So I went to a spin class today - so far the only weekly gym activity that is justifying my YMCA dues this year. The instructor was new to me, since she had a baby recently and took some time off (of course, she looked nothing like someone who'd had a baby recently), so I've only seen her substitute the past couple of months. Anyway, she was kind of a nice change from the sub, who I liked, but this girl has a different approach that I liked more. She had a way of preparing you for the changes in pace or tension that were coming up in the routine so you knew what was ahead of you: "Here's a hill - we're gonna increase tension on the way up, then sprint at the top and coast down." "You're gonna do 30-second sprints at a 7 on a 1-10 scale; we're doing 3 minutes; go!" (Or something like this. Like I said, I'm a once-a-week spin class attendee.) It got me thinking.
(Oh, and lest you think I'm morphing into one of those athletic types who uses sports metaphors for everything, don't worry. "Athletic" definitely does not describe me. And I rarely wax contemplative on exercise equipment.)
Actually, I was thinking how UNlike life this is. We don't usually get heads-ups when changes are ahead. Major changes, I mean. What I wouldn't give for a "Warning: back surgery ahead for husband" or "Caution: possible layoffs" sign. Then whatever shoring up of resources (sorry for the Sarah Palin quote; it does fit) had to be done would be done, and I'd be prepared for anything.
Of course, this is not how life works, and our mettle is truly tested with the unexpected. I mean, if someone were to even suggest that something like a struggling kid in school or a car-totaling accident might be in your future, even if you just what-iffed those possibilities, your first thought might even be Wow, I don't know how I'd handle that. Or That sounds hard. A reaction of self-doubt. But sometimes, it's not till you're in the middle of one of these that you suddenly find yourself handling it. There's just no other way through it. And you may find out that you're made of tougher stuff than you thought.
Here's one more thing that spin class instructor said that I liked. Preparing us for a climb, she told us to "gear up" (increase tension on the bike) and added, "Okay, you're gonna stand" (to pedal harder). Now there's something I can use, even with the unexpected. Because even when you don't know what's coming, it's good to think that - no matter what - you're gonna stand.
*thanks to www.vecteezy.com for use of header image*