Posts Tagged ‘endorphins


Brain VS guts


I get up this morning and all I can see is fog. Big thick fog. I know it’s usually followed by blue sky but I can’t see any blue just yet. I’ve completed day 3 off the bike. 3 long days. Feels like an eternity. Like when you first fall in love with someone and you don’t see your new love for 1 full day… Yep, an eternity. The only good thing about it is that by staying off the bike, I’ve got less laundry to do!

Repeating the key word in my mind: temporary.

The last few days have been pretty rough on me.  My sacro-iliac joint decided, again, that she’s had enough pedaling for the summer and has called for a break. I say again because she does that little trick of hers every 2 months or so. She had the decency to give me a few signs before quitting, but like any passionate cyclist, I pretended not to understand her words. You know what a good dose of endorphins do to you, right? Makes your brain dizzy. Makes the pain in your quads disappear. Makes you happy. And makes you crave for more!

So lately, I’ve added a few extra intervals on the big chain ring, preparing for my 24hour coming up in September. Well, it was one too many I guess. I was just having fun with my heart. I could hear my gluteus and back screaming but the fun I was having with my heart made me ignore the rest. And since my muscles, because of some other serious issue, can never fully recover, I’m now paying for that lack of self control.

My daily drill has been pretty boring: ice, rest, avoid walking, lay on back, no sitting at the computer for more than 30 minutes at a time, no lifting, and of course no biking. Repeat for 2 to 15 days (!!). That recommendation would make a couch potato joyful but makes me more on down side. Imagine:  no bike, no computer time. Makes any sane girl go nuts!

Now, after day 3, it’s time for me to get back on the bike and slowly turn the legs. No big chain ring. No resistance training. No intervals. No big fun. Just turn those legs. Easy spin. Gotta play smart if I want to come back strong. Pedaling with my brain, not with my guts. 30 to 45 minute spin, not more than that. Self control, for once.

Gotta stick by those rules for a couple of days. And in the best case scenario, at the end of this week, I’ll get to change those rather boring rules and have some fun again!



B) No rush Bob!

Inside a massage therapist’s head.

My clients have expectations.

Statistics: 1 out of 2 says he doesn’t mind if it hurts. Let’s call that one client Bob.

I’ve know Bob for 2 minutes now. Already can’t stand him!

“I’m tough. I can deal with pain. Don’t be afraid, just go as hard as you can”.

Nice thinking Bob! What he really means is that he expects the massage not only to be painful but he wishes to feel that discomfort as early as possible during the massage.

When he comes to me, somehow, Bob thinks the experience has to be painful. Otherwise I’m no good. Again, nice!

I can read his mind: “Hurt me, I’ll then trust you and then will be able to relax”.  Hmm. Where does that come from? Oh yes, “no pain, no gain” that we’ve been hearing forever…

In my mind, it makes no sense. It’s also a very frustrating aspect of my job. Very disappointing in fact. Unfortunately, it’s the usual… Hey, what about subtlety?

What Bob is certainly not aware of is that a massage is like a bike ride.

Let’s say your coach is giving you a specific strength workout

  1. steep hills ( 8% or steeper)
  2. that take less than 3 minutes to climb
  3. in and out of the saddle
  4. maintaining at least 50 rpm.

You will obviously make sure to warm-up thoroughly, unless you really crave for injuries!

Same with the massage.

Even before applying oil :

  1. I need to consider the entire body
  2. palpate different muscle groups
  3. grab the skin to evaluate its elasticity and the restrictions
  4. rock the body at the waist to study the connection between lower back and hips

Only then I can decide what I’m going to focus on during our session.

Gradually, with different strokes, I’ll go from working general group muscles to more specific muscles, going deeper, entering different layers.

If I don’t follow such a logistic approach, Bob’s muscles will tighten instead of loosen. The opposite of what I’m trying to achieve. They’re the real judges. The muscles are. By their reaction, they’re telling how much they can take and when they have enough. When they become red and very warm, it’s time for me to move on.

At that point, I don’t care about how hard Bob wants me to go ’cause by now, the endorphins, Bob’s natural pain killers, have already kicked in.

If I continue on working, I can cause more damage, like micro tears for example. Bob doesn’t know that.

Instead of being ready for an intensive interval workout the next day, Bob will have to skip it and settle for a very mellow recovery ride. And, guess what, Bob doesn’t enjoy mellow rides!

I really wish he could understand that warming up the skin and the multiple layers of muscles is not a waste of time but rather a safe way to get a deeper massage.

See ya Bob!


Where does your heart belong?

a)      biking: road-mountain-cross

b)      Cross-country skiing: classic-skate

c)      Snowshoeing

d)      Can’t make up your mind? Love them all!

e)      Something else (sport related, please!)

By now, I think you pretty much know MY answer:

Triplets it is! Road-Skate-Snowshoeing.

What about you? What makes you get out of bed at 6 in the morning?What makes you want to face and sometimes even fight the elements?Cold, sun, snow, rain, heat, humidity, strong head wind. Game on, I’m ready!

I know, I sound like a The North Face ad! So, while I’m at it:

It’s all about the right gear, people.

And layers, lots of layers!


Nothing can stop me from doing what I really love.

Barely awake but yet, sooo happy to be sitting on my tiny pink San Marco saddle, or feeling my paws stuck in my new amazing Women’s Lightning Ascent!

The feeling of blood feeding my legs, oxygen getting into my lungs, my heartbeat and body temperature slowly rising.

And after a few good hills, endorphins kicking in. Yes, I’m alive!

Pure joy. Freedom. Happiness.

a-b-c-d-e? What’s your combo? Please, share!




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novembre 2018
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