The alarm woke me from a dream, although I’m sure some might characterize a narrative that had me moving from sublet to sublet in Detroit and regaling friends of friends with insouciant anecdotes about the serial killer who lived downstairs might be characterized as a nightmare.

It was 5am, and I had a 6:15am appointment with bike #13 at Flywheel WeHo. I had goals. I had an agenda. I didn’t have granola and yogurt, but I had biscuits and lingonberry jam. I had a minefield of cat barf to navigate. Last night’s dishes to wash up. The very last of the Urth Caffe Winter Roast Blend Coffee to propel the logistics.

Out the door on the pretty girly bike, flashing light affixed to my helmet. Perfect timing at the top of the street as the crosswalk light was counting down 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… And back to white walker!

(This guy)


(not this guy)

I pulled up on the sidewalk to hit the crossing light, and the light changed for me.

As I start to cruise downhill (#nevercoast), I see my old friend, the moon. I’m ripped from my reverie by a truck zooming past. I catch him at the next light. More aggressive zooming on his part, more catching him at the next light. This street’s lights are timed for my pace, not his.

Almost an hour after my alarm, I’m still not feeling myself. I’ve been telling myself that today, Tuesday, is the day I join the “300 club” for real, getting 300 “power points” in a 45 minute class. I can do it – and more – in 60 minutes, and I’ve been getting closer, but today is the day I go for it in 45. And move up from 4 to 6 pound weights for the arm part of class. I’m not feeling it.

I think about this interview with Evelyn Stevens, and if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, scroll down to the “mentally weak” question.

At 6:15, I was mentally weak. I was not thinking 300 points and 6 pounds were possible. I was grateful to be there, though. One of the reasons I drag myself out of bed for this instructor is her emphasis on form, and the way she motivates us.

“You woke up this morning! A lot of people didn’t.”

I got out of bed and got my butt on the bike. I gave my best for 45 minutes, but my best was only enough for 4 pound weights, not quite 300 points, and 3rd place among the women (2nd place squeaked by me – 1st place had 322 points, I wasn’t close).

It was also enough to give me that top-of-Nichols-Canyon-wall-I’m-going-to-barf feeling, a feeling that persisted all day. One of my students used to be a competitive athlete – he trained with Olympians in his sport – and he had lots of stories about barfing at the end of races. Oddly, that persistent nausea made me feel better about not doing what I’d set out to do. It seemed to validate my efforts.

Alas, in the words of Yoda:

Perhaps today’s effort will make it possible for me to succeed another day.