thought bubble

In Jennifer Lintz's last post; Use YOUR Workout as Inspiration for your Next Class , Jennifer talked about using your personal workouts and build a class around them. Makes sense to me... because I've experienced something, I can more accurately describe the feelings, intensity, frustration, etc...

I follow communication expert Alexa Fischer (she was featured on Podcast #296) and she's frequently sending out short videos that seem to always get me thinking. This week's email was on using thought bubbles vs. a script, when presenting:

When you are giving a speech or filming a video, I can appreciate the desire to communicate exactly what you want to say through a carefully crafted script. But let me ask you… Do you prefer watching a person reading a script or sharing their thoughts from their heart?

I used this technique in my class yesterday. Here are the thought bubbles I used to bring last Saturday's century ride inside:

Tour de Tonka - that's what the ride is named. I asked if anyone else participated (there were 6,000+ riders) or, if they were driving, were they forced to sit and wait while the mass of riders rode past. I told this personal story during the warm up:

Two years ago I offered to sub a Saturday 8:00 AM class on the day of this event. I wasn't running late, but let's just say I hadn't left myself much extra time. The last stoplight I hit is the corner where the club is located. It's also an intersection where the Tour de Tonka riders cross. So at about 7:50 I'm first in line at the stoplight, waiting while the cop is waiving hundreds of riders through. Light turns green, cop's still waving. I can see the club from where I'm sitting - cop's still waving. At around 7:55 I'm panicking - there appears to be no end of riders and the cop seems content to keep us waiting at the light, as he waves the cyclists through. So out of desperation I go through a very awkward series of multi-point turns to get pointed the opposite direction. I found a place to park two blocks away and with just minutes until the class was supposed to start, I'm running down the street barefoot (I'm one to eschew shoes in the summer) with my gym bag, the cop yelling at me as I dart through the line of bikes, on my way to the club's parking lot.

Distance's - you can ride as short as 15 miles... all the way up to 100 miles, a full (not metric) century.

As a (somewhat proud) cyclist, there's only one response you want to give when asked; "did you ride the Tour de Tonka?" "Yep (standing a little taller) - the century. Reporting any other distance tends to feel like a disappointment, and your body language will normally reflect this. I added this as a bit of foreshadowing, which you'll understand in a few minutes.

Matt and the rollers - That's Matt as in Matt Finnesgard, one of the riders in our group. He's in his mid 30's and a very strong. Oh, and he rides with no technology... not even a speedometer.

Our normal position in the pace-line is front and center. Tandems are best up front. Besides making a nice hole in the air, for the riders behind, all of our mass makes it difficult to react to changes in speed easily. 100 miles can make for a long pull. After the 30 mile rest stop, Matt offered to pull us. A nice gesture on the face of it, as long as the roads are relatively flat. They're not. The next section we rode was pretty much continuous rollers. I know he wasn't doing it on purpose, but Matt didn't slow from his steady 23 mph when the grade became positive. He just keeps a steady cadence and it was killing us to keep up. Here's where I had everyone doing 30 second intervals; just below PTP and then above. Some were load based with steady cadence... and some where accelerations from 80 rpm to 100 rpm and back again.    

Old Market - a long, two section climb at the 98.5 mile point in the century.

The Tour de Tonka begins at the Minnetonka High School, which is only one mile from our home. The route goes right past our neighborhood - Old Market is only a few blocks from our house. It turned out to be a pretty hot day, 93° and Amy and I were pretty much toast as we approached the turn, that if we took it, would have us home and quickly in the shower and a nap. It would also have us about a mile and a half short of the full distance. It's hard to describe how tempted we were and we quickly discussed ending our ride then and there. "Who would know if we bailed early?" I asked. We were alone at this point. "We would." was Amy's response. "You're right." "We can't honestly tell someone; we did the century - if we really didn't 🙁

So up Old Market we went. Amy and I can did the whole thing + they had some fantastic pizza at the finish. My class got to replicate the two sections as 45 secs climbing above threshold, and the final 45 secs of the class with an all out effort, out of the saddle struggling to make it to the top.

There was of course more to the story that filled the hour.

Do you have a similar story you could present to your class?

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