Call it new year resolutions if you like as I’m writing this in December 2006. These are things that I want to work on during the year. You can of course ask me how I’m getting along. But it’s a way for me to keep in touch with myself. If I make it public then it spurs me on to achieve these goals. And if I don’t make the effort then I guess it brings into question why I set them in the first place. A lot of them are ongoing and are goals have been set year in year out. Achieved in some years and some not. So here they are.
The overall plan is to incorporate them into my existing routines and schedules rather than take time out especially to do them. If I do have to take extra time outside of my normal routine to do these things, then something has to go. Because if my routine becomes overloaded then there is a risk that I may just abandon everything. And I mean everything.
Fixed Gear Exercises
I’ve been riding fixed gear for almost 2 years now and I’ve only just learned how to unclip and clip back in using my right foot. There are many other skills that I would like to learn. The ultimate being the trackstand of course. But I haven’t really worked on any of them. I have worked on slowing down using my legs only. And also on pulling up. There are single leg exercises which I think I’ve only done a few times and the four sections of the pedal circle. All of which will make me a faster and more efficient cyclist. Which means a happier cyclist.
So, specifics? Hmmm. I’m tempted to say track stand by the end of the year. But somehow even though it’s probably possible, I don’t want declare it just yet. But I do want to improve my pedalling technique and slowing down without the front brake.
Mula bandha at the traffic lights
Mula bandha (pronounced moola banda) is a technique from yoga practice and involves development of the pelvic floor muscles. It is very similar to the "zipping up" technique in Pilates. One the ways in which I recommend students in my classes to practice this technique is to incorporate it into everyday activities rather than take out extra time in which to do it. Each time they change the channels on the tv or every time they pass through a door. Or when they stop at the traffic lights. I should practise what I preach I guess, so that is exactly what I’m going to do. Contract, let go. Contract, let go. And so on, until I see the amber light, whereupon I will contract and hold and then continue to hold while I push away, click into the pedal and build up to my cruising speed. Then let go. I have started, so let’s see what happens.
Minimum of a 100 miles a week on my bike
Every thousand miles on my bike is celebrated by the "millenium cane". This is a celebratory meal and "cane" is a colloquialism for eating a meal with great appetite and gusto. As I plan to ride a minimum of a hundred miles each week this year, there will more "millenium canes". The size of the meal is defined by the following terms – "citizen cane", "michael cane", "cane and abel". Fast food is referred to as "hurri-cane", and a snack is called a "mini cane".
So is my cycling motivated by my eating? Well, I would have to admit that partly it is. So far I have not actually put a quota upon myself. Even though I plan to ride a hundred miles a week, it is usually between 65 and 80 miles. It’s the bike ride that’s missing. When I do my bike ride, down to Orpington and back, which is 25 miles, I reach my 100 mile target or near enough. So it is really about including that ride into my week. The plan is to do that on a Thursday morning and then work Thursday evening.
A yoga course for the drop-in classes I teach
The thing I find difficult about teaching drop–classes is that you get all sorts of levels in the same class. You also get regulars as well as new people. So how do I go about teaching a course? I tried doing it a couple of years ago. But my idea was flawed in that I assumed that the core group would be made up of regulars. That was not so. The other thing that made it difficult was that I was building on ideas that I would hope they would remember, but they didn’t. So how will my new idea be better?
It’s like this. I teach virtually the same class for about 4 weeks. Then I make some slight changes. Add a posture or remove a posture. And all the concepts and ideas have to be included in every class rather than to hope that they have been absorbed in an earlier part of the year. Let’s see how it goes.
Press-ups and sit-ups upon rising
Well I’ve started this already since the beginning of December 2006. It’s probably the hardest time of the day to do any form of strength training. And with no warm up there is increased risk of injury too. But I know I will always have that time available and that I will do it. It takes me around 2 minutes and then it’s job done. I don’t actually do any sit-ups as they tend to aggravate the lower back, so I do leg raises instead with my palms underneath my lower back. I sit on the edge of the sofa and lower my legs down to the floor and then raise them as high as I can.