this morning before yoga, biking buddy bob asked me if I was going to sign up for Power Camp again. sign-ups are open, and I am unprepared to make this heavy decision.
my road biking path truly began with Power Camp over the winter of 2006-2007. I happened upon it via a flyer at my local grocery store that had the headline: Attention Cyclists! I thought to myself, well, I'm kind-of a cyclist, let me pick this up and take it home to read.
and thus began my connection with a group of great people, and with the simple machine that has truly changed my life.
J.R. Smith's Power Camp is a 17-week long periodization (like that's really a word) program, separated into three 5-6 week phases. it begins with base training, then moves into tougher stuff, and ends late March when (weather complying) it's time to hit the pavement again. I debated strongly about whether or not to take this 2 years ago, and finally decided it was a great investment in my physical health. in reality, it probably did more for my mental health than even my physical health.
we had to be tested before Camp began, undergoing a threshold test to assess our current fitness and set personal heart rate zones. this was almost the most difficult part: I have test anxiety. sitting on my bike in J.R.'s testing room, wearing my heart monitor and pedaling away with increasingly harder resistance, I experienced a moment of pure panic, when I knew I might explode if I didn't slow down immediately. J.R. got me through it, and I survived. soon I had those heart rate zones memorized, as class became a blur of so many minutes in this zone followed by so many minutes in that zone.
rob, my triathlete friend, usually sat on the bike to my left, and his calm words of wisdom saved me, as I pushed my heart harder than I thought possible, and had to break through that mental barrier of thinking I might die.
it's a mental game, as so very much of life is. [remember my favorite lotoja quote: "biking is a metaphor for life."] I had to learn to tell myself I was okay, I was still breathing, I could do it, I wouldn't die, I could survive this . . . this, more than anything else, is the greatest gift I received from Power Camp.
of course, I also quite like my rhinestone-encrusted tiara, my prize for being the A+ student who attended the most classes . . .
have you yet detected that I possess an intense level of determination and commitment?
back to 2008. shall I do this again? do I want this 6-days-a-week commitment over the winter? or would I rather just spend my time in the weight room, as I did last winter, fitting in just one spin class a week? I'll have to give up tuesday morning yoga; I'll have to give up a chunk of money. is it an investment in my health, or is it overkill?
today, I don't know the answers to these questions.
I remain in the state of unknowing, but I'm feeling that little jab that wants me to move along.