Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spin with your eyes closed (and thoughts on impressing people). #pinspirationthursday

One of my Spinning students is blind. He's an absolute joy to have in class. He rides three times a week, just once with me. I won't reveal too much more about him because I respect his privacy, but I will tell you this—my class is significantly different when he isn't there. People feed off his energy. They respect him. They are inspired by him. But I think he's getting more out of my class than any other student. Why? Because he can't see.

He isn't distracted. He's focused, simply because he has to be.

He can't see what I'm doing.
He can't judge his workout based on the person sitting next to him.
He can't get lost in the action outside of the Spinning studio.
He can't see himself in the mirrors at the front of the studio.

All he can do is tune in.

To me.
To himself.
To his bike.

He has to feel his way through each and every turn of the pedal, and that's something a lot of students don't do. They ride, but without thinking. Dare I say they go through the motions? Maybe. It's so easy to succumb to this without even knowing it. So to help my students, I often ask my students to close their eyes, even just for a few seconds. Just to reconnect.

"OK, guys. I want you to close your eyes right now and really dig deep. Connect with the road, listen to your breathing. Ignore everything else and focus on your relationship with the bike. How does your body feel? Are you working or going through the motions? Tune into what you're doing. Eliminate the noise and push to the top of this hill. You can do it, this is only a few minutes of your day. Let's make it count..."

Here's the thing, though. I think we need to close our eyes more often. Sometimes literally, maybe just figuratively. Instead of seeing the world, looking at life...I think we need to step back and feel it. Absorb it. Really tune into the way we're living it.

Do you do this?
Are you aware of how you're living your life?

If you aren't, I'm sure that others are.

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We get so caught up in everything around us and everything about us, like our clothes and our hair and our muscles and the cars we drive. But what about the things we say? Those count the most.

One of the things I've learned from my sight-impaired Spinning student: What I say means way more than what I do. It's what truly defines me. My words, the things I say in the conversations I have.

Think about it.

And next time you're in Spinning class, try closing your eyes for a few seconds.

Maybe even some minutes.

(Just, you know, don't fall off the bike.)

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