Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why Funhog?

OK, so I've gotten some recent questions asking where the nickname "Funhog" came from. It's actually quite an involved story - only read this if that intrigues you! ;-)

Back in 1993, after graduate school (MBA), I accepted a management job with the Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee (APOC), leading up to the '96 Atlanta Olympics. I got this job through an internship with the US Association of Blind Athletes at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. While there, I had met a boy who I had thought I was going to marry (of course, there's always a boy/girl involved).

Looooooong story very short, I got out to Atlanta, the guy decided he didn't want to join me as promised, and I was literally devastated. I entered into a period I call my "black hole", a period of depression, sadness and loss, that I am sure many people can identify with. But it was more than just the lost love; the job wasn't what I had been promised. I was hired for the "Logistics" department of APOC with the promise that I could move to the International or Sponsorships Dept (more in line with who I was) once I got out there. But they were empty promises and I began to hate not only my job, but the city that was organizing these games. Yes, we were associated with the Olympic Committee and I was going to be able to participate in working at both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games in 1996.  But I am telling you, the IOC, USOC, ACOG (Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games), and APOC are/were some of the most bureaucratic entities in the world. Getting anything accomplished was incredibly difficult.

In Atlanta, it was stifling. In the city government, it was the good-old-boys versus the blacks. The nepotism and cronyism were rampant. I spoke 2 other languages and had a degree in International Management and event management experience, and was passed over for a couple of jobs in the Sponsorship or International department because someone's newly graduated nephew got the job (with no experience, no language, no specific skills).

Also, I did not fit in with the southern style. I rebelled and wore white after labor day, despite getting lectured by some of the "proper" women in my office. I decided not to wear makeup anymore (in the south??)! I am from San Diego originally, and I just didn't fit in. Fortunately I did find an excellent group of friends (no one I worked with) who were into mountain biking, and who taught me to rock climb. Almost every weekend was spent camping in North Georgia or North Carolina to mountain bike, or in Tennessee for climbing. 

I am a fiercely independent person, to a fault. I cannot work in that type of environment, even if it is the Olympics. I found myself blaming all of my exterior circumstances for my depression and sadness. Everything was everyone/everything else's fault. And I knew I had to take control of my life, take responsibility for my own happiness and my future.  

"Who cares if it's the Olympics?" I thought. So I quit. You can imagine how many people thought I was crazy, especially since it was actually a pretty high paying job.

All told, I lived in Atlanta one year, three days, seven hours and twenty-seven minutes!

I moved to Vail.  Ostensibly to get a job in International Marketing for a ski area (and to try to reconcile that lost relationship - which fortunately didn't work out), but instead, I became a ski instructor and got back into personal training, massage and group fitness (I did continue to teach Step in Atlanta). 

One of my rock-climbing and mountain-bike buddies was so happy for me to finally seek my own happiness, he said, "Jennifer, you're just a Funhog!"

And it stuck. It became my mantra. Funhog to me meant escaping my black hole, taking responsibility for my own happiness; following my dreams; not settling; doing what I love. No more blame, no more excuses. It's all up to ME! 

This was a defining moment of my life. That's what Funhog represented to me! 

Hopefully this story can inspire some of you to take that step as well. We are the only ones who are responsible for our own happiness, our joy. No one else, no thing, no situation is to blame. It's all up to us. I firmly believe in the quote: Do what you love, the money will follow!

But just so you know... I do share the Fun!! I even started a bicycle tour company to share my love of cycling in Europe. Now that's the kind of FUN I love sharing! As is my passion for Spinning and being a Master Instructor.

At the 2004 Tour de France, in the Caravan Publicitaire ( the parade of all the sponsors vehicles prior to the race) I saw this amazing little pink pig, which I christened as my own "mascot". The sponsor is a home products store called "GiFi" (like a Home Depot). The first photo is on the Champs Elysée in 2004 - notice how the Funhog is on three wheels as it makes serpentine turns - that little pink pig is hogging all the fun no doubt! The second is in 2005 climbing the Pyrenées.  The third is at the Team Time Trial in the Loire Valley in 2005 (this is my avatar for Pedal-On and Innercycling). Unfortunately GiFi pulled out as a sponsor for last year's Tour - little did they know that an American was poised to take lots more photos of their pink pig and secretly harbored desires to kidnap it and take it home!

Second Addendum... for some reason, Blogger won't upload the photos where I put the cursor like it's supposed to (I wanted them here at the end...); it only puts them at the start of the post. And getting ready for WSSC means I don't have time to contact them to find out why, so you'll have to scroll back up to enjoy the photos for now!

Friday, May 23, 2008

How to best prepare yourself for WSSC

A fellow fitness blogger has posted an excellent article on how to conquer a fitness conference. With WSSC just a week away, I thought it could be helpful.

I'd like to add a few of my own suggestions, especially as they relate to Spinning conferences, and most especially if you're going to Miami next week!

1. Create a calendar of your sessions that you are signed up for, and the ones you want to attend as standby. Write down your first, second and third standby choices so it's all in one place. This way you can get into the stand-by lines early. But even if you can't get a bike as a standby, don't let that dissuade you. See below for wall-hugging...  Also, you should know that even though sessions might say they are sold out on Sunday, know that people get tired and attendance drops off on the last day. You are very likely to get a bike on Sunday as a stand-by, especially in the afternoon.

2. If you get to the conference early, this is a good time to orient yourself with the layout of the rooms you'll be attending, so you're not running around looking when the session has already started.

3. I like the idea of introducing yourself to the presenter prior to the session, because they can get so slammed with people afterwards asking questions. But be mindful of whether they are dealing with sound checks for the mic and their music and getting their notes in order. Often between sessions there isn't much time for one presenter to clear the stage and the other to make sure everything is in order.  But if the presenter looks confident and is just riding to warm up, by all means, that's the time to go introduce yourself! Then later, if you see him or her in the hallways, reconnect.

4. Do you want the playlist? Take down their email (most are listed in the session book, which is available online).  I don't know a Spinning presenter who isn't happy to send their playlists by email after the conference (some may not be as good at others at remembering...but I know they have good intentions)!

5. The group of Spinning MIs that I know are some of the most approachable people I've met in the fitness industry. Take advantage of them while you can - most are very happy to chat and share their ideas and give suggestions in between their sessions or if you see them out by the pool.  Occasionally we are preparing for a session and need some mental time alone (I know this can happen to me) and if that's the case, we'll let you know, but when that session is over, please! Come back and ask your question if you see us in the hotel.  I've actively gone in search of someone I had to put off one year because I was stressing about an upcoming session (I'm learning not to stress so much), and I never saw her after that and felt badly. I hope she is reading this and knows it was only temporary unavailability!

6. DON'T RIDE SO MUCH! Of course, you want to ride and experience a few of the sessions, but in truth, you will get so much more out of sitting on the sidelines and taking notes. This is known as "hugging the wall" and you will not be alone.  Some longtime WSSC attendees rarely even get on the bike, and end up with writer's cramp at the end of the day. By the way, these are the people you want to befriend! Buy him or her a cocktail or Starbucks in exchange for some notes if you weren't able to take any. :-)

7. The other reason not to ride so much is that you will truly wear yourself out. Take it easy, and balance your days. Some riding, some wall-hugging, some stretching, maybe some pilates, maybe a lecture or two. Your body will thank you.

8. Get in line for your session early if you can. First, it's a great place to meet people, and secondly, you want to try to get a bike as close to the front as possible. Also, if there is a lecture segment and a ride segment, the lecture might be away from the bikes. First, find your bike, place your water bottle and towel on it, but do this quickly and proceed to the lecture area as soon as possible. It is our goal to start on time to give you the maximum amount of information as possible.

9. Be prepared calorie-wise. Bring energy bars for every day you'll be there (it's less expensive than buying them there).  Take them with you to every ride. I like to bring some ziplock bags of almonds or trail mix, rice crackers, fruit and other healthy snacks. Snacks at the hotel are inadequate (although I've heard they're getting better).

10. If you have back-to-back sessions, bring a change of clothes - you may not have time to run up to your room. 

11. Bring your bathing suit and sunscreen and a hat.  But also bring your rain gear and a light jacket! Miami this time of year will alternate between HOT and humid and cool and rainy. Sometimes even sideways torrential rain; last year we called it a hurricane. But not to worry, it will be hot again shortly afterwards. 

12. I'll reiterate what Biray wrote in her article on GroupFitPower's blog, Create a Temporary Community at the Conference. The good news is that it is very easy to do at WSSC. Forumites from Pedal-On and Innercycling are experts at community, making friends, and welcoming others into their community. They like to hang out on the couches in the lobby. Go join them! Introduce yourself, and quite possibly you'll make friends for life.

13. Don't miss the group ride on Friday night! Even if you only "hug the wall". The energy is amazing.

14. Please come up and introduce yourself to me! 

I'll see you in a week!

Preparing for WSSC

WSSC is only 6 days away.  At least, I leave in 5 days, the pre-con I'm doing is 6 days, and the actual conference is in 7 days.  That's right around the corner!  

Should I say woo-hoo, or eeeek?!

Am I ready?  Well, no.  What am I doing to prepare? Admittedly, I'm a little stressed, because my other business is keeping me quite busy at this moment (despite the poor exchange rate for the dollar to the euro, I've gotten a lot of business for my bicycle tour company just in the last 2 weeks. When it rains it pours. Plus I'm writing a business plan and doing financial projections for expanding that business. Phew)!

After close to a decade of presenting at fitness and Spinning conferences, I can keep most of my pre-conference jitters under control, but honestly the adrenaline helps me to be productive. When I was a college student, and as an entrepreneur, I tend to do a few too many things at the last minute, but I thrive on pressure; I produce when I need to produce. Some may call it procrastination, and to those who must plan waaaaaay in advance (like my husband), it looks like unpreparedness.  But there is a method to my madness, and it works for me. Yes, I get stressed; yes, I sometimes wish I didn't work this way; yes, my husband laughs at me and says, "why are you starting now? You've known about this for a year?"

But I actually have been preparing for the past 6 months - it's just not visible to others.  I've been reading, visualizing, storing my thoughts, gathering ideas, jotting down a few notes here and there.  But it's only this weekend that it will all come together into written form. Everything will be temporarily pushed to the side for the next week, and my life will be enveloped with my 6 WSSC sessions this Memorial holiday weekend. Even when I'm out on a bike ride, I'll be picturing my performance and practicing my words.  It will be 5-6 days of non-stop visualizations and affirmations.  My goal is to channel that adrenaline into productivity, and not into anxiety. It's amazing when you can do that!

Fortunately, this past year I have been gathering song ideas into a playlist on my iTunes I call "Potential WSSC songs", and this weekend, I'll finalize my playlists.  For me, the music is the easy part. Two of my workshops will have almost the same playlists as in the past.  Because I've done them for so many years, I've found amazing songs that convey the mood I am trying to evoke, and so far haven't found many to replace them.  [Note - many of those songs are in my last few posts on favorite climbing songs. Also, I'll be providing my playlists after the conference on this blog].

I have one new session this year, called The Secret Ride. It will be a compilation of my absorption of a couple dozen or so books, ebooks, interviews, videos and lectures I've read, listened to, watched or attended, on the amazing concepts of The Secret - the reality that you can have, do and be anything you want if you adhere to a few simple Laws of the Universe. We'll apply these concepts as they relate to the fitness and wellness goals of the participants, their roles as instructors and coaches, and to their fitness careers and athletic goals. But these concepts can be applied to every aspect of your life.

This will be my most challenging session and will require the bulk of my preparation over the next week, because there's so much fantastic info to fit into a 40-minute lecture and a 45-minute ride. That ride is one week from tomorrow, and you can be sure, I'll be "practicing" on the plane ride over, while sitting out by the pool, and late into the night on Friday!

All the other sessions I've done before so I feel pretty confident about the presentation.  Two were new last year, one is 3 years old, and both Moving Mountains and Alpe d'Huez are in their 4th and 5th years, respectively.  Maybe it's time to retire Alpe d'Huez...but it consistently sells out in the largest room at the conference.

In fact, 5 out of 6 of my sessions are completely sold out, and 4 of them are in the Grand Ballroom, the largest room with the most bikes.  This makes me insanely happy and proud, because almost nothing I do gives me as much joy as having an impact on my students, and knowing that what I'm providing them will allow them to impact their own students. I thrive, I grow as a person, I almost explode with joy, just taking in the energy that is generated from 133 full bikes and a room lined with spectators. And that energy fuels my presentation. I just need to remember that when I start to get a little nervous!

I leave Miami each year with such a profound feeling of joy and gratitude. I gain such personal satisfaction from helping others become better instructors and more inspired individuals. And it's this knowledge that helps me get through the next week of putting it all together!

If you are going to WSSC, please come up and introduce yourself to me!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Funhog's Favorite Climbing Songs #2

Here is the second group of climbing songs:

Most of these are motivating powerful and inspirational songs that have a crescendo and/or give you chills.  Some lend themselves to hard powerful climbs due to their consistent beat that makes you want to get out of the saddle for parts (if not all) of the song.  
** indicates my favorites.  
****my all-time favorite powerful inspirational song - this is a good example of a "chill" song!

  • Peter Tha Zouk, Enchantments, One Year of Iberican Sound****(Pay attention to the lyrics! There aren't many, but they are powerful!)
  • Con Te Partiro, Andrea Bocceli** (How can you not love this song?? I prefer the Italian version, but you can find it in English or a combination of both languages)
  • Bolero, Moulin Rouge closing credits, Moulin Rouge Soundtrack #2** (this is a very FUN song to finish off a hard climb!!)
  • Psique, Claude Challe, Buddha Bar 2** (Very empowering)
  • 20Hz, Capricorn [this one is hard to find]**
  • Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi "O Fortuna", Carl Orff, Carmina Burana** [an AMAZING classical song]
  • Matrix Reloaded Theme, Enigma, Matrix Reloaded Soundtrack
  • Molossus, Hans Zimmer (Soundtrack Batman Begins)
  • Salva Mea, Faithless, Reverence ** (Very long, with changing tempos, for slower and then faster powerful climbs)
  • Insomnia (Help Me), Faithless, Reverence** (puts you in a NYC clubbing mood)
  • Exhale, System F, Pure Progressive** (slow start, then whammo!)
  • The Mission, Enya-Ennio Morricone, Soundtrack to The Mission** (wish it were longer...)
  • The Strong Rhythm (DJ Chus Distraction Remix), Manaca** (has a STRONG rhythm!)
  • Preliator, Globus, Epicus
  • Prelude, Globus, Epicus (everything on this cd is pretty "momentous")
  • Fingers Burn, Pitch Black, Rhythm Syndicate Rec
  • Clash, Junkie XL, Booming Back at You
  • I Run for Life, Melissa Etheridge, Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled (this song is here for it's tear jerking potential)
  • What's Up, Four Non Blondes (should be in every instructors tool box!)
  • Love Me or Hate Me Calabria, Lady Soveriegn vs Enur, Mastermix Issue 250B (OK, this is way off my normal genre of music. Hip/Hop. But a great beat. However, there's an implied "bad" word in it)

And finally, these are songs I enjoy climbing to when I'm looking for a faster rhythm. Most of these usually require a faster cadence of 75-80 rpm.  Also great for flat roads.
  • All Good (Noiseshaper Dance Club Mix), Zeroleen, All Good Remixes ** (Very fun song that makes you smile, no matter what happened to you today!)
  • Incantation, Delerium, Semantic Spaces
  • Silence (Sanctuary Mix), Delerium**
  • Café Europe, Deep Forest, Boheme,**
  • Strict Machine (We Are Glitter Mix), Goldfrapp, Global Underground Fundacion NYC
  • There is Hope (D:Fuse remix), Nathan Proffit, World Party Soundtrack
  • Les Djinns (TrenteMoller Mix), Djuma Soundsystem, Les Djinns Remixes
  • The First Tribal Feeling, Peter Tha Zouk & Bruno Marci
  • Recurring Dreams (Chakra Remix), Lustral, Deeper Darker Secrets
  • The Look (Kingkade Remix), Ictus, The Look
  • Many Years From Now (D-Nox & Beckers Remix), Lustral, Deeper Darker Secrets**
  • X-Cream (original), Mercurio, X-Cream
  • Blast, The Crystal Method, Hardhop & Trypno
  • Bjork with Tricky - Enjoy (Beats Mix by Talvin Singh), Bjork
  • Hyla Hypno, Djibooti
  • Right Here, Right Now (Freemasons Remix), Fatboy Slim, Shakedown
  • Momentos Oscuras (Iberican Dark Mix), Indart, Chus & Ceballos, Iberican Vibes EP
  • Angels (12" Cut), Junkie XL, Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin
  • Casio, Junkie XL, Radio XL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin
  • Truly (Infusion Remix), Delerium, Truly
  • Innocente (Deep Dish Gladiator Mix), Delerium feat. Leigh Nash, Poem** (looong song)
  • Obsidian (Fluke Mix), Banco de Gaia, Obsidian Remixes
  • Sanctuary (Inertia Blue Remix), Origene, Sanctuary
  • Be Free, Basement Jaxx, Atlantic Jaxx
  • Gravaster, Hybrid, Morning Sci-Fi
  • Energia Magica, S.U.N. Project, Global Psychadelic Trance Vol 4
  • Give Me Luv (That Kid Chris Tribute Mix), Alcatraz (hard to find. cool mix. A little repetitive, but let's you get lost in the climb)
  • Dubiliscious Demo Groove (The Crystal Method Mix), Boy George, Do Not Adjust Your Set (yes, you read right! Boy George is back! And better than ever!)
  • Played-a-Live (Original Club Mix), Safri Duo, Played-a-Live EP
  • Able to Love (Sfaction Mix), Benny Benassi & The Biz, No Matter What You Do/Able to Love
  • Ride, BT, Movement in Still Life
  • Ride (Tiesto Extended Remix), Cary Brothers, Ride Maxi Single (a different song than the BT song "Ride")
  • Touch Me, Armin Van Buren, 10 Years CD
  • Saturday Night, Armin Van Buren, 10 Years CD
  • The Theme, Sublime
  • Bangra 4 Ever, DJ Siddarth, Buddha Groove 
  • Sail Away, (Dance Remix), Enya
  • Drumming Circle, Professor Trance & The Energizers, Shaman's Breath
  • Dark & Long, Underworld, Dubnobasswithmyheadman 
  • Pressure, Lemon 8, InnerSanctuary Sessions
  • Strange Shades of Light, Midnight Society feat Alan T, Original Strange Shades Mix
  • Cuore Senza Sangue (Odji de C. Instrumental), Opera Trance/Zefferelli, Spente le Stelle
  • Stella (Nalin & Kane Mix), Jam & Spoon - mixed by Dave Ralph, Tranceport II (Disc 1) Departures*
  • Talk (Junkie XL Remix), Coldplay (a very long version of this song - 10:15)
  • Ain't Goin' to Goa, A3, Exile on Coldharbour Lane (fun, nonsense song with some very funny lyrics)

Phew! I could go on.... I just love to climb!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Funhog's Favorite Climbing Songs #1

Here are some of my very favorite climbing songs for Spinning. Now, what works for me may not work for you. I'll qualify this list to tell you that very few of my songs have lyrics, and if they do, the lyrics are powerful and have a huge impact on the song. However, I do list a few at the end that are more mainstream that I enjoy climbing to.

[NOTE: Coming soon - I am going to give you as many sources for finding music online as I can find]

I look for inspiration and motivation through the music, through the rhythm and emotion and instruments. I love to just close my eyes and climb and picture my favorite climbs outside. Because I live in a part of the Rocky Mountains where the hills are very long, when I ride outdoors I am used to sitting in the saddle for long periods without getting out of the saddle. Many of my students are cyclists so they too are used to it (I'm talking about climbs of at least an hour or more)!

Many of my favorite climbing songs have been very popular at WSSC (World Spinning and Sports Conference) and when I travel to certify instructors. I have my quiver of favorites I use at Orientations. I guess it's my quest to open the minds of new instructors that there's more than just pop and rock out there! And I am often very successful, receiving many emails after Orientations and CED classes for my song lists. If this isn't your genre of music, then that's perfectly fine, but hopefully you will find some gems in the list below.

I've had some of my favorites for 8+ years, and still use them. Some were sent to me by European friends (hence the Euro sound to many of them), and some I have gotten from the Music section of Pedal-On or Innercycling. Those are great resources for finding music for your classes.

I'll separate my songs into 3 categories and post them in 2 separate posts (otherwise this would be too long!):
1. Just sit back and climb. For the most part, these are longer, introspective songs. Most of the time spent in the saddle (but heck, you can get out whenever you need to), and I often cue my students to close their eyes. The rhythm inspires a little slower climb (cadence 60-70 rpm).
2. Highly motivating, powerful, triumphant songs, often with a crescendo. Great for the last powerful push to the top! Often these are songs from soundtracks. These will get your students motivated, even if they say they don't like "electronic" music or songs without words. Some may make you want to stand for long periods and climb, or do jumps on a hill, or run with resistance, or sit and power up a steep section in the saddle.
3. Faster climbs, higher cadence (75-80 rpm), lower resistance. I use these on profiles where I am simulating a mountain bike ride, or to add variety to a strength class. Often these are good for flat roads as well.

Listed in this order: Song Title/Artist/CD (if available). Songs with ** are my special, longtime favorites.

Funhog's "Just Sit Back and CLIMB" songs! I like to call these "introspection" songs, because you can "Zone IN" (as opposed to "Zoning Out")
  • Ohm (Transfix Mix), Adham Shaikh, Fusion **
  • Straight to the Heart, Claude Challe, Buddha Bar 1**
  • Les Bains Douches, Claude Challe**
  • Consentual Worlds, Delerium, Semantic Spaces**
  • Life², Asura, Life²
  • Requiem from Nowhere, Asura, Lost Eden** [One of my top "gives me chills" songs. It puts me into a place I love to return to again and again. Very introspective].
  • Le Vol D'Icare, Asura, Lost Eden
  • Fernweh, Schiller, Voyage** [Very special song]
  • Homesick, Schiller, Voyage
  • I've Seen It All Featuring Maya Saban, Schiller, Life
  • Redemption, Conjure One, Conjure One
  • Cairo (Duke Monster Mix), Great Barrier, Buddha Bar II
  • La Vie En Rose, Grace Jones, Island Life
  • Magic Circle, Community Recordings, Perfection Vol. 2
  • Lifted Soul, Community Recordings, Rhythm2
  • Desert Wind [feat Ofra Haza], Banco de Gaia, 10 Years (Disc 2)
  • A Loop in Time (Banco de Gaia Remix), Wally Brill (Buddha Bar), Traveler ’99: A Planetful of Grooves
  • Sakarya, Banco de Gaia, 10 Years (Disc 1)** [BdG, one of the top Spinning groups ever!]
  • Sunspot, Banco de Gaia, Maya** [You can totally get lost in the rhythm of this song. It's also my favorite song for jumps on a hill!]
  • Drippy, Banco de Gaia, 10 Year's Disc 1** [I also love this for a flat road. It's one of those songs you can do anything to].
  • Amber [Insect Intelligence], Banco de Gaia, 10 Years (Disc 2)
  • Have A Cigar (Take A Joint Version), The Orb
  • Chilling Moments (Bedrock Mix), Shmuel Flash
  • In Your Eyes (Live version), Peter Gabriel, (Secret World Live) [What's not to love about Peter Gabriel? This 12-min live version is amazing. Another "give me chills" song. The applause at the end is for you as you complete your climb].
  • Der Bauch, D’Zihan & Kamen [somewhat moody, thought provoking. Use it for emotion]
  • Bolero, Ravel ** (Classical music. The 13+ minute version is the best. Close your eyes and climb to this one, it will give you chills!)
  • Release The Pressure, Leftfield, Leftism
  • Inspection (Check One), Leftfield, Leftism [ Anything by Leftfield is great]
  • Gula Gula (Chilluminati Mix), Mari Boine, Café del Mar 8 
  • Running Away, Radar, Nothing is Real
  • Distance, Radar, Nothing is Real [this whole album is great]
  • Magaya, Chris Spheeris, The Best of Chris Spheeris**
  • Temple of Love, Enigma, Temple of Love**
  • Mea Culpa, Enigma, Cross of Changes**
  • The Alchemist, Enigma, A Posteriori
  • I Love You, I'll Kill You, Enigma, the Cross of Changes
  • Return to Innocence, Enigma, The Cross of Changes**
  • TNT for the Brain, Enigma, Love, Sensuality, Devotion – Remix Collection
  • Terra Firma (Lara's Mix), Delerium (feat. Aude), Tomb Raider Soundtrack
  • Silence, Delerium with Sarah McLachlan, Karma [Import) - Disc 1** [There are many versions of this song. Some are better for climbing, some are better for fast flat roads]
  • Euphoria, Delirium, Karma
  • Flatlands, Delerium, Semantic Spaces
  • Euphoria (Firefly), Delerium, Karma (Import) Disc 1
  • Ave Maria, Operatica, Volume 1
  • Never Wanted This, Armin Van Buren, 76
  • Nierika, Dead Can Dance, Dead Can Dance**
  • The Spider’s Stratagem, Dead Can Dance, Dead Can Dance** [She has such a haunting voice in both these songs, and the percussion is awesome].
  • UFO Over Trenchtown, Eat Static, New World Dub 01** [one of my new favorites - kind of Twilight Zonish]
  • Tribal Force, Klangstrahler Project, Im Rausch der Sinne** [amazing, amazing song]
  • The Lion (Controlled Jump Mix), Eleven Federation, Spinning Vol 13**
  • Spiritual High (Part I, Part II, Part III), Moodswings** [you can play each part by itself, or put all 3 parts together for one long 15-min climb. Has Martin Luther King in the background for part II]
  • Kupuri, System 7, Encantado
  • Face a la Mer, Les Negresses Vertes, Famille Nombreuse
  • Sous le Soleil de Bodega, Les Negresses Vertes, Famille Nombreuse
  • 8 Ball, Underworld, The Beach
  • Aeternal (Paul Oakenfold Mix), Clint Mansell, Requiem for a Dream Remixed
  • Caravan O Sole, D.P.O.D., Global Psychedelic Trance 4**
  • Prefade, Patchworks, Global Psychedelic Trance 3
  • Amphibia, Grey Area, Global Psychedelic Trance 4 [kinda trippy]
  • Reload (feat. Dave Gahan), Junkie XL, Radio JXL - A Broadcast From The Computer Hell Cabin
  • Body Language/Interpretation, Booka Shade, Movements
  • Of These Hope (Reprise), Lazarus Raised, and Of These Hope. Three songs back to back by Peter Gabriel on Passion: Music for the Last Temptation of Christ.  3 short songs, that together make for a powerful climb.
  • Small Conversation, The Groom, Gemini
  • Bombs, Faithless, To All New Arrivals (kinda bummer lyrics though...makes you think)
  • Elektro Kardiogramm, Kraftwerk, Tour De France Soundtracks
  • One Step Too Far, Dido & Faithless
  • Chocolate Elvis (Uptight Version), Tosca, Chocolate Elvis Dubs
  • Happy Dreamer, Laidback, Hotel Costes X
  • Treat Infamy, Rest Assured, Treat Infamy
  • Horizon, Morgan Page, Drifting Into View
  • Le Ciel est Triste, Emou, Still Pretty Good Year**
  • Momentos Oscuras (Iberican dark mix), Indart, Chus and Ceballos, Iberican Vibes Ep [Very tribal song, but still good for just sitting and climbing.]
  • The Seeress Prophecy (Daydreaming), Achillea, The Nine Worlds [someone just turned me onto this great song this week!]
  • Scattered Dreams, 280 West
  • Synaesthetic, Blue Man Group, Audio
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want, Rusted Root, Rusted Root [The original by the Rolling Stones works too]
  • World in My Eyes (Depeche Mode cover), Moby
  • Paradise (Remix), Sade
  • I am Stretched Out on your Grave, Sinéad Ocommor, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
  • How Six Songs Collide, Norwegian Recycling [the best mashup of the beautiful song Collide]
  • Missing You, The Beloved, X [kind of an oldie]
  • Running Up That Hill (remix), Kate Bush
  • Riders On The Storm, Creed, Stoned Immaculate: The Music [a cool version of a classic]
  • Shaking The Tree, Peter Gabriel, Shaking the Tree
  • Higher Love, Steve Winwood, Back in the Highlife
  • One Tree Hill, U2
  • One Trick Pony, Nelly Furtado, Folklore
  • How We Operate, Gomez, How We Operate

More coming soon!

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Aerobics on a bike

To illustrate what I am referring to in my posts on contraindications, here are a series of videos of just plain silly indoor cycling classes and demonstrations.

Now, some of you might say, "hey! These look fun!" But I guarantee you, the injury rate from classes like these will be far higher than a properly conducted, safe and well-constructed profile utilizing proper training principles and a good understanding of biomechanics. You don't have to be a biomechanical engineer to see that the body wasn't designed to do some of these twisty, funky moves on a solid piece of metal that doesn't go anywhere, where you feet are strapped on to a fast moving rotating pedal! And with only a basic understanding of exercise physiology and biomechanics, you can understand why certain moves just won't create the adaptations they think they are getting.

The take-away message is: Just ride the bike! Don't do aerobics on it! There's no need to be constantly changing positions. You can inspire and motivate through your cueing, coaching and solid profiles.

Any comments, please add them below. I welcome opposing views as well, and maybe through a discussion, we can look at the science/biomechanics behind why these type of classes promote injuries and hinder performance development and solid fitness improvement.

The first one will blow you away. It's a demo, not really a class, but it's as crazy as I've ever seen (and you can imagine the type of classes these instructors lead, even if they only do 1/10 of what they are doing on stage).

The next is true aerobics on a bike. These girls all have poor setups on their bikes. Notice the knee position in the hovers and squats.

On this next one, imagine just one wrong move with those pushups! Between throwing out the low back and bashing the teeth into the handlebars in the dark as you get "pumped up" by the music, this guy must get commissions from the local medical center. How about that cadence during the Sandstorm song? Must be about 140+ rpm! And don't get me started with the weights and the hand swinging! eegads...

This next one is entitled Spinning with Carol at Willy's. I'd like to take Carol out on a real bike and see if she can do it without her "cha cha cha". What would she have to do if she had to ride a flat road for 15 minutes at a constant cadence? Notice how her pedal stroke is constantly interrupted with her cha chas, and the potential strain on the back as she throws her body side-to-side. Then when she sits down (on a saddle that is waaaay too low) and goes double-time (to her already too fast cadence) imagine how the knees are suffering. 120+ times per minute in the wrong position. And that hover/squat at very slow cadences... Here's the million dollar question: even if she can do these somewhat "safely" (er, that's a stretch) what about her students? They are frantically trying to follow suit, as she quickly changes from one thing to another, cha-cha-cha-ing, thrusting, squatting, twisting and bowing. And what if her student is 60+ years old? Guaranteed they couldn't do this. This class is about as bad as they come. I bet if I asked her about biomechanics or about aerobic vs anaerobic training, or about other basic physiology questions, she couldn't answer me. And you want this person leading you in a fitness class? Instructors MUST know more than they do right now!


OK, this guy is scary. Not so much from a contraindicated standpoint, but he'll give you nightmares! Better not NOT do what he says! His bike setup is that of a racer, an aggressive position. This is not a bad thing, mind you, but I hope he sets up his students in ways that aren't so aggressive. He looks like a cyclist by the way he rides with the knees in - a good thing actually.

Are you ready for the Italian Stallion? If it weren't for such bad form while riding and the super fast cadences in a standing flat, I'd actually enjoy this couple. At least they're in love! I love how she interrupts him. I wonder if they won their trip to Italy (sounds like this was a competition of sorts as they are looking for votes). Remember, Spinning Keeps You Young!

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