Friday, October 31, 2008

The Tour de Cove and the Krankcycle

I had 90-minutes for my session at the Tour de Cove, and decided to dedicate an hour of it to climbing Alpe d'Huez, one of the more daunting climbs used in the Tour de France. I used some of my favorite songs from conferences, so if you have downloaded my playlists from WSSC, you'll probably have most of these. But here is my playlist to download as well as a brief description of what I spoke about for each song.

My theme was setting goals and overcoming excuses that get in our way of accomplishing our goals. These excuses are self-imposed - and we can choose to let them get in our way, or not. The amazing thing is that at this event we were surrounded by individuals who had some major physical obstacles, such as missing a limb or two (or four, as in the photo in my last post). If they can overcome these difficulties, these challenges, then we "able-bodied" individuals should be able to overcome our self-imposed limitations and excuses.

This young woman below is a perfect example. She has no feet...but she is a champion snowboarder, who will be featured in the upcoming Muscle and Fitness magazine. Her goal is to compete in the Paralympics once Snowboarding is an official sport. I don't think anything gets in the way of her goals!
Two challenged athletes on stage with me, David and Sarah, helped me encourage the participants up the 21 switchbacks of Alpe d'Huez. Every now and then one of them would tell their story, or explain how they overcame their own challenges to achieve their personal goals, as they coached the riders in the audience through a switchback or two.

Yes, we climbed the entire hour. I told them that rumor had it that Sheryl Crowe can climb Alpe d'Huez in 1 hr 36 minutes, which is quite a respectable time, but that they were all going to beat her and make it up in 60-minutes!

During the final segment when Jim Karanas was presenting (in which they had a live band playing for part of it - you can see the drums at the back of the stage) Johnny G explained to everyone his inspiration for creating the Krankcycle. Here's Johnny sitting on the edge of the stage. Jim Karanas is the guy standing with the black Kranking shirt.

When I first heard about the Krankcycle, I have to admit I was a bit cynical, thinking it would be boring, and that it was more for rehab or disabled athletes. Boy was I wrong. Two weeks ago I co-hosted an interview with Johnny G on the Indoor Cycle Instructor podcast and heard all about this intriguing piece of equipment and couldn't wait to try it at the Tour de Cove. 

On Johnny's website you can read more about it (including a video you can watch). Still, you have to experience it to really understand the potential applications. It's not just for disabled individuals, but because of this amazing piece of equipment, those without the use of their legs can achieve an amazing cardiovascular workout without being bored to tears like those old UBEs (Upper Body Ergometer). Ten years ago I had bunion surgery on both feet and was in walking casts for 6 weeks. I tried the UBEs and barely lasted 5-10 minutes on them. There was nothing I could really do for cardio and saw my fitness decline rapidly during that period. If only the Krankcycle were around then, I would have been on it almost daily! 

It is actually quite fun and is a great workout to boot. I can picture clubs incorporating Krankcycles into circuit and cross-training classes.  I personally would use it to cross train since I cycle so much.  It's great for an upper body workout, especially for those who don't like lifting weights.  Here is a description from the website of the muscles that are used:

Kranking requires full engagement of arm, shoulder, chest and back muscles. Stabilizers include all musculature in the torso, primarily the abdominals and low back and the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder. In a standing position, the muscles of the lower body also engage for increased balance and stability.

At the Tour de Cove, I spent about 30-minutes on the Krankcycle (and really felt it in my triceps and rhomboids the next day). Below, I am using both arms at the same time, both turning at once.  
The crank arms can be split, so each arm moves more like pedaling a bike. This wasn't as easy as it looks! Because each arm is independent, one side doesn't help the other, so both arms get an equal workout. It takes focus to keep it smooth and consistent, which is part of the attraction. It's not like you can do this and let your mind wander - you must stay focused on what you are doing.

There is a resistance knob to vary the force that you apply. You can also work each arm independently. This photo below is not very flattering (of course, one is always more critical of photos of oneself!), but you can tell I'm working hard with one arm. In doing so, you can really feel the work in the rotational muscles of the trunk.

Any of these movements can be done seated or standing. I enjoyed the standing position more, as I felt more of an involvement with my trunk as well as increased leverage. You can also walk around to the opposite side and perform each movement rotating the crank arms towards your body, offering a different use of the muscles.

I hope you all get the chance to see and use the Krankcycle soon - there's a link on the website at the current locations, and you can expect to see the Krankcycle team at many upcoming conferences around the country. They have a new version launching in March, with a worldwide launch sometime next summer. According to Johnny, the manufacture has products in many countries and is poised to be able to distribute worldwide. Give the link to your club manager to consider it in the next budget period for equipment purchases! 
As Johnny says, the Krankcycle competes with nothing, yet complements everything!

The Tour de Cove October 26 2009 - an amazing event!

I knew the Tour de Cove was going to be an amazing event, but until you actually experience something like this, you have no idea what to truly expect. So I'm hoping these photos do it just a little bit of justice. 

A little bit on the background of the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Their mission is to give those with the desire to live active, competitive lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports they love. They believe that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Read more about their mission here.

They organize events throughout the year, but this is one of their most important. The San Diego Triathlon Challenge is a half-ironman distance event that features world-class challenged athletes, professional triathletes, celebrities and other able-bodied participants on one of the most breathtaking courses in the country.  Concurrent to this event is the Tour de Cove, a 4-1/2 hour Spinning event set up on the grass of La Jolla Cove, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The morning of the event dawned very foggy, but the forecast was another beautiful warm day. Due to the fog, the swim portion of the triathlon was shortened (you couldn't see very far out over the Pacific Ocean), and that got going about 8:30 am.  The Tour de Cove, the 4.5 hour Spinning event, started at 9 am. Here is a view looking out over the crowd.

The front row was lined up with hand-cycles. Every hour or so they would rotate the young athletes to give them a chance to participate. They put a placard with their name so we could read them and announce to the crowd who was now in the front row. Since I had a Tour de France theme to my 1.5 hour presentation (I took them up Alpe d'Huez), I used the terminology that the announcers of the Tour de France use when referring to those in the front, the favorites. They call them the "Heads of State", so everytime I had to introduce a new wave of participants at the front, I introduced my "heads of State". One young girl was only 4 years old! Most were between the ages of 7 - 18.

The next photo is the riders from the side. My husband Jeff rode the entire 4.5 hours and this was his point of view. Of that time, he "Kranked" for an hour!

This is me on stage during my segment. I'll post my playlist and what I talked about tomorrow. For now, I just want to share the photos.

Up on stage with us, they would rotate some amazing athletes. The guy on the handcycle to my left had his legs amputated immediately below the hips, but it doesn't stop him! And he had a smile the whole time. The guy without the shirt on on the left of the photo on the Krankcycle is Mike Michaels, a former Master Instructor for Spinning (one of the originals) is now again working closely with Johnny G to develop the Krankcycle. (More on the Krankcycle in tomorrow's post). Mike presented the first 1.5 hrs of the Tour de Cove, and then he continued to Krank for the entire 4.5 hours!
Some more of the athletes on stage.

Looking down from my perspective over the "Heads of State" and the entire crowd of over 100 participants.  Participants raised over $50,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation! (Thanks to all of you who sponsored me!)

The Heads of State.
Take a close look at this young man. He has no legs (two prosthetics) and no hands! And he is in a standing climb with excellent form. How can you see this and hold on to your own excuses for not accomplishing something? This guy was my hero, and for me, was the most inspirational part of the event.

I've posted 40 photos of the whole event on my Facebook page. Please check it out, I can't post them all here, and you'll be even more inspired!

And come back over the next few days for more on the Tour de Cove. Start thinking about it for next year - if you live anywhere in California, you'll want to be a part of this amazing event!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who is Joe Sixpack? Is he fit with six-pack abs?

OK, I know it's frowned upon to talk about politics on a non-political blog, but the elections are too close and this Joe Sixpack thing is really bugging me. And besides, as you'll see, this does have something to do with fitness, and the image Americans should be proud to be viewed as by the rest of the world - whether they're proud of being fit, or not fit.

(I promise I'll post about the Tour de Cove tomorrow - most of my photos are on my husband's camera and he forgot to leave it with me today and I want to post the photos with my description of the event).

Wait a sec, while I step up on my soapbox....

A certain politician has been touting that she and her running mean, the guy who she's the running mate for (I think it's fair to say that she has designs on that first sentence), are the ones representing Joe Sixpack and that they and all the Joes out there are the ones who love their country.  

Who is this Joe Sixpack? I saw a funny sign on the internet that had asked Who is Joe the Plumber? and someone had written in below it, "Joe Sixpack's sober older brother"!

Is Joe Sixpack someone who should be proud of who he is? Is he someone who we as Americans (for those of you who are Americans reading this blog, and for those of you who are not Americans, you can have a good chuckle at this) should be proud of as the representative (according to this politician) of the average American who loves his country?

I really don't think the Joe Sixpack being referred to looks like this:

No, that's not what she's talking about. But wouldn't it be nice if she were talking about a population who was proud of taking care of their God-given bodies, concerned with their and their family's health, and who also loved their country? Think of how much money we'd save the tax payers with reduced health care costs, Medicare, Medical, etc. In fact, I betcha it could be a great way to reduce taxes if Joe Sixpack and everyone who aspired to be like him actually lived a healthy lifestyle (and maybe took a Spinning class occasionally). Think of just how much money the government would save, how much money companies would save on health insurance!  They wouldn't mind paying for health insurance for their employees. Heck, we would not have this health care crisis right now if that's who Joe Sixpack really was.  

To be honest, the image that I conjure up when I hear the term is a white-tank-top-with-armpit-stains wearing, gun-toting, wife-beating, dropped-out-of-high school, mullet-wearing, beer-bellied redneck holding his Budweiser as he leans on his huge gas-guzzling Ford 150 truck with one bumper sticker that says "Proud to be an American" and another that says "W 04" and a gun-rack in the rear window. Joe would rather not work if he doesn't have to. 

Here's another image I picture when I hear Joe Sixpack. Imagine this: you're out on a beautiful mountain bike ride or hike, and you come to a clearing where someone has obviously camped. Strewn about are empty Budweiser cans and the six-pack plastic that held the cans together (you know, the kind they find wrapped around birds' necks), with cigarette butts dotting the surrounding dirt, spoiling this pristine environment. Yes, you know Joe Sixpack has been there. Is that what "loving" your country looks like?

OK, so maybe I'm taking my stereotype too far. Forgive me. I offer up some other potential Joe Sixpacks for consideration...

The caption on this one is, "Isn't he too old to still be sucking on a bottle?"

This next one's a pretty creative Joe. Hey, that's that American entrepreneurial spirit! (Because, if you remember a few years back, it was clearly stated that the "French don't even have a word for entrepreneur!" - it's truly an American concept!)

How would you like this Joe Sixpack for a neighbor? Do you think he'd lend you a cup of sugar if you knocked on his door?

I think this Joe is at a political rally...

And this is Joe Sixpack's dog... (sorry, couldn't help it!)

For final consideration, here is Joe Sixpack's family album, in video form:


No matter what one's political leanings are, we should all resent the image of Joe Sixpack that is being portrayed by the politicians as the average American. That is not what I think anyone, Democrat OR Republican, should be proud of. Can we find a politician who promotes healthy and fit lifestyles, not alcoholism?!

...OK, Off of soapbox now! 

[hey, didja notice how I fit "Spinning" in there?! ;-) ]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I finally saw Run Lola Run!

Isn't Netflix fun? Finally saw Run Lola Run last night and I loved it! I knew the premise of the movie and I knew I really liked the music, but for some reason, had never had a chance to see it. My husband had seen it years ago and reluctantly ordered it; he's the orderer of the Netflix flicks and just takes my suggestions, but rarely likes to see movies again.

But he enjoyed it this time around.  I loved the cinematography as well. Very clever filming, very clever movie.

I LOVE the soundtrack and it made me want to do my Run Lola Run profile yet again! Fortunately I can do it in a new evening class I just picked up at my old club - maybe I'll do that next week.  But I have to give it a rest at my regular morning class for awhile. I don't like repeating profiles or music more than once per 3-4 months, especially when I know that the class size changes from one season to another around here, so I'll have some new and different people in my audience. 

Here's a question for my readers: how often do you repeat profiles/playlists?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Someone needs your prayers

San Diego and the Tour de Cove was fantastic, and I can't wait to tell you about it and share photos and stories. I'll need some time to upload my photos and play catch up after being gone.

In the meantime, I know of someone who could really use your prayers and positive energy.

I follow Fatcyclist's blog closely and have been for about 9 months. He's very funny, very real, and going through a very, very tough time right now as his wife's cancer seems to be deteriorating quickly. He has three young children. After my trip to Interbike last month I posted a photo of Fatty and me - one of the people I was so proud to have met (even more than Lance):

Please go read Fatty's (Elden Nelson) post this morning, as he contemplates the next step for his wife.  That step is Hospice.  I wanted to share with you here the comment I left on his post (amongst the hundreds of comments) in the hopes that it gives you all pause to think. When someone like Elden Nelson posts his feelings and thoughts on a blog for so many strangers in the world to read, there is a message in there for all of us. We can all become better people in the process. Elden, who I've only met that one time last month in Las Vegas, is one of the most amazing people on this earth (read back on some of his other posts and I'm sure you'll agree) and through his sharing of his ordeal as his wife has become sicker and sicker, he has affected the universe of blog readers and cyclists in a deeply personal way.

I post as cyclingeurope.  Here was my comment:
Who out there in the blogosphere has shared so much of himself, of his family's trials, of his own personal grief and tough decisions, and with so much compassion, as Fatcyclist? No one! And who has gathered such a wide fan base because of this sharing and compassion? Fatcyclist! You are truly an amazing human being Elden.

Your time with Susan yesterday was a gift to you. And you are such a gift to her and to your children. And I want you to know you are a gift to every one of us reading your posts.  I can't imagine a single one of us walking away from reading these posts, especially this morning, who doesn't transform our sorrow for your family's experience into doing something nice for someone else, or being kinder as a result, and into saying more prayers about everything, not just for you and your family, but our own families or people we've lost touch with. That's the effect you have on me, and I am sure, on the world.

Hospice is a transformational experience. You will meet people you swear have hidden their wings and halos, and you will know you have done the right thing.

You probably won't be able to read his post without crying, but you will be a changed person, especially if you read some of the comments left by people from around the world.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Gone to San Diego and the Tour de Cove!

My plane leaves in a few hours for sunny San Diego. Although weather forecasts predict another sunny weekend of temps in the 60's here, we had 4" of snow on Wednesday and 28 degree temperatures, so I am really looking forward to the 75-80 degrees forecast for San Diego, and even plan on relaxing on the beach tomorrow as I mentally prepare for the Tour de Cove and listen to my iPod with my music for my session. I'm so excited about the music I've chosen. It's a mix of what I've used in a lot of my WSSC and Can Fit Pro sessions, and you've probably already downloaded my music playlists, but I'll share this with you next week as well, as well as the profile and coaching and cueing I use for my 90-minute session (out of the 4.5 hours of riding).

You've read all about this amazing event, you've listened to the interview with Johnny G on the indoor cycle instructor podcast, and some of you have even sponsored me, for which I am truly grateful!

I was hoping to raise more money. I know times are tough right now for everyone, but the Law of Attraction, which I really believe in, states clearly that the more you give, the more you get in return. The universe works like that - it recognizes generosity and repays it back in spades. Ever notice this? I sure have, it's amazing how it works.

Instead of 10 people giving me $50 to make my goal of $500, I thought maybe I could get 50 people donating $10. Yes, a small donation of only $10-$20 can really help. It's like voting - everyone's vote counts! This is such an amazing organization that helps disabled individuals regain their self-esteem by helping them get back into a fit and active lifestyle. Imagine if you lost a limb or became paralyzed - imagine how daunting those obstacles would be. Well, the CAF removes those obstacles and helps them get off the sidelines and into the game.

How about you? Are you sitting on the sidelines of life? Or are you In The Game?

Now, more than ever, in these uncertain times, is not the time to sit around and wait for things to happen. This is the time to make things happen!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The official 2009 Tour de France route presentation

Jut thought I'd share this very cool video of next year's Tour de France route. Imagine if you could play this at the beginning of each class in which you were planning to ride one of the stages? Fun!

I've got to find a way to get this music to use in my classes. Even with the sound effects like the plane and train, and the "swoosh" for each departure and arrival town, it's very cool.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Tour de France - the things I do for this crazy race!

Bonjour athletes!

It's 5:00 in the morning in Colorado, and I've been up since 2:30! The hour before my alarm went off I barely slept anyway, anticipating the wake up long before it arrived. I tried to go to bed early, but that just doesn't work at times, especially if you're excited about something.

Why on earth would I interrupt my sleep like that? Well, today the Tour de France official route was announced in Paris at 11:00 Paris time. I seem to remember it happening a little later in the past as I don't remember ever having gotten up this early, but this is about the 6th time I've set this early morning aside! I even got a sub for my Spin class which starts in one hour....I guess I could have taught it, but I'm going back to bed as soon as I finish this post.

It's more than just my passion for the Tour that gets me up...I need to know where to find hotels for my tours! The route was leaked in bits and pieces for the past month, so tour operators like me had an inkling where it would be, but you just never know. I must compete for hotel rooms with other tour operators from all over the world, who also got up at the same time. The available hotel rooms first go to the Tour de France organizers, teams and support staff and the media before the public has access to them. So the pool of available good quality rooms is limited.

And then it's a mad dash among the rest of us in the world. Many tour operators have booked lots of rooms over a lot of days in areas where they assume the Tour will go, so I have to get on the waiting list for some hotels, hoping they have cancellations. Other issues are that some hotels want non-refundable deposits NOW, or you don't get your rooms.

Nothing is quite yet set for my tours, as I'm waiting for email confirmations, but you can be assured that I have at least one, if not two great tours planned, one to the Alpes and perhaps one to the Pyrenées. In the Alpes we'll ride the incredible Col de la Colombiere (which I did with my 2007 group) and go see the time trial around Lac Annecy (that's going to be cool! It's such a beautiful lake). Then we'll shuttle down to Provence to ride the penultimate stage up Le Mont Ventoux, probably the most exciting stage of next year's Tour. We'll watch the finish on TV after having ridden that day through the vineyards and medieval villages of the Lubéron, one of the most scenic parts of France. No crazy dash to Paris for the finish - yeah it's fun, but I can tell you, it's also anti-climactic and requires standing for 6-8 hours waiting for the teams to arrive - it's more fun to ride in Provence and watch it on TV.

And I'm also working on a tour in the Pyrenées, to include the stage into St. Girons and some of the beautiful climbs there (that I did with a group on the 2005 Tour) plus a spectacular climb over the Col de Tourmalet. Not sure if we'll go into Andorra or not - depends on hotel confirmations and logistics.

So, that's the news. If you EVER had any inkling of going to the Tour, next year will be the year to do it, with the return of not only Lance Armstrong, but several other of his rivals from years past (all supposedly repented after their indiscretions). But not only because of that...but also because if you come with me, you're sure to have an even greater time, and I'm sure I'll have a lot of other Spinning instructors and enthusiasts from all over. Stay in touch with me for more info or send me an email to make sure you're on my mailing list.

FYI, I'm excited to announce that I'll have a Spinning instructor from England, Robert Baldi (who is also passionate cyclist and has ridden La Marmotte and many other big cols in france) who will be helping me as a guide on these tours (he helped me this morning make calls to hotels - but for him in the UK it was a civilized hour). In fact, he's been a guest instructor on this very blog, so you'll get a lot of Spinning bang for your Tour de France buck! Hey, and the euro has been falling, so it could be a LOT more reasonable next year than this year.

Vive le Tour! Allez! Allez!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Will you sponsor me? Tour de Cove, October 26, 2008!

Dear friends,

I am so excited to be presenting at the Tour de Cove in San Diego in about 10 days, on October 26th. I was scheduled to present last year but unfortunately due to the devastating wildfires in and around San Diego county this time last year, the event was canceled at the last minute.

So now I am doubly excited! I spoke with Johnny G, the originator of the Spinning program, last week and he says this is one of the most inspirational event he's ever experienced, and in fact, it was this event a few years ago that inspired him to create his new product and program, the Krankcycle (more on that in a few days). Johnny will be there with his Krankcycles, and I'll be sharing the stage with none other than one of the original Master Spinning Instructors Mike Michaels, and Jim Karanas, long time instructor and owner of Club One in California.

It's a 4.5 hour ride, and I'll be presenting for 90-minutes from 10:30 to 12:00. My session will be a combination of 3 of my popular sessions from past conferences: Moving Mountains, Alpe d'Huez and The Secret.  The theme will be on overcoming adversity, getting rid of excuses and achieving goals. 

All proceeds from the event go to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which raises money to help people with physical disabilities pursue an active lifestyle through physical fitness and competitive athletics. 

I would love your support! I think you know that it brings me great joy to provide this material for you in this blog, with the goal to help instructors around the world increase their self-confidence and expand their repertoire of cueing, coaching, music and profiles. Here is a small way that you can give back! But not to me - give just a little to help these amazing and inspirational athletes. Click here to donate to this event in my name.  Even just a little will help! 

I thank you all so much for your contribution, and I'll have plenty of pictures and stories after the event.

OH! And if you live anywhere within a half-day's drive of San Diego, you should not miss this event! Please come by and introduce yourself. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Phase I Spinning Profile: One Movement Wonder

I cannot tell you the last time I taught a Phase I Spinning profile! For those of you who are not Spinning certified, Phase I is used in the early stages of creating profiles, where one song is used for one movement. As a novice instructor becomes more adept at simulating a real road riding situation, such as those employed in Phase II profiles, no longer does the song become the deciding factor in starting or ending a movement, rather we use what we call "split-symbol" profiling (in Spinning, each symbol represents a movement). In Phase II, different movements are put together because it follows the objective of the instructor's profile, not because the song ends.

This does not mean that Phase I classes are passé, or that they are necessarily "beginner" classes; they can in fact be quite difficult depending on the sequence of movements you string together. They are excellent for teaching you (the instructor AND the student) how to perform that particular movement for an extended period, working on maintaining good form. 

Recently, I came up with an idea to create a Phase I profile with a musical twist that is not only challenging, but quite fun for members!

A few weeks ago, our local radio station played only "One-Hit Wonders" all day. Many of the songs come from the '80's, but they did span the decades. It was a trip down memory lane for me, and quite fun to listen to. I didn't always agree that certain songs were "one-hit wonders" but I guess that's because I had owned those particular cds at one time, and knew far more songs by that group. I graduated from college in 1984 so that pegs me as a relic of the 1980's! I remember when MTV first started in 1983; my roommates and I used to sit in front of the TV and drool over the very few videos they played. George Michael, Madonna, Boy George, etc.

It gave me the idea that it might be fun to do a phase I profile called One-Movement Wonder using all One-Hit Wonders. (Note: this shows you how ideas for profiles and playlists can come from a wide variety of sources. Keep your minds open)! 

So I wrote a post on Pedal-on asking for more ideas, and I got some amazing song suggestions, songs I would never have thought of. In fact, one woman, Katie Sweeny sent me 4 cds of nothing but one-hit wonders, which really helped boost my music library of this kind of music. A few others emailed me some songs I didn't have. I am very grateful, Katie and the others, thank you. I now have enough ammunition to create about 10 entirely different playlists for this profile, and I have two of them for you to download.

You too can take this idea and create your own. Click here to download my profiles that I came up with. I included the Spinning symbols so you can copy these to use in your own profiles (not all of them are there - if you want the rest, leave a comment or email me).

Here's some tips for creating your own "One Movement Wonder" class:
  • First categorize the songs into the movements you think they'd be good for, so when you need a song for a specific movement, it's easy to select one.
  • Vary the movements as much as possible, but keep it simple. I kept mine to the 5 core movements, except one song of jumps-on-a-hill for each profile.
  • Watch the length of the song - can you put 4 minutes of jumps next to 4 minutes of standing flats next to a 5-min standing climb and coach them to keep HR under control? The good thing is that many of these songs are shorter. 
  • Seated flats can be used as recovery in between harder segments, or if needed, you can use them for higher cadence fast flats.
  • Vary the decades a bit, so it doesn't come across as a purely 80's playlist (mine might be guilty of being heavy on 80's, but there is a few 70's and 90's ones).

The Verdict?

I taught my profile #1 this morning, and it was indeed challenging. I had six women, a few in their 20's/early 30's, 3 in their mid-late 40's and one older. I offered "brownie points" if they could name the group, and hardly anyone was able to. One woman is British, and she had a little more luck with the British groups. In fact, she said David Essex had many hits in England, but I do think Rock On was his only hit in the US. T-Rex was also very popular in England but was killed in a car accident so that's why he was a one hit wonder in the US. I apologized in advance for the song "Hey Mickey" because it has a tendency to stay with you all day and becomes very annoying. I said, "we can all be grateful that Toni Basil only had one hit!"

Because most of my profiles are like real road or mountain bike rides, I don't spend a lot of time in jumps or standing flats, so these really challenged me. I guess it's what you're used to doing.

They really enjoyed it! It is so very very different from my normal music (those of you who know me can attest to that - I use very few songs with lyrics, mostly electronic/world genre). I can say though that it will be awhile before I do this again...

Have a lot of fun with this one! 

thanks for reading,


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Turn-the-economic-woes-around Strength profile

I'm interrupting my planned post on communication and cueing (check Saturday morning for the next chapter on that one) because of what has happened today.  The Dow fell to below 900 for the first time in 5 years, over 7% in one day (and most of that in the last hour of trading) which is about 39% below where it was one year ago today.  I hear non-stop worry around me, the energy almost everywhere is one of gloom and doom. Don't listen to all this! This stock market "crash" is only bad if you start taking your money out. It WILL get better! The banks won't fail, federal reserves around the world are taking action. STOP watching TV, and transform your thoughts into ones that are positive, forward thinking and that point you in the direction you want to go, not where everyone else is going. The ones who worry the most, are the ones who will suffer the most. That is guaranteed.

A thread on Innercycling got me thinking about my class tomorrow. Sandy said she was going to put a playlist together for her class tomorrow with the general theme of let's ride this one out...for her anti-economic failure/crashing stock market/high unemployment/house foreclosure/no credit class. You can read on that thread what my response was (similar to my first paragraph above).

I also teach tomorrow morning, and Sandy's post inspired me to put together a special playlist and profile.  I call it my "Turn-the-economic-woes-around" class.  You can download it here, with the playlist, and an explanation of why I chose the songs I did.

EDIT. Friday after my ride...
They seemed to get a kick out of it this morning, and it was a great workout! The smiles came when the song Money started. I have never used that song in a Spin class, and it worked great for a climb.  When I returned to the theme of my ride here and there in the class, I didn't belabor the point, but just highlighted the lyrics that were chosen to provide inspiration to look for the positive in all of this chaos! I think everyone really appreciated it.

Just to let you know, you can get the following songs from this playlist on eMusic (for free if you are not yet a member - just click the icon on the top left of this blog):
  • Seven Mary Three - I love the lyrics "Hey, everything's gonna be alright, everything's gonna be alright, and if it's too hard to say it now, say it anyhow."
  • Collective Soul
  • Orbital - One Perfect Sunrise [IMO EVERYONE needs this song, regardless of which genres you primarily use. Of all my 9,000+ songs on my iPod, it's the one that I play when I want to feel better. Such great energy, such optimism, such a great rhythm!]
  • Indart, Chus & Ceballos - Buenos Momentos. eMusic has an EP by these guys with three versions of this great song. It's the perfect rhythm for jumps on a hill!
You'll also see a recommendation to get the song Free Your Mind from iTunes. It's only $.99 - go get it and listen to the words!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Viva Travels gets more press!

I have a great series of posts scheduled for the next week or so, starting tomorrow. It will be on the subject of improving communication and coaching skills in your IDC classes. So make sure to come back tomorrow. I'm going to ask you to interact with me and the rest of the Funhogspins audience by posting your questions and comments on the subject. FYI, the Funhogspins blog is getting over 100 hits a day, and I'm getting emails from as far as Germany, Sweden, Costa Rica and even Cambodia from IDC instructors around the world! Way cool, I am sooo grateful! Keep spreading the word. :-)

BUT, in the meantime, I have another exciting thing that happened yesterday to share with you. While at Interbike last week, I met up with Ed Pavelka of, an excellent newsletter for roadbike riders (signup on the site to start receiving the newsletters). I am an advertiser on RBR for my bike tours, and have communicated with the owners a bit over the past two years. Ed was actually the one who gave me the idea of writing an ebook on using indoor cycling to train for outdoor riding, because they sell ebooks on their site. So I have been sitting on this concept for over a year now...  

In Las Vegas last week, he reiterated the importance of getting this done before winter, to reach cyclists who have to come indoors for the season. It's great motivation for me to light a fire under myself and finish the dang thing! 

I also spoke to Ed about further promotions for Viva Travels in the future, including advertising and an affiliate relationship (where I would give them commissions for every referral). But I never dreamed that he would write about our meeting in this weeks Oct. 2nd newsletter!

Yesterday morning I woke up to three information requests via my website and three direct emails about tours, all before 8 am (and quite a few more later on). Hmmmm, what's going on? This has never happened! Then I saw the RBR newsletter and saw my name and his great write-up. This is such incredible PR, especially since their distribution is about 80,000 readers. 

Note that the link above reverts to the current issue each week, with new issues coming out every Thursday, so if you click that link after Oct 8th, you won't see what Ed wrote about me. I'll cut and paste it below:

Sage Concepts. I met one of RBR's advertisers, Jennifer Sage of Viva Travels, for the first time. What a go-getter! She described her revolutionary concept for cycling trips to France and other countries that will significantly cut the cost but not the quality. She was due to meet her banker for 6-figure funding (not a very good week for that). But she's the type of person who won't be deterred. Jennifer is also a credentialed indoor cycling instructor who is completing her manuscript for an RBR eBook, right on time to make a winter on the trainer more productive and even enjoyable. Watch for an on-sale announcement in a month or so.
OK, I think the gantlet's been thrown down regarding the eBoook, and I have NO WAY to back down now. And I think I better hire someone to help me with my  bike tours, because I can hardly keep up with the inquiries. Did someone say there's a bad economy out there?? They must be watching too much TV! My recommendation: don't buy into it. Stop worrying, and start acting. For me and Viva Travels (and for my Spinning blog and commitment to IDC) there is nothing but good things ahead!

Regarding that meeting with the banker he talks about...keep your fingers crossed for me. Here in the Vail Valley, we've only been slightly affected by what's going on in the rest of the country (in fact, our home is going on the market soon as Jeff finishes building us a new one...and we're confident we can get what we're asking). There are still some very solid banks out there who didn't make bad loans who still have capital to lend (and lending is a large part of their business, so they still gotta do it)! The credit hasn't dried up 100%, contrary to what the media will tell you, and I'm hoping that I can sell my concept well. Whew! This will be a first for me. If anyone is in that line of work and has tips, I'd appreciate them. My meeting is late next week...

Oh, one last thing. Ed titled this little blurb on Viva Travels "Sage Concepts". Ed has no way of knowing that Sage Concepts is the name of my husband's general construction business (the subject never came up so I certainly didn't tell him). Isn't that a cool coincidence??!!
[disclaimer: Sage Concepts website is a work in process and is not completed.]

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow!