Fad Fitness: My Best Ride Yet

Week 4: I'm in competition with myself and more motivated than ever

Over the holidays I went two weeks without “Swerve-ing.” Although I had maintained my fitness by running and strength training during that time, I was still a tiny bit apprehensive about my return to the cycling studio this week. I was expecting the entire class to be an uphill battle, that it would feel more like my first class instead of my fourth.

Aside from a little bit of a burn in my quads, I was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite, though. Except for a few times during the hill climbs, I felt strong, fast, and in control for the majority of the ride. And I learned something new about Swerve, too.

As I mentioned earlier, during the ride your team is scored based on the average of each team member's energy output. Throughout the ride the instructor will flash the team scores on the display screen to give everyone a glimpse of where they’re at. What Trisha explained to the class during this week’s ride was that you can compare your own individual Swerve score (which is displayed on your bike’s console) to your team’s overall score in order to gauge whether you’re behind, on point with, or above the team average. I feel sort of silly for not having realized that on my own, but just like I was once a beginner runner wondering what the heck a Fartlek was, I’m still pretty new to the Swerve scene.

Learning this helped motivate me even more, though. Not only was I working hard to stay ahead of my team’s average, but I also set the goal to beat my personal Swerve score of 342 from my previous ride. I guess two weeks off served my muscles well, because I finished with a score of 450; more than 100 points higher than last time. Not only did beating my goal give me a great confidence boost, but it also has me looking forward to my next ride. Can I go faster, further, and increase my score even more? The only way to find out is to keep riding.

This is one of the most important parts of making a habit out of exercising; working at a sport or activity that challenges you and keeps you coming back for more. Of course you won’t want to exercise if you’re bored. But if you’re excited about your workout (no matter what your favorite activity is), and you can look forward to it because you can’t wait to work at bettering your best, then exercise starts to feel less like a chore that you have to coax yourself into completing and more like a party that you can’t wait to get started. And for me, Swerve has proven to be one big bike-riding bash.

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