Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Spinning in Hebrew

Taking a spinning class in Hebrew is an interesting experience. Each instructor has their own teaching style, read delivery style. So, Gustavo, (Tues and Wed evenings) originally from S. America, focuses on rapid cycling - he values the level of pressure in time, like double time/fast or triple time/really, really fast, really only Gustavo can turn his legs that fast, and then, there's high pressure (meaning turning the dial up high) and we're all huffing but Gustavo's doing nicely. During the class, he talks a bit, tells us it shouldn't be easy and given that it's nighttime and the disco ball is turning and the lights are off, we all just mind our own business.

Then, there's Mindy, here from Montreal for the last 13 years or so. Her Hebrew is good but mercifully, she throws in a good bunch of English. From her we've learned the terminology for standing up straight, watching that our chest and heads don't sink down and adjusting the pressure to her notions of hard and easy, all delivered with her breezy smile, swinging ponytail and nary a droplet of sweat.

Aryeh is the most amusing from my perspective and the most Israeli - then again, he is Israeli. A retired army man, can't remember what he did but clearly it was not something that allowed him to get fat eating humus and yelling at recruits, he's in impressively good shape for a guy who I'm told has 2 grandchildren - you do the potential math, even if he married and had kids when he was young. His delivery style is 'early military', punctuated by the sounds he likes to make to keep time, 'tock tock' along with his head ticking right and left in time with the music. He takes no prisoners, gives you little idea of what to expect but as you get to know him, you begin to recognize when he's about to up the ante, pick up the pace, start peddling wildly fast and generally, leave the rest of us in the dust. Ira and I never understand much of what he yells out to us during class - he just doesn't say anything that I really recognize but we manage just fine and are always proud of ourselves for making it through.

Today, Aryeh asked me if I bike outside of class - not that much these days to be honest. A combination of a healthy fear of J'lem roads which are barely big enough for traffic, let alone bikes and an unfortunate lack of public awareness about sharing the road with bikes in the first place. I told Aryeh that I need a new bike - which is true. I have a lovely but ancient peugeot that's great for straightaways but not for the constant up and down of J'lem hills. Aryeh told me that I'm a great spinner. Pretty cool. Begins to make me think about doing that Hazon ride sponsored by the Arava Institute next May --- all about the environment and the Arava...hmm.

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