Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Another creative endeavor
Three times a week I have to sit down to create a new indoor cycling class. Technically I don't HAVE to - I have folders full of playlists and workout plans. But I made a commitment to all new classes this year and also to only using music I have never played before. That's a good way to keep things fresh and interesting for me and that ensures that I do the best for my students. I write four types of classes - Form, Endurance, Strength and Fun (my choice - could be video, could be race simulations, could just be great music and an all-round workout). I have a goal for where I want to take the first three categories over the nine months of classes.
So when I sit down to put together a class I usually have some idea what it will be like. I then decide on the blocks of work and recoveries I'd like and then start looking for music that fits. I evaluate music on lots of things - its beat (how fast or slow it is), its genre, its lyrics, its 'feel', and how well it fits with the music that precedes and follows it. I have a history of looking for music whose lyrics create a mantra for the work we are doing. For example, yesterday we did drills where we rode with one leg at a time. All of the songs in that section had the refrain 'only one' in the lyrics.
I have been doing this long enough that I don't find the process tedious and it usually doesn't take too long. But today I was at a loss when I started. My plan wasn't entirely clear, I guess, so nothing was working. And then I found a couple of pieces of music I liked so I stuck them in the playlist to look at later. When I went back I immediately saw that the music had decided the structure of the class for me. Using that idea I quickly found twelve more songs that fit the same pattern. The class is done and I only have to enter the cues in the iPad app I use to project my plan on a video screen.
It's weird to say but the music chose the plan this time with very little help from me. I'll remember that the next time I am struggling - just relax and it will come.
This song isn't in my playlist for tomorrow but I used it this week and lots of people loved it. I am using their interpretation of the 1812 Overture tomorrow - might as well capitalize on something people liked to offset the heavy metal and ambient choices I have also included in the class.
Bond playing Bond Goes Gaga - live performance in Nicaragua.