Harder, better, faster, stronger

Yesterday afternoon I started coming down with a cold, probably because this is the perfect time to be sick, what with two conferences and a trip to a foreign country taking place in the next seven days. So maybe it’s my repressed immune system? Stress? The Universe telling me LISTEN, you think you’re going to put on a bathing suit next Tuesday? LET ME GIVE YOU A SUBTLE HINT.

It remained in my throat throughout last night and into this morning, so I decided to go ahead and attend my Wednesday morning spin class. I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me what an idiot I am, Jon has taken care of that for you. That’s part of the charm of being married, of knowing someone loves you unconditionally but can tell you with unparalleled sincerity that “you’re a fucking dumbass.”

I told the teacher before class started that if she pulled one of those “we’re going to stand the entire hour” routines on us, I was going to throw up, please have mercy. The teacher is also my trainer, who yesterday morning put me through a workout so intense that not even halfway through it I started to get the Elvis Presley legs, all shakin’ and movin’, except with a lot less sex appeal and a lot more fallen’ over on my face because my legs could no longer support the weight of my body.

So this morning she took us through my favorite kind of routine, one where we work on strength through intervals and target heart rate all while remaining in the seat. And because I was already sore from yesterday and feeling the beginning of a raging cold, I made the mature decision to hold back a little bit. This is hard for me because I want to be the valedictorian of spin class. And valedictorians? They are not mature. They are masochistic and self-punishing and total right out dumbasses.

So where I normally would have taken my heart rate to 85% maximum, I held it back to about 75%, and in doing so I could keep my legs going as fast as everyone else in class. This proved to be a solid decision because one, I really would have thrown up if I had taken my heart rate higher. And two, I was on the bike right next to the real leader of spin class: a woman who has eight kids and still manages to do two spin classes back to back at least three times a week. And even in that second class everyone is looking at each other like, “Did that woman eat Superman sandwiches for breakfast?”

Forget the back to back spin classes. She has eight kids. She wins right there.

At the end of class as we were stretching, she shook her head, wiped the back of her neck and said, “Man, you were going wicked fast today!”

This took me by surprise a little bit, and when I looked up at the teacher she nodded with her in agreement.

“Yeah, well…” I thought for a second about my eternal salvation.

And then I remembered I don’t believe in that anymore.

“This is my kind of workout,” I explained. “You like the ones when we stand, but I do better when we sit.”

What? At least I’m telling you the truth.

  • KateH

    And we appreciate the truth, truly.

    I’m sure Jon has never been at the receiving end of a “you dumb ass” statement, right?

    ‘Cause my husband gets most of those in this house, only I call him a douche bag instead.

    It does sound as though the mother-of-8 has valedictorian all sewn up. Maybe go for salutatorian?

  • Daddy Scratches

    Yeah, holding back isn’t easy when you’re a Type-A overachiever. I feel your pain. Or, at least, I’ll feel your pain when I end my unintentional fitness hiatus and start working out again. Which I’m going to do any minute now. Really. I mean it.

    Hope you feel better!

  • poopinginpeace

    Oh no, don’t worry. I’m the same way. When I feel a sickness coming on, I purposely work out. I mean who knows when I’ll get to do it again. It might be two or three days. And do you know how easy it will be to get out of shape in that amount of time?? Yes, I too am a dumbass. Plus I start to work out again before I’m completely better. I guess I’m a little addicted to working out, well that and wine. The working out kinda has to happen because of all the wine. I suppose there are worse addictions though. You need some kind of vice when you’re staying at home with three kids all day!

  • Becca

    “It does sound as though the mother-of-8 has valedictorian all sewn up.”

    I’m sure she’s got SOMETHING sewn up…

  • truelove

    …okay, first I have to say while I totally appreciate the need to prevent spammers, the Captcha’s a little ridiculous, I went through like five of them before I could squint enough to make out the gibberish.

    Anyway. I am about to be a smartass and point out that you’re actually masochistic when the pain you’re inflicting is on your own self.

    Because I am the sort of person who likes to tell people that they are wrong on the internet. I’m sure I fit right in.

  • dooce

    @truelove thanks! Fixed. My head is a little foggy today.

  • Lily Hydrangea

    Sometimes a workout can help get rid of a cold.
    But in case you feel worse, gargle with warm salt water. Dr Oz says it’s not just for sore throats, it actually prohibits the growth of bacteria and viruses. Last year he recommended people do it every day in order to help fight the flu everyone was freaked out about.
    I tried it every time I felt the least bit sick & I wasn’t sick once last Winter, which was pretty amazing considering the Winter before I was constantly sick.
    Good luck, & feel better Heather!

  • truelove

    @dooce. Heh, I know well the fog of illness; considering you did THAT to yourself whilst coming down with something, I’m astonished you’re not faceplanting into the keyboard.

    (I’ve been known to default to ‘that place! with the thing!’ when ill or tired and fail utterly at anything more specific.)

  • Schnauzie_Mom

    I love that I’m not the only one who works out when ill. You cannot let the illness win!!

  • luv and kiwi

    You have shamed me Dooce. When I came down with the bubonic plague of lung infections I was out of the gym for two whole months…I just went back yesterday actually. 75%…ha! I gave a bit PHAT Zippy. Hanging head in shame…

    http://www.luvandkiwi.com/2011/01/rip-van-winklingyes-its-adverb-now.html

  • hellywelly

    unrelated…did you hear that SUEDE is playing the Coachella fest?? :)

  • whomajigi

    That’s part of the charm of being married, of knowing someone loves you unconditionally but can tell you with unparalleled sincerity that “you’re a fucking dumbass.”

    THIS. This sums up my relationship so well that I actually shared it with my partner and he nodded and agreed.

  • jg2010

    Ah, you working-out people. How you confuse me. [scratching head]

  • Moomser

    I’m constantly amazed at how varied the human population is. Working out when getting sick… ha, ha, ha. Of course, I love your stories about spin class because they’re the only way I’ll ever see a spin class. But to the more important things (and I admit I may have missed something) but where are you off to? and have fun!

  • tallnoe

    I wish I could go to spin again… I just don’t want to afford the gym.

    So, instead I’ll shout: GO HEATHER GO!!!

    And, like @moomser, where ya going? I want to go to the beach…

  • Janice

    Someone has already mentioned gargling salt water but I’m gonna go all Janice on you and tell you (again) that sinus irrigation makes such a huge difference when you’re getting sick:

    http://www.amazon.com/Grossan-Hydro-Irrigation-System-Original/dp/B000H84D2G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1295480622&sr=8-1

    I agree though on the working out. Seems to help sweat out the infections. I’d preach moderation but then I was the one out mowing the lawn with a broken ankle and hand; cast on each hobbling behind the mower. Feel Better!!

    You’re welcome

  • Crazy Card Lady

    If I had that many kids I’d want to stay at the gym all day long….

  • thecounselormom

    I love hearing you work out when you are coming down with a cold- I am the same way, I go work out too when I feel like I am getting sick but loved your response to her! That’s my kind of workout too :)

  • thecounselormom

    I love hearing you work out when you are coming down with a cold- I am the same way, I go work out too when I feel like I am getting sick but loved your response to her! That’s my kind of workout too :)

  • LaLaBoo

    Spin? Not a chance in hell!

    But knock out a cold, yes… Nature Made-Stress B Complex
    (it has zinc) and if you take it early enough it will knock out almost any cold! I swear by it! Take it with a glass of orange juice.

    Feel better!

  • Jacquie

    You know what? This really pisses me off. The main reason I tolerate spin class is my belief that no one is paying attention to how fast or how hard I am going, and as far as they know I never drop below level 11. Wait. That IS what you’re saying.

    cue Roseanne Rosanna-dana voice:

    nevermind.

  • jonsbebe

    Emergen-C = NO MORE COLDS…

    EVER…

  • absenteedaddy

    Mom blogs such as Dooce are vapid, shallow, wastes of broadband that only similarly shallow, middle class and upper class white people read in order to validate their hollow existences. This is an example of a real Mom blog that better brings into focus– in a matter of just a few posts– some of the most pressing problems of American society than all of Heather’s posts combined:

    You people are pathetic, I’m sorry to say. Do you ever really just take a good look at yourselves?

  • KateH

    “vapid, shallow, wastes of broadband that only similarly shallow, middle class and upper class white people [and trolls] read”

    …really? Gonna come in and dump on someone else to promote a blog? Trying to get the ol’ page count up? Does that shit ever work?

    Of course, someone must buy fake penis enhancers too, right?

    This is like an inverted excusatio rudis. (Rephrased for trolls: pot, meet kettle.)

  • debi rad

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only “dumbass” who works out when sick. I’ve heard it’s okay as long as it’s above the neck. Stay home if it’s in your chest though. Feel better soon.

  • apostate

    I prefer exercise a little less intense. I’ve hooked a shelf up to my treadmill and now I can do facebook, read dooce, shop on ebay, and play bustamove
    http://www.gamobot.com/Puzzle-Bobble/57/Puzzle-Bobble.html
    all while walking between one and two miles an hour. It adds up though.
    Spinning leaves me cranky and sore. And I tend to cuss out the instructor which isn’t fair to her.
    I’ve started the new WW. I think this is going to be the year of MILF for me.

  • carepackagegirl

    Oscillococcinum. Homeopathic.
    I’ve see this stuff wipe out swine flu.
    Be skeptical, just take it once. Worse case: you’ve wasted about $10.
    Best case: you get to tell me how wrong I was :)

    feel better.

    http://www.oscillo.com/about/facts-about-oscillo/

  • Binreddy

    I’m sorry you are getting sick. I wish you get better soon. Hope you try to get lots of rest (which by sounds of it might be kinda hard to do) and try to stay hydrated (I love drinking teas such as ginger, chamomile or lemon with honey). My friend swears echinacaea helps shorten the duration/severity of a cold, but I never tried it.
    All I want to know, really, is where exactly does one get these “Superman Sandwiches” you speak of? They sound delicious!