Tuesday, December 1, 2009

blue card people

do you know that feeling you get when you are with people who seem to be in some way superior to you? they drive a more expensive car than yours, they're wearing mink while you're in your North Face hoodie, their skin is clearer or smoother or younger . . . it's not necessarily that you're jealous, it's not even that you want what it is they have: it's just that you sometimes slip into that place of thinking you are, perhaps, just a little less than.

okay, fine, if that's never happened to you, you're done reading here: go start your own Superior Being Blog.
if you can relate, read on.

this year power camp divides us into 3 distinct yet eerily homogeneous groups: Sport, Expert, and Elite. these divisions are based on your Power To Weight ratio, as determined by J.R. during your pre-power camp VO2 sub max testing. the program is adjusted slightly for the different classifications: Sports have an extra day off (suggested schedule is 5x a week instead of the 6x for Experts and Elites), Sports often have fewer of the work efforts (such as 12 "power starts" instead of the 15 the other two groups do), and Elites often are told to work in a higher heart rate zone than either of the other two groups (such as 4A instead of 3B).
J.R. tells us this is all in our best interest, and to mess with his program is to potentially keep you from achieving your best results.

when I mentioned above that we were eerily homogeneous, I was speaking for the core of the camper group who are pretty (very) darn focused on achieving their best results. one doesn't sign up for power camp on a lark, and I dare say the majority of us are highly committed.
however, one of our weaknesses---across the board---is that we like to work hard. and here we are, this group of overachievers, being told that we are to limit ourselves to 12 when others are doing 15, or to stay in 3B when others are working in 4A . . . I'll let you just imagine what can happen.
they say one of the most difficult forms of discipline an athlete must practice is that of holding back.

I'm an Expert. ooh, yes, I say that with a gleam in my eye that remains while I roll them heavenward. I don't get to call myself an expert in much at all, so it provides a little humor in my life to be labeled one by J.R.
we all have little laminated Heartrate Zone Cards which we rubber band to our spin bike handlebars during class to ensure our awareness of exactly how fast our hearts should be beating at all times. these cards have always been part of class, and it's become just a standard piece of the power camp equipment.
until this year.
because you see, this year the powers that be decided that this new category, the Elites, should have a differently colored card. so us non-Elites have a standard white card, while the Elites have these incredibly special light blue cards.
so now you can look around the room and see who's better than you.
oops, I mean, see whose Power To Weight ratio is higher than yours.

I can take it. I don't really want to have to work harder. and I know I'm not as strong as these people. it's really okay. I am happy to be an Expert. I don't even want to be an Elite when I grow up.

I might not have a blue card, but I do have a tiara (that was my prize for only missing one day of Power Camp the entire first season). no one can be the best at everything, and sometimes we just have to make the most of what it is we are good at. I happen to be good at commitment, follow-through, dependability, accuracy, reliability, math, and a few other things.
and since one of those other things I'm extremely good at is sitting on the couch and eating cookies, I think I'm headed there soon. you should see my bookmark: it's this little blue card, with rows of numbers across it . . .

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