Brutal punishment by the evil one, James Tait

BMX retro racing

In a flash of inspiration earlier this afternoon, I decided to head down to Knox BMX track and do a training session under the tutelage of AA Pro rider and coach James Tait, oh how I wish I stayed home or maybe I should have taken up lawn bowls.

The session started off well, with the request from James to do a couple of warmup laps, after 2 laps I was gassed, I knew I was in trouble and it was going to be a long hour, the training session starts and we are divided into two teams, two relay teams that is, which involved relays of running, side ways running, kicking in yourself in the butt with your heels running and high knees running. Immediately I felt bad for my team as I was quite obviously going to be the weakest link and I apologise to tall the 8 to 14 year olds that were in my team that the old guy slowed you down. I thought the relays were finished, but there was more leg to come, leg raises with some kind of skip or hop if you will, whilst these kids may be able to raise their leg so high that they hit their face with their knee, I’d be lucky if I can raise my leg past the height of my knee, I moved to one side to try a knee raise and instantly knew that I was a hopeless case and it just was not going to happen.

After this brutal torture both mental and physical, James the evil one allowed us to have a drink of water, I gulped down that water like I hadn’t drunk for two days, whilst trying to gulp down lungs full of oxygen at the same time, I can tell you that the two do not mix.

After this so called warmup the real fun began, we all met up in the car park and rode down to the end and onto the soccer oval where we proceeded to do sprints on the grass, I mean like what the hell, if I wanted to ride on the grass I’d take up cyclecross, after 3 laps of sprints I was seeing stars, it was then James told the group that he didn’t want to see anyone pumping their bikes side to side, but to use their core muscles and keep the bike still whilst they build up their sprint to 100% effort. Excuse me but umm what? Core muscles, what the hell are those, have you seen the size of me, it has been years since I have seen any core muscles let alone used them in any way, I was now really questioning my enthusiasm for the training session and asking myself what on earth I was doing their with all these young kids flying around me whilst I was trying not to pass out or throw up in my helmet or both.

Fortunately the grass sprint torture came to an end I casually rode back to the track with the others, if I had known then what I know now, I would have stayed out on the grass of the soccer oval and sneaked back to my car and made my get away. The real suffering was about to begin.

Up to the start gate to do gates starts with a 100% effort in the first straight, sounds pretty easy, go down hill off the start gate, build up some speed and keep up the speed the entire length of the straight, it was easy to begin with, the problem with first straight sprints is that they are fast and before you know it you are back behind the gate and doing another one, then another, then another, the guy that was controlling the gate, said, “G’day Adam, feeling fit today?” I said hi back and mumbled some other words, I’m not sure who it was or if I just made it up as by then everything was a blur to me, a haze of pain and torture.

After this barbaric brutality, we headed towards the middle of the track, where we come to a stand still on the second berm, pump the power into the pedals and get our legs spinning and build up momentum pumping through the rhythm section and bring it home in the last straight, young Mr Tait wanted us to jump or manual the table top, I mean like what the hell I am over 120kg I don’t jump and on the odd occasion that I do end up in the air it is by accident and I pucker up so tight that I would be able to turn coal into diamonds with my butt cheeks. Fortunately I was able to get through this part of the session unscathed and still in one piece.

Lastly the evil James Tait had one more evil trick up his  sleeve, off the start gate, one full lap, drop the bike, run around the scoring shed, followed by 10 push ups, back on the bike, ride the track backwards and finish by riding to the top of the start hill. We were told the one of the laps had to be at 100% effort, it didn’t matter if it was the lap out or the lap back, I figured that if I went 50% out and 50% back then that would make 100%, truth be told I had nothing left to give, I get through the first lap giving what little I had left and with an evil grin I turned around forgoing the run and push ups and start riding back, coming over the finish line in second place.

I was done, I had nothing left to give, I mustered up what little strength I had to get to my car and drive home. I sit here typing this post, asking myself the question, why I do pay someone to put me through such brutal torture, see you next week James, I look forward to what nasty surprises you have in store for me.

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