I got a new bike just last year with the intention of riding it. I’m not sure anyone spends a couple hundred bucks on something they have no intention of using, but I suppose it’s possible. But in the end it came down to time and the lack thereof. But I’m going to have to get my butt back on the bike considering that biking is one of the three events in a triathlon.
Because I used to ride, I was smart enough to wear my bike shorts. I discussed this a little when I talked about a tri-suit in a previous post. But if you’re unfamiliar with bike shorts, they are usually a spandex type material with built in padding in the crotch. There are a variety of brands; my brother has a pair of cargo bike shorts. The first time you put them on you feel like an idiot wearing an adult diaper. While this may seem horribly uncomfortable and slightly embarrassing, riding more than 30 seconds without bike shorts is considerably more uncomfortable!
While I cannot comment on what it’s like to be a guy on a bike with or without bike shorts, I can comment on being a woman on a bike with and without bike shorts. With shorts, bad! Without shorts, horrific! Besides the discomfort that can come from the pressure of being in the saddle for long periods of time there are the added bonuses of things like chaffing and saddle sores. We’ll talk about these later as none of these are really major concerns while on a bike for a half hour in the gym.
I met up with MK at the Y and after a quick warm-up, that included admiring some ridiculously good looking crossfit guy (I'll do lunges al day long if I get to enjoy that view!), we hit the bikes. MK had a much longer ride than I did, but we chatted the miles away. I managed to knock out almost 9 miles in the 35 minute time frame and rode a few more as a cool down while I kept MK company. For the record, this is not the bus that ran me over today, that came later.
I had a relatively hectic day at work, which is ok; it made the day go quickly. Before I knew it, it was time to head to karate. I had three classes available and opted to take them all. The first class was basically 45 minutes of different kicks. This proved to be another “newborn giraffe” moment. While my kicks have never been overly spectacular, they used to be better than this. But I managed to keep a relatively positive attitude. I just kept telling myself that it can only get better; no one ever gets worse with practice! By the end of class my legs were a little unhappy.
Next up was weapons class. This class went relatively well; surprisingly I seem to remember how to use my staff. I still have a lot of new stuff to learn, but overall it was a win. The next and final class would be the bus that ran me over. In fact the damn thing ran me over and then backed up and ran me over a second time. This is an advanced class, all high ranks and we worked on weapons attacks. Basically someone attacks with a weapon and we have to know how to defend against it. We did staff, club and knife (don’t get too excited, we train with rubber knives, but the staff is solid wood and the club is hard plastic with a foam covering.
Weapons attacks are semi-organized chaos. There is constant movement, 10 seconds in you winded, but if you slow down or stop you’re gonna get beat! If you screw up the technique, you’ll get yelled at and beat. If you lose focus, you’ll get beat and sometimes you can do everything right and still get beat! I got beat! And I got frustrated. And my shoulder got destroyed. There seemed to be a mental disconnect between my brain and my body. My brain said “MOVE” and my body just stood there. And at some point I just got angry with my inability to do…anything, because that’s always helpful <insert sarcasm here>. It was a long, painful night. But on the bright side, I made everyone else look fantastic!!
I let the pain and frustration get to me, but once class was over and I was sitting in the locker room trying to figure out if I was going to be able to change clothes, a couple of my students repeated my words from earlier. This was the worst it could be and I survived it. It can only get better with practice. It’s nice to know they’re listening to what I say! This just like everything else in the past couple of weeks this is just a starting point.