Immerse Yourself in The Trip

Last July, my children conspired to purchase a bicycle for my birthday -- calling my bluff after a number of “I’m thinking about getting a bike” discussions -- so I hopped on and began to ride. Most of those initial rides were around my neighborhood until the loose dogs mapped out my route, then the Lunsford Trail around Abilene Christian University, then to neighboring streets Mostly they took place during my usual, pre-dawn exercise hours. I discovered riding a bike was, as promised, something you never forget.  It was a wobbly start, but not for long. I was hooked.

I was disappointed when the crisp, fall mornings became windy, wintry mornings. Being the wimp that I am, I parked my bike in the house – at least for the 5 a.m. outings.

Meanwhile, at Hendrick Health Center, where I work out, the old RPM classroom was being transformed into the Cycle Cinema, complete with a cinema-scale screen, professional-quality sound system and new stationary “smart” bikes. In January, Hendrick Health Center launched Les Mill’s THE TRIP, a “fully immersive workout experience that combines a 40-minute multi-peak cycling workout with a journey through digitally created worlds.” If you want to get fitter faster, the website says, THE TRIP is the way to go.

 I get queasy watching video games, so I was leery of this inaugural immersive ride through the virtual world of Egypt. It was tricky, but by day two I was leaning into the curves with the best of them.

Quotes comparing life to a journey are ubiquitous. Songs have been sung, poems written, sermons preached. But maybe there aren’t quite as many comparing life to THE TRIP.

Sweating my way through the imaginary worlds of THE TRIP 12, I began the comparison:

·         Full immersion in life is the way to go. You can’t do this life thing halfway. Engage fully.

·         As my son told me when I complained early on, “Mom, riding a bike hurts your butt. Take a few days off and start pushing through the pain a little at a time. It does get better.” Yep, that’s about right for this life, too.

·         Turn up the music, and block out the self-doubt and other outside distractions from your goals.

·         There are hills to climb where you think you can’t stand up one more second, and then there is the thrill of the downhill sprint. Interval training is where it’s at. You need some of both experiences.

·         Recovery periods are vital to completing THE TRIP. And vary based on the individual. How do you rest?

·         THE TRIP is easier with fellow travelers. And more fun. Remember the proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

·         A coach or mentor makes a difference. Someone who tells you what you’re in for up ahead and encourages you to hang in there. Styles may vary, but they can all be helpful. Some are loud and whoop a lot. Some have a gentler approach. You can use more than one.

·         Go ahead and use the APP and see how you’re improving, but don’t compare yourself to those around you.

There is joy in the journey – and THE TRIP.


 Keep on riding.