Tuesday, June 26, 2012

To the Front of the Room

I was feeling a bit daring yesterday.

I’m a firm believer that if you never try anything new, you might not know what you’re missing out on. I base this idea primarily in fear – it’s important to do things that scare you a little every now and then. This could be as big as immersing yourself in a brand new social situation, or as simple as trying a different sandwich for lunch. Despite whether the experience is ultimately positive or not, at least you did it. You broke out of your cozy, pillow-filled comfort zone, and it probably makes you a more well-rounded person as a result.

My little fear-inducing exercise for the day was to go to my favorite spin class – and sit in the front next to the teacher – where everyone could see me.

I normally participate in group classes in the back of the room – what if I get tired? What if I don’t understand the teacher’s instructions and find myself frozen while everyone else is moving? What if someone else notices how much I abnormally sweat? These questions are eliminated by cushioning yourself in some dark corner. Staying in the back of the room will also likely place you next to other back-of-the-roomers, and your chance of looking less-exhausted compared to others is high.

But not yesterday.

I decided to take my water bottle and set of towels to the front of the room – to a bike that is positioned perpendicular to the rest of the room, so people can see exactly how fast you’re pedaling, how tired you probably feel, and whether you know the words to Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”

I have taken the class two or three times before, so I wasn’t exactly going in blind. But I know the instructor usually has a tough class, and I decided to give it my all.

I would say that overall – the experience was totally positive. The room was really stuffy, and I went through more of my water bottle than I normally do, but I found myself pushing through the tough parts full of determination. I wanted to spin faster and work harder than my back-of-the-roomer alter ego, and I did. I felt great – and I think I may even pick that bike from now on.

After a night’s rest, I crawled back into my comfort zone this morning for a wonderful 5-mile run. As my mileage continues to creep up during before-work hours, I am becoming hopeful that I may actually be turning into a morning exerciser (and dare I say, a morning person??!?! Maybe? Okay, fine, baby steps).

It was a gorgeous morning - not too hot and not too cold. I have been trying to remind myself not to go too fast since I’m in build-up mode for Marathon Training, and I should be clocking in paces slower than race pace. The speedwork I did during Half-Marathon Training naturally made my pace faster during long runs, but Marathon Training is a whole other animal. To quote the advice countless running experts have given – it’s better to save your fast running for race day.

With the Olympics right around the corner (I didn’t segue into the Olympics because I was talking about my own running… that would not resemble any kind of smooth transition. I’m just really into them), I realized I want to watch as many events as possible. So I decided to treat myself and get a DVR, so I don’t have to worry about missing events like gymnastics, swimming, and archery.

There were a few things I was nervous about before purchasing a DVR – normal stuff like worrying about footing the bill alone and getting addicted to shows like Sister Wives. But I was most nervous about the logistics of actually getting my DVR set up through the company with the world’s worst customer service– Time Warner Cable.

Virtually every encounter I have had with them has been abysmal (something as simple as setting up a day to get cable can turn into a 3-week saga). They must be reading some of their customers’ suggestions though, because they had a do-it-yourself option to do a box swap. Done and done. I was happy not to spend one of my precious vacation days waiting patiently at my door only to have them show up five hours late.

So I strolled in to the closest Time Warner location a bit before lunch hour, crossing my fingers that the experience wouldn’t be as scarring as a trip to the New Jersey DMV. In about 15 minutes, I had my precious DVR box and a new, positive impression of my cable company all wrapped up in a shiny, purple TWC bag.

Is this where the money goes when
I'm charged for "misc fee" ?

It was still beautiful out, so I didn’t powerwalk to the subway as I usually do. But when I got to the station, I realized by the staggered exiting of other New Yorkers, I had missed two successive subway cars. Dang.

I wasn’t in a big rush though, so I turned around to find a place to sit with all my equipment, only to notice an actor from one of my favorite TV Shows:

Harry Crane from Mad Men!
Also, the gay BFF from the Devil Wears Prada.
Real name: Rich Sommer

I can notch up my celeb count one more, and I think I am officially skilled at spotting celebs (shortlist over the past year includes Katie Holmes and Suri, Lance Bass, Tyra Banks, Sally Field, Michael Cera, and Colin Hanks. Not that I’m bragging. I think Michael Cera was genuinely repulsed by me).

So a few closing and inspirational notes – do something that scares you a little today, keep your eyes peeled for celebrities, and appreciate your DVR.

1 comment:

  1. Celeb siting, DVR, Olympics and are you still going to the front of the spin class? Bet you are!