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Monday, January 31, 2011

Bad Office Snacks- Take 1

I threw a Take 1 in there because I'm sure I'll have more down the line.

Today's culprit:

Yup, a pomegranate.

Who eats a pomegranate at work?  I do.  But who cuts/peels a pom at work?  That would be me too.

In my defense I had no clue what I was getting myself in to having never eaten one before.

I think those seeds are beautiful, they look to me like rubies. Gorgeous deep red color.  Well you know what color the juice of those lovely rubies is?  Yup, you guessed it, RED.  And let's just say that sometimes you accidentally crush a seed and it shoots juice across the room.  So yeah, probably not a good idea to carve the thing up on my desk.  Needless to say, quite a few of my papers now have some red stains on them.  Oops!

But now that I'm done, look how pretty!

Thing is, I'm not a big seed person.  I love blackberries but don't usually eat them because I hate when the seeds get stuck in my teeth.  Poms are all seeds.  So right now I'm sucking the membrane off them and then spitting them out in to a container, again, great office behavior.

On that note...happy snacking!

Greetings and salutations

Anyone know what movie that is from?  Here's a hint, Christian Slater said it.  Remember the days when he was a hunk?  The days of Teen Beat?  Excuse me while I reminisce.

OK, I'm back.

I hope you had great weekends!  It still amazes me that the weekends go by so quickly and I never seem to feel well rested once their over.  Why is that?

Saturday night I got an emergency email from a spin instructor with an ill father.  He needed coverage for his 9:30a super (60 minute) spin class, so I obliged.

This class was at a location I used to teach at.  I haven't taught there since November, so it's been a while.  I knew he had a loyal following, and those folks are never too happy to see someone else in the front of the room.  It was weird, I had that nervous feeling in my stomach, although that could have also been too much caffeine and not enough water, but I digress.

I did feel a bit like a piece of meat being dangled in front of a lion standing at the front of the class.  Thankfully I did have a few familiar faces in the room.  One woman asked the woman next to her if this was one of those classes where she'd end up walking out.  Ouch.  Thankfully I knew the person she asked and she said no. (Post class, the question asker did say it was great, small ego boost.)

Why am I sharing this?  Because it never ceases to amaze me how difficult it can be to come in and sub someones class.  Most people are creatures of habit and when they see something (someone) different, they don't always embrace the change.  If you've taken the instructors class, then you're at an advantage in that you know what they're used to, but walking in blind is hard.

However, I do think it's really important to put yourself out on that limb on occasion.  It makes you a better instructor and hopefully re-instills your confidence that you are in fact a great instructor.

There's my two cents...

Did I mention that I picked up a new class?  So that's 3 classes and a full time job.  I think I'm good.

I taught Saturday, subbed Sunday, and then taught my usual class this morning.  I was suffering.  God only knows when I last did three consecutive days.

Well, I'm off to work.  Be well!

Friday, January 28, 2011


I just realized that I never posted my ride from last week.  Oops!  I'll try to get it up on Sunday.

Happy Friday!  This has been a looooong week with way too much snow.  Not to mention I've got some sort of weird stomach bug which is resulting in non-stop nausea since Wednesday morning.  Not fun.

Since I've been a little under the weather, the whole fitness routine has really suffered.  Planning to get back to it this weekend or Monday at the latest.

Any exciting plans out there?

I'm off to NYC tomorrow to hang with the fam and see a fun magic show.  Will let you know how it is.

Have safe and warm weekends!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Here we go again...

It's snowing...AGAIN.  That picture doesn't even do justice to the non-stop white stuff that is falling from the sky.  Ugh.

A move to the Caribbean never sounded so appealing!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

6 weeks to 6 hours

SPIN ODYSSEY is just about six weeks away.  On March 6th I'll be spending six hours on a spin bike to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  I'm excited!

See this post for more information about last year.

I participated in this event last year and was BLOWN away.  This year I'm on the planning committee and also heading up a team (Go CyclePaths!).  Plus I'm hosting a benefit in a few weeks. 

Part of this event involves (obviously) fundraising, which I find is always the hardest part.  There are about a million causes out there that want your money.  Everyone's priorities vary, so while one person deems a cause worthy, another may not.

Breast cancer hits super close to home for me.  My mother is a survivor!  We were very lucky that for her it was caught early on and was treatable.  She's doing wonderfully today and as a result I want to try to give back and find a finite cure for this disease.

If you can find a spare dollar to donate to me, I'd be over the moon!  There's zero pressure but I figured it couldn't hurt to throw it out there.

And if you happen to be local and want to participate or volunteer, leave me a comment.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Good morning!

It's incredibly FREEZING here in the Northeast today.  So much so that it actually hurts to be outside.  It hurts any exposed skin and it hurts your lungs to breathe this harsh air.  I HATE IT!!

Class this morning wasa little smaller and I'm guessing that some people either couldn't make themselves get out of bed, or were up watching football and partaking in some beverages.

I partook, but sitll managed to get up at 5am raring to go.

Put together a new ride for the Saturday class and repeated it this morning.  It was a 20+ minute climb in 3rd, which is tough, but everyone rocked it!  There's something totally empowering and invogorating about getting a class to do something. I love it!

I'll post the ride in the next day or so.

Spin related, I picked up another class, so that's good.  Now i'll be at 3.  it was 5, then 2, now 3.  I think 3 is perfect considering I also have a full time job.

Not much else is going on here, just trying to stay warm. 

On a side note...
My dear friend is right now in the midst of pre-labor contractions and will be having a baby any day.  Exciting stuff!  Shout out to baby G!

OK, back to work.  Have a fabulous day!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Common sense, or so I thought

I received an email from one of the managers (not you ST! :) ) at one of the clubs I used to teach at.  Her email was entitled "reminders" and had a bunch of messages for the instructors.

Here's what she wrote for spin instructors:

Music- Please make sure you are changing your music/varying it so its appropriate for the crowd/format you are teaching. Also that the volume is appropriate and they can hear YOU.
Ex: Spin- the music should be upbeat to inspire/motivate and be a mixture of styles of music. Everyone has different taste and we want to TRY to please everyone. Try surveying your class every now and then as to what THEY want you to play.

As an instructor, I was surprised to read this.  But then again, this wasn't sent out when I was teaching at this location so I know it's not me.  But on a side note, I have heard a certain instructor play Kenny G in his class.  Really?  Maybe motivating for sleep, but not for hard work.

I put a TON of time in to my music and rides and am surprised to think that there are instructors who don't.  My little online spinning crew definitely put significant effort in to their music, which as riders say, can essentially make or break the class.

Maybe I shouldn't complain or care, because the more sucky instructors there are out there, the better us good ones seem!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I ate this...

And then made this face...

It was gross!  yes, it is one day past the expiration date, but should that matter?  It's only one day.

I'm not crazy about yogurt but I try to eat it on occasion because it's good for you.  This flavor, not so much!

I did it

My plan last night was to go to the gym for a boot camp class, but stuff was going on at work so I couldn't get out in time.  Insanity to the rescue!

As I mentioned before, I was nervous.  How could I possibly get pumped up standing in my living room?

Came home, hung out for a bit, then changed.  We moved all the furniture out the way, which actually made the place look nice and much bigger (which helped with the motivation).  Then popped in DVD #2 which I is Cardio Power and Resistance.  My friend had done DVD #1, but this was new to me.

It started out with a warm up, during which I got completely out of breath.  It entailed running in place, jump squats, high knees, butt kicks and a few other drill type activities.  By the end of the warm up my heart rate was HIGH.  Then we did some stretching, which was still on the difficult side and incorporated some yoga-ish moves.  Then the rest of the workout focused primarily on legs with a little for the triceps/shoulders.  Everything was done circuit style and then you repeated the circuit 3 times.

It was definitely challenging.  We hit pause a few times to allow for breaks slightly longer than the 30 seconds.  Sometimes I had to stop for a quick bit mid exercise, but I did get back to it.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised.  Once you got past the beginning, the time went by pretty quick.  I definitely worked up a sweat, which doesn't usually happen when I workout at home.  My muscles were fatigued last night and this morning I'm a little sore, predominantly in my calves, which is kind of odd.

Between you and me, I think I was a bit better prepared for this than my "friend".  While he's naturally fit and way more of an athlete than I am, he pretty much just spins, with softball in the spring/summer and an annual game of football over Thanksgiving.  While definitely not in tip-top shape, I have diversified my workout for some time, mixing in boot camp classes with boxing and even a little yoga.  Some of the moves on the video were similar to a boot camp class, but the intensity was kicked up a notch. 

In summary, so far so good.  Don't think I'll do another DVD tonight, but I'll continue to share my experiences with you as we go.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm obsessed with...


I seriously get excited to drink one of these.  It's like a little treat for me!

It's kind of a cross between orange soda and seltzer.  Yum!  And only 15 calories to boot! (I like to think that it having a few calories makes it less bad than your usual diet soda.)


Just might be!

In the next few days I'm going to start using INSANITY by BeachBody.  I'm nervous.

I'm not even nervous about the workouts, but I'm nervous about working out at home and finding the energy to do it.  I'm also nervous that it will mess with my regular gym routine. Since I'm a big time creature of habit, that's scary stuff!

I'll let you know how it goes.  Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Has green tea made you sick?

I guess the title of this post kind of says it all.  Captain Obvious here!

As you probably know, green tea has tons of health benefits, and some studies have even shown that drinking it daily can aid in weight loss.

As a result of all this good press, I decided to incorporate it in to my diet, specifically around 3pm when I could usually use a little energy.  I found that on the days that I did this, I had more energy to work out yet didn't feel jittery or have trouble falling asleep.

Since I was experiencing such good effects, I swapped it out for my morning coffee one Saturday before teaching.  I took it in a travel mug and headed to the ATM pre-class.  Left the ATM and boom, holy nausea!  I wracked my brain as to what I ate that was making me sick (the answer, nothing).  I continued on to the gym but was actually afraid I'd have to pull over on the highway.  I was scouting out areas with larger shoulders.  Finally made it to the gym and literally ran to the bathroom to throw up, but nothing happened.  Gradually the feeling passed and I was fine the rest of the day.

I was stumped.  Somehow I made the connection to the fact that I drank green tea on an empty stomach.  When I brought this up in conversations, I was surprised to learn that many people have felt the same way and said never to drink it on an empty stomach.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Needless to say, I won't touch green tea unless I've eaten.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Manic Monday....wish it were Friday!

It's Monday.  Plus it's Martin Luther King Jr. day, which means that many people (not me!) are off from work today.  Must be nice.  :)

Not only do I have to be at work, but I have a 3 hour conference call with China in 30 minutes.  I'm already wondering how to handle the numerous bathroom trips I'm going to need in that time.

Speaking of which, funny story.  I was on back to back conference calls last week and desperately needed the bathroom.  So I dialed in to the second call on my blackberry, muted it,  and took it with me to the bathroom. I figured my two cents wouldn't be needed until the end of the call.  Pretty much the second I hit the toilet, I hear "Jessica, how about you start and give us your update?"  To which I freaked out and then said that I needed five minutes as I had just stepped away from my desk.  Oops! Thankfully that was OK and no one really needed to know where I was.  Just a random silly story.

Hope the weekend treated you all well!

One more quick tangent... GO J-E-T-S!!!
Sorry, couldn't resist.

I subbed out my class on Saturday.  I NEVER sub it out.  NEVER.  But my "friend" asked me nicely if I'd sub it out since his birthday was on Friday and he wanted me to be able to enjoy myself on Friday night and not say "I need to go home, I have to teach tomorrow", which is my usual speech on a Friday night.  So I did it.  I got myself all excited about being able to sleep in, which never happens on a Saturday.  We went out Friday, stayed out somewhat late.  I turned off the alarm clock and went to bed.  Guess what?  I was up at about 8:30a and couldn't fall back to sleep.  Seriously???  I did linger in bed for a while, but I was pissed.  Pissed that I could have taught but also pissed at my body for not letting me sleep in on the rare day that I actually could.  Grrrr!

Then I found out later in the day on Saturday that my sub didn't show and that someone else had to cover at the last minute.  Ugh!  Thankfully the guy who covered is great so it all worked out.  Phew.  Not going to sub out that class again any time soon.

I also got new spin shoes.  After trying on just about every pair in the store (in every size), I ended up with a pair of men's Velcro Specialized.  However, I wasn't really thinking, and got the shoes without the tread for walking.  I figured I don't walk much in my spin shoes so it wouldn't be an issue.  It kinda is, but since they can't be returned I'm going to just deal with it.  Walking is do-able, but it's weird and since you're walking right on the clip, you might wear it down.  My thought process right now is that I'll wear those when I take classes and wear my old ones when I teach.  Maybe?

Walking on the clip kind of requires balance so I actually thought to myself that now it's like I have a pair of those toning sneakers.  Ha!

OK, the ramble machine will shut her trap now.  Welcome to the new week and have a happy MLK!

Friday, January 14, 2011

TIGF and the importance of energy

First of all,

Happy Friday to you!!

Is it just me, or does it feel like Friday took forever to get here?  Perhaps the mid-week snow storm just made things worse.  Regardless, Friday is here and I couldn't be happier!
My alarm went off this morning and I had no clue what was going on and was sure it must have been a mistake.  No dice.

Last night I took a class at the gym.  It was called "ultimate conditioning" and in my experience, the definition of that class varies depending on who is teaching it.  But essentially it's a toning/sculpting class with a little cardio mixed in.

The instructor last night was stuck in traffic, so the GM started the class.  He had us doing some random stuff, which I might not have chosen, but his energy was high and he challenged us.

About 15-20 minutes in to the class the other instructor arrived.  First of all, he walked in thinking he was holier than thou.  Second, his energy was about that of a piece of paper, i.e., zilch.  Plus, he totally changed up what the first instructor was doing.  It was not a smooth transition.

I ended up leaving early.  I did have to be somewhere, but if the class were good I would have stayed to the end, my plans could have waited.  But I didn't like his personality or his class, so out I went.

Do you think this is rude?  Have you ever done something similar? 

I was telling a friend that instructors probably dread me in their class because I'm so incredibly opinionated.  Oh well, such is life, right?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Five looooong days

So sorry that I've been missing for five whole days.

Stuff has been really busy, plus I started having some cold symptoms last Sunday.  As the week progressed the symptoms hung around and occasionally worsened, only to let up again.  I figured it was a quick little cold.  Well when the following Saturday rolled around and I was still sick, I came to the realization that I was wrong, and maybe overdoing it a bit as well.

Since starting to feel sick on Sunday, my week went like this...
Monday - thankfully work was closed and I skipped the gym
Tuesday - work all day, then boxing
Wednesday - work and then skipped the gym but had to run an errand at 9pm
Thursday - 6am class, then work, then Spin Odyssey meeting at 7p
Friday - 6am class, then work, then a get together at a friends
Saturday - teach 10am class, clean, parents visit, errands, etc.
Sunday - I forced myself to take a day of rest
Monday - teach 6am, work, then finally relax....
Tuesday (today!!) - work, then gym...then SNOWSTORM, uh oh!

When I was complaining about not getting better, my friend said that maybe it was because I was go-go-go all the time.  I didn't really think that was the case until I stepped back and looked at what I'd been doing.  Without a cold this is all fine, with a cold perhaps it was pushing it a bit too much.

Class yesterday morning was HARD because I really wasn't feeling too well, so my breathing was labored and as a result I was a tad dizzy.

The good news is that it seems that my cold is finally on the outs.  I didn't take Nyquil last night, the first time in a week, and so far I haven't taken any meds or blown my nose non-stop.  Fingers crossed that this is it!!

Normally if I catch a cold at the beginning, a good nights sleep can usually keep it away.  Not so much this time.  Any little tricks/remedies that you use when you feel a cold coming on or have one?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

maybe i'm a spin snob

I like control.  I'm better as the driver than the passenger.  I've often though it would be neat to try flying, but I feared that then I'd be on a commercial jet and uncomfortable since I wasn't in control.  That last sentence was a bit extreme, but you get the idea.  And yes, that thought really has entered my mind before.

Since I went from teaching 5 spin classes a week to only 2, I've had a lot more gym time to myself.  In my opinion, spinning is one of the best bang-for-your-buck cardio sources, so I've been taking a bunch of classes from different instructors.

On one hand, it's really nice to just take a class and not have to worry about cuing, timing, or music.  On the other hand, I'm at the mercy of the instructor, and sometimes that doesn't go so well.  Lately I've been feeling bored during classes.

This morning I went to a different gym for their 6:00am class.  I teach a 6a, so I know that energy and upbeat music are KEY.  This chicks energy was OK, but her music was no bueno.  My mom probably would have enjoyed it, but even she might have said that it wasn't the best 6am/pick me up/wake me up music.  My mom's a long-time spinner so she definitely has her opinions.  Every song was dated, the most recent being Beautiful Day by U2.  That's a fine song but I've heard it about a million trillion times.  Her warm up song was reminiscent of the Indigo Girls and I think her cool down song actually was the Indigo Girls.  I've never liked the I Girls, but even if I stepped back from my preconceived notions, their genre is not 6am music.

I'm opinionated, we all get that.  It was bad before I was an instructor, but I think it's only gotten worse as I've learned more of what riders like and dislike and adjusted my style accordingly. 

Do you have similar experiences, being an "expert" in a certain area and as a result holding others in that area to a higher standard?

Any spin song (or workout songs) that you HATE???

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spin Ride!! Don't Back Down

This ride was taken from a ride entitled Don’t Back Off on The concept is that you load up the hill and then resist the urge to back off the resistance as you sprint and continue to climb.

It was a tough ride but it went over well. This version is 60 minutes.

I’ll fill in the song lengths later.

Tonight – Enrique Iglesias featuring Ludacris
Warm up

Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson
Starting our climb, adding resistance every minute or so, ending the song at about an 8/10 and coming out of the saddle. A nice solid/heavy hill. Difficult but do-able.

Raise Your Glass – P!nk
Staying on this 8/10 hill, let’s do 30 second sprints. First two back in the saddle, third staying out at 3.

Monster – Lady Gaga
Still on the hill, alternate 1 minute seated with 1 minute standing

Hey Baby – Pitbull
Continue the pattern from the previous song. Make sure riders didn’t magically lose their hill. Encourage them that if at any time it feels like it got easier to add resistance back on.

You Look Better When I’m Drunk – The White Tie Affair
Silly song, but good for sprints. Last song on this hill, 3 30 second sprints. Mix up whether you take them in the saddle or out at 3.

Cantaloop – Not sure of the artist
Recover. Whole song recovery, as breathing normalizes and HR come down, play around with cadence on the flat.

Walk This Way – Aerosmith and Run DMC
Take 2 on the hill. Back to building the resistance up to an 8/10. I told my class they could try for a 9 if they wanted.

Push – Cat deLuna and Akon
30 second sprints again. In the saddle, out at 3 or at 2. Your call, but there are 3 of them.

Quixote – Bond
Back to the 1 minute seated/1 minute standing combo.

Open Your Eyes – David Guetta featuring Stereo MCs
Continue the 1 minute intervals.

If I can’t Have You – Kelly Clarkson
Final set of sprints on the hill. Usually the seated ones are the hardest so I’ll do the first two out at 3 and the last in the saddle.

The Pretender – Foo Fighters
Take it to a flat and pick up the pace. All out sprints on the chorus. Final sprint goes to the end of the song.

Congrats, you're done!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

grind time

It's back to the grind here.  My office was closed yesterday, so it was a nice looooong weekend.  But now it's back at it and of course it's like the time off never happened.  And now there are no office holidays in sight.  Booo!

I put together a new spin ride for my class on Saturday, so I'll try to get that up  later today or tomorrow.  Yay.

Like everyone else, I'm trying to get back on the fitness bandwagon.  Thankfully I haven't been too bad these past few weeks, but even so, time to get back to things.  I'm still adjusting to the work schedule but hopefully things start to sort themselves out (how long can I keep using work as an excuse?).

So I learned over the weekend that Crunch! was coming to CT.  As a native NYer, I know all about Crunch! and the awesome classes that they have, so I was pretty excited to learn about the new location.  Did a little research and found that they're offering memberships for $9.95/month.  So I joined.  Yup, I already belong to a gym, but for $10 I thought it was worth it to give it a try.  Their class schedule will initially be a little limited, but it's still something new.  Thing is, they're not opening until mid-February, so I guess my excitement will have to be put on hold.  I'll let you know how it goes once they're open.

I would imagine the gyms in the area are not too happy about this development.

Not much else here, just pushing forward, ready for the weekend.  Ooops.

Hope your year/week/month is off to a good start!!