Saturday, July 24, 2010

Let It Go



The other day, I was struggling with letting go of a major goal. I was signed up and in heavy training for a 6-day ultra-marathon in Colorado next month. For many reasons, this is not going to happen, and I needed to accept it. Ever since I watched Julie Moss' epic performance in the 1982 Hawaii Ironman, I have been intrigued by human endurance. Ever since the Eco-Challenge debuted on the Discovery Channel in 1996, I have been curious about adventure racing. Over the past 2 years, various factors in my life have come together, including my children getting older, that have made doing a really cool event a possibility. Unfortunately, it ended up feeling very much like the cliché of the carrot being dangled out in front of me. Oh, I can see it, but I just can't seem to get there. As I've posted in the past, I know that I create my reality and there are things in place in my life, whether thoughts or otherwise, that are preventing me from achieving this goal. Regardless of the reason, I have to accept that it's not happening in 2010 the way I had hoped. So now what do I do?

That day, I read the following quote by the environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill:

"As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don’t try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break."

Yup, a theme familiar to me, but reading it on this day, it just resonated a little bit more. I fought in every way possible to get to the start line of this race. Even with all of the miles, sweat, tears, climbing a huge learning curve, abandoning fears, and some begging, at the end of the day, it is still not going to happen this year. I needed to bend and let the dream go for now, or I would end up feeling broken, defeated, resentful and angry, all such low vibrations. I know that staying in that place only means I'm going to attract more of the same. And, if my life ever needed a change, it's right now.

I often coach students to "let go," to not waste energy with the mental battles, on or off the bike. In reality, 80% of the time that I give a class a reminder about form, such as dropping the shoulders or relaxing the upper body, I am really just talking to myself out loud. I guess the same goes for the "let it go" part....we teach what we need to learn.

Last month, I picked up another class and I took music requests the week before it started. Today's playlist is the "All-Request Hour." I let go of the music. I gave them a skeleton profile, but I really surrendered the ride over to the class...work effort is totally dependent on them. It does not get much more simple than this, but it works.

After all, it's summer, it's HOT on Long Island, it's time to just float along on the waves, it's time to just let it go...


-Better Together (2010)/Jack Johnson and Paula Fuga:
Warm Up
-Billionaire (feat. Bruno Mars)/Travie McCoy:
Pick up the warm-up flat road pace for 60 seconds and then climb for 2.5 minutes out of the saddle, adding 1 gear before the top.

The rest of the ride is really an "out and back." For the next three songs, alternate between 2 minute flats and 4 minute hills (there will be 3 of each). On the first minute of the flat, the class holds a steady pace (80%-85%). For the second minute, take it up a notch, either with cadence, gear or both. Same goes for the hills, choice of position does not matter, in or out of the saddle. First 2 minutes are at a comfortable climb, second 2 are the push. It's all about the work effort.

-I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Redanka's Kick the Darkness Vocal Version)/U2
-OMG/Usher
-Telephone (Alphabet Extended Remix)/Lady GaGa & Beyonce

-Superman Tonight/Bon Jovi:
Turnaround, seated flat, riding endurance for the whole song...if recovery is needed, here it is.

Next 3 songs are the same as the first section, but start with a 4-minute hill, alternating with the 2-minute flats. This time, there is one extra hill at the end.

-Magnificent (Dave Aude Club Remix)/U2
-California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dog)/Katy Perry (needed to get this one out of my system)
-Halo (Dave Aude Club Remix)/Beyonce

-Radio Tik Tok (DJ from Mars Bootleg mash-up):
Final flat road push to the line, gets stronger/faster every 60 seconds.

-Turn Your Love/Jack Johnson:
cool down/stretch