How Hot Cycling Connects to Writing
You have to risk going too far to discover just how far you can really go.
– Jim Rohn
Three months ago, I returned from a visit to Japan, where I spent a week traveling with a friend before we settled into a 10-day stay with my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons to get a glimpse into their new life. The mornings while in their home, I had some contemplative time to ponder what life held for me upon my return. Or better said, what I was being called to do. The answers weren’t astounding. One was to block more time for my own writing rather than spend every moment of the day focused on my clients’ writing. We can only guide our clients as far as we have ventured – whether we’re writing coaches, personal trainers, music teachers, etc. Writing is a practice, and over the years, I’ve become a more confident and stronger writer because I’ve been willing to show up, and spend time with my creative projects, even if I didn’t feel like it.
I also knew I needed more exercise. The night I arrived back in LA from that three-week trip to Japan and freshly showered after almost twenty-four hours of travel, I sat on the sofa while my partner made dinner. With my phone in hand, I searched for hot yoga near me. While a handful of studios were located within a few miles, a hot cycling studio just four blocks from my home caught my eye. The studio met all my parameters – within walking distance, plenty of class times, and reasonably priced.
Resistance Reared Its Ugly Head
And I balked. I started making excuses why it wouldn’t work. In part, my age. I was afraid at “my age,” I wouldn’t be able to spin cycle for 45 minutes in an 85-degree room. All of the people on the website were 30-somethings. I’d been the “older” one in the room before when I returned to school in my 40s, only to find myself in a room full of first-year students. I’d vowed not to let myself fall into the mindset of being too old to do something, but I was falling down that rabbit hole here.
Yet, I sorely missed the Peloton, which I had access to while living in San Diego. In the privacy of my son’s home, I could slack off if I wanted to, but in a room full of young, fit bodies, I’d likely be embarrassed if I didn’t keep up. There I go! Comparing myself to others. While I had been walking 2-4 miles four or five days a week, I knew I could use more cardio. I wasn’t feeling my stamina the way I once did. And a part of me was beginning to believe my age was a barrier.
I shared my thoughts about the hot cycle place with my partner (but not about my doubts). He said, “I’ve been passed it. It’s close.” Vowing to put my fears aside, I committed to walking by it in the next few days. Returning from my errands one afternoon, I veered off my usual path and headed to the studio. I wanted to walk in and get a feel for it. My anxiety rose with each step. As I neared the corner, I glanced at the liquor store’s parking lot, which was just two doors from the studio. A homeless person was camped out and attempting to get the attention of passersby. Less than half a block from my destination, I turned around.
A few weeks passed, and I circled the runway virtually. I downloaded the app for Sweat Cycle. I checked the schedule. I read the bios of the instructors. I mentally scheduled the classes on my calendar––and still, I resisted calling or paying a visit.
Following the “Fly”
Then one day, I was on the phone with Michael Kline, discussing the possibility of having a writing retreat at his center, [name], in Costa Rica. I’d walked for quite some time, and we weren’t yet done with our chat. I headed toward the hot cycling studio and felt like I had support, even though Mike had no idea where my meanderings were leading. I turned the corner at the liquor store, walked another 100 feet, and stood in front of the studio. I peered in the window as Michael and I continued our conversation. I could do this, I thought.
A trip to San Diego was scheduled for the first week in June, and I was staying with my son and his family––which meant I had access to the Peloton. I had book events for the debut of The Precipice of Life: Leadership and Personal Growth Insights from a Mountaineer’s Edge. Greg Voisen and I had worked with the author Bo Parfet for over a year, and Greg set up three events for Bo to speak about the book.
A Gentle Reminder
But I still found time to ride the Peloton a couple of times. My heart soared when I clipped in. I did two 30-minute sessions that week, and there was no question: I had to take my shoes with me back to LA.
The day after my return from San Diego, I woke up early and knew that was the day. I grabbed my phone, opened the app, created an account, and four hours later, I walked into the front doors of the studio. I was shown around, found my locker, and entered the hot cycling room. Holy Moly, what did I do to myself? The heat hit me like a wall.
You’ve got this, Kathy. It’s only 45 minutes.
That’s when the instructor said, “Alright, Saturday. Last class of the day, so we get to do a whole hour!”
I made a commitment to keep moving. I might not rise out of my seat, but I was committed to keep moving – and I did.
During the eight-minute walk to my home, every piece of clothing on my body was drenched in sweat, and my hair was dripping. I was in such a daze I missed my street and had to backtrack. I groaned as I climbed up the stairs to the third floor. Every muscle in my body ached. What did I do to myself?
I took a shower and a nap. And then checked my text messages. A text from Sweat Cycle greeted me, offering me a new rider special. I couldn’t refuse. I made my purchase and then scheduled three more classes over the next week. I tried morning and evening classes over the next couple of weeks. I found a rhythm.
But more than that, I found that I could do it. And I wasn’t the only older woman in the class. Many of us with more wisdom and experience mingled with those with fewer cycles around the sun.
Classes at Sweat Cycle are now a part of my week. While I originally thought I’d go only twice a week, four times suits me perfectly. My body is stronger. I feel more cardio-fit. I love rising early, writing, and then heading off to a class, coming back clearer, fresher, and more alive – even without a cup of coffee. The stairs to the third-floor condo no longer challenge me, and yes, there is an elevator.
Occasionally, if my schedule is clear, I’ll add another class. Hot cycling is not just an event on my calendar. It’s something I must do.
The Connection Between Writing and Hot Cycling
And what does this have to do with writing?
People often say they want to write a book or start a blog. But they balk. They circle the runway. They think about it for years. Fears and doubts rise to the surface. Who am I to do this? Who would ever read what I wrote?
Just as the thought that I needed to increase my exercise tapped me on the shoulder and called me to action, I truly believe that when we have an idea to write a book or start a blog, the universe calls upon us to take up a mission. To sit our butts in the chair and write.
All it takes is one moment to believe in yourself and say, “I’ve got this.”
Before long, writing becomes something you must do, and you’ll look for even more time in your day, week, and life to sit down and write!