, I decided to go for it. I contacted Mad Dogg who was still interested in having me on their team, and they sent me to training on Sunday December 2nd.

I learned SO MUCH!! But I still don’t feel ready to just hop on a bike and get in front of a group of riders and lead them through flats, hills, sprints, mountains, etc…I want to be the best teacher I can be, so I know I need more experience.

Enter my local cycling studio, Pura Cycling Studio. I had been in regular contact with them (and most of their instructors I am proud to call friends) and they knew I was going for my certification. I met with them yesterday (Friday) and asked if they would consider letting me “intern” under their awesome team, and they said YES!!  Both the owners are also certified under Spinning (Mad Dogg) and I’m pretty sure all the other instructors are certified through Les Mills (RPM) though they don’t teach RPM at Pura, it’s all freestyle. And it’s awesome.  I’ll have all the tools I need at my disposal to effectively learn how to lead riders through a fantastic cardio experience!  And with a wide variety of instructors who all teach their programs just a little bit differently I am certainly going to learn from the best and be able to craft my own unique style Cool

I’m just a little bit excited. AND....indoor cycling also is great training for OUTDOOR cycling. I do both, and let me tell you, I am a much better road rider because I cycle indoors. I fly when I get on my road bike. I trained for my triathlon and my endurance challenge more than 60% indoors.

Do you participate in an indoor cycle program? If so, which one? What type of terrain do you like the best? I love sprints and MOUNTAINS!!

And if you live in the Tampa Bay area, please check out Pura Cycling Studio. I have free passes for your first class so you can try it out and I'd love for you all to learn to love indoor cycling as much as I do!

This is a photo of me taken by the Tampa Tribune in January in the cycle room at my former gym.

Come to Jesus Friday

MetamorFit will be starting a new series. Every Friday I will have a "come to Jesus" talk. A Come to Jesus discussion is an emotional experience that is life changing resulting in a change. I would appreciate your feedback and welcome ideas for future "come to Jesus" discussions.