A pink taxi

A pink taxi

October 11, 2011

Intensity and Speed

I have carried ski equipment and golf clubs. I have carried groceries for several blocks. I carry a total of three lunch boxes and two school bags daily. I have carried a sleeping child back home. I have placed my son on my shoulders and walked all over Versailles gardens. I have carried suitcases onto public buses. I am not intimidated by weights.

When the trainer told me to do the Farmer's Walk, it wasn't a challenge. Carrying kettle bells for a few laps was a fun exercise. However he combined it with a full circuit of rapid runs, squats, dead lifts, ski machines and a plank on a roll of tape. The roll of gray metallic tape that is thrown on the floor is just an intimidating prop. The other prop was a set of XL chains attached to the dead lift instrument. I saw it and I laughed my heart out because it jingled every time I lifted it.

I regretted those academic gym classes of my childhood when I was too busy chatting to learn how to start a race or long jump or plain jump. But I am a swimmer and I know how it is to time myself, to mentally prepare myself for the sprint or the endurance swim.

I watched the FINA swimmers yesterday. I zoomed onto my son's teammate and role model Valimir as he participated in one heat after the other. Sometimes he would dive in and swim at a medium cadence, sometimes he would slow his pace down and swim at a regular tempo and sometimes he dashed into the water, reaching for the wall, faster then I could follow. It all depends on whether he is swimming 50 meters, 200 meters or 400 meters.

With the swimmer in mind, I thought of how fast I was requested to sprint today. How fast I can actually run on a tread mill (I still believe I can't run) and I realized that I had to set my pace, I had to program myself to dash and to run beyond the finish line, not halt abruptly when I get to it.

The main motivator was the music. They were playing some music that sounded like Chemical Brothers with the merry-go-round melody in the background.

The trainer did scream: "this isn't pilates!" to make me accelerate. I laughed at his ignorance of pilates: its rapid flow and quick transitions. Imagine if they played Chemical Brothers in the pilates studio!

1 comment:

  1. I smiled while reading this post, because I was able to get a first hand view of the dead lifts and chains, with you in it! Gyms like these used to be the domain of men, when women were expected to either Flashdance, do Jane Fonda exercises, or take Step classes. Kettle bells and heavy weights were thought to bulk women up too much (not true), and so women didn't push themselves athletically until recently.
    I am so happy you have diversified your exercise routine with more cardio and weight training, in addition to your usual pilates and bikram. I can't wait to exercise with you when I come visit, but you will have to make a promise to return to spinning with me when you come to NYC....DEAL?