Sunday, April 12, 2009

The most fun I've ever had on a Spin bike

On Sunday, March 29, I participated in a Spinathon with the Goodfit club in Montego Bay in Jamaica (yes, I finally got there late on Saturday night, after getting a ticket on the drive to the airport).

It was held outdoors on the top level of the Margaritaville restaurant & bar, overlooking the sea, in downtown Montego Bay. There were only 7 bikes (plus the instructor bike) but you would have thought there were 50 bikes, there was so much excitement and energy.

The Spinathon went from 6am to 6pm, with teams rotating all throughout the day in 1-hr increments. Throughout the day people accumulated, and after their ride, eventually ended hanging around the rest of the day. So by late afternoon, it was a veritable party.

There were awards for most money raised as an individual, as a team, best team spirit, best jerseys, and the questionable most distance covered (they have the Cadence meters). I came away from this event so inspired. I discovered that people from Jamaica love a good party, and everyone loves to have fun! The competition for team spirit was a tough one to decide, as most of the teams were oozing with spirit and energy and motivation for their teammates.

Unfortunately the competition for the most distance only encouraged cadences that were waaaay too fast and sprinting was a little too prevalent in most of the 1-hour sessions. But Natalie has promised me that next year they won't have distance as an award - she was against it, but everyone really wanted to do it. 

I was originally only going to lead two hours, from 8 to 10 a.m. For the first hour, I did my "Progressive Dueling Intervals" profile and the second hour I did the "Run Lola Run" profile. The music was a hit, so different from what they were used to hearing.

In between I hung around the deck because it was so enjoyable and the people were so fun to talk to, but finally went and fell asleep at the nearby beach for a few hours (Hey, I had to get some sun). I came back to lead the final hour at 5:00 at Natalie's request. And let me tell you, it was a phenomenal experience! I challenged them to a 45-minute climb, at cadences of 80 rpm and below. In fact I threatened to disqualify their teams if they went any faster than that. (That threat didn't help...some were still sprinting to gain those distance points, but oh well... To be honest, this was not the venue to spend too much time correcting people. We were there to have fun and to raise money. The ones that got it, got it)!

Above: Natalie Desnoes, the owner of GoodFit Spinning studio and organizer of the Spinathon, leading one of the first sessions in the morning. She and I first met at last year's WSSC, and soon after that she opened her boutique gym, GoodFit, in Montego Bay. It's a licensed Spinning facility dedicated to proper Spinning. 
I think I was telling someone to stop sprinting in the above photo, during the final hour's climb. That's Natalie's husband Andrew on the right, enjoying his post-ride Red Stripe.

The arrival at the summit!

EVERYONE was dancing, clapping, singing, partying!
After the climb ended, I played the "Obama Song" by Michael Franti and Spearhead. It's got a great reggae beat, and heck, here I was the American coming to celebrate with them - I had to play my Obama song. They LOVED it! I even got off the bike and danced with Natalie and Sandy-Lee!

I was so impressed with this event and cannot wait to go back next year to participate again. The money was raised for the Sandals Foundation which is building a school for under-privileged children. They raised $1,700,000! (Jamaican dollars). That's almost $20K USD which is phenomenal! Remember, they only had 7 bikes. That just goes to show you what you can do with perseverance, dedication, willpower and a whole great group of friends, co-workers, clients, & students!

The next day, I led a Spinning Orientation to an eager group of 9 instructors-to-be, most of whom participated in the Spinathon in some way. Now Natalie has some good choices to choose from as she expands her little Spinning club. At the time, she was the only instructor left (her only other instructor, Sandy-Lee, the smiling face on the left in the photo above, was moving to Kingston the next day).

And here's some more great photos by Lisa Lake (who got certified that Monday).

PS: I know I've been AWOL lately. I apologize. This post has been half-written for over 2 weeks! But life has gotten in the way since I got back from Jamaica, things like taxes, and building a house and being somewhat unemployed and wondering where the income will come from, not to mention trying to train a LOT for my big event (which come to think of it...I haven't even told you about. I rode the Spin bike for 3.5 hours yesterday)! Bear with me...I may post a little less often, but I still have LOTS of great teaching & coaching tips, music and profiles to give you all! Make sure to sign up for my mailing list - don't worry - you won't be inundated. That way you won't miss anything.

Blessings to all and Happy Easter and Passover!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jen-great post. We missed you.

lamspin said...

It's so good to read your post(s) again. Have been checking it daily.
Missed ya!
PS. Did the Kilimanjaro profile last Mon with the movie. They really rode their own dreamed mountain from within! We reached the summit too :>) Would you like me to send you the movie and the playlist to you? LMK.
Oh! please change my email address from to THANKS