Finishing and Starting

Day’s Verse:
[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Cor. 13:7

The weekend, and my two last-minute presentations is — are — auughh, no parallel structure…! — over! Truly, my weekend activities have sunk to a new low indeed when I start looking forward to Monday.

Over the course of the weekend, I kept a list of things the LCI Coach did that I disliked. I planned on writing a long letter to Preston Tyree, the Education Director at the League of American Bicyclists, about how incompetent I thought the LCI Coach was. I even thought about posting my irate correspondence here on my blog as an open letter.

Fortunately, some small, socially adept voice inside me (it’s very small) told me that even if I decided to write a letter to Preston, posting said letter here would probably not help anything. “Is it kind? Is it helpful? Is it loving?” kept echoing through my head, and I had to admit, “No, no, and…no.” Ah well. Besides, I finished the weekend intact, if frustrated and disgruntled, but in one piece. Better yet, the LCI Coach said that he would report back to Preston that I should be upgraded from LCI-in-Training, which is the designation I got upon completing my seminar in October, to a fully-qualified League Cycling Instructor. That means I can teach classes on my own if I want to.

Even though I may come out of this weekend as a full LCI, I’m not sure it was worth it. One way to tell would be to do a pros/cons list.

Pros:

  • Practice guiding students on the road – very helpful and confidence-building for when I actually teach on my own.
  • Review LAB curriculum and “procedures” (if the random smattering of activities associated with classes could be considered such).
  • Meet a dozen nice Seattle-area cyclists.
  • Build relationship with Cascade Bicycle Club.
  • Maybe become fully qualified LCI, if he remembers to contact Preston.

Cons:

  • Work with this particular LCI Coach.
  • No sleeping in any day all weekend — I woke up at 5:30 and had to not only get rolling immediately, but pack lunch, snacks, dinner, and clothes both days.
  • Longer-than-8-hour-days Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Missing most of the warmest, sunniest weekend yet.
  • The stress of creating presentations at truly the last minute.
  • No opportunity to spend time some QT with Ian or to make some delicious yeast bread, both of which I try to do on a weekly basis at least.
  • No long rest for my legs.
  • Monday feels like the middle of the week.
  • Generally high stress levels the entire week before, and during the event.
  • I can’t count any of those 20+ hours towards my internship at all, even though me being an LCI is very beneficial for the Bicycle Alliance.
  • And, of course, working with this particular LCI Coach.

I have to say that, in summary, it was probably not a wise decision to agree to assist this weekend. I did get some benefits from it, but the costs far outweighed those benefits.

And alas, finishing the weekend only meant starting the week — a week that, as usual, is stuffed to the gills with AmeriCorps and internship-related activities, so there’s no real break in sight.

LCI Seminar Trainwreck

Day’s Verse:
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

Oh my goodness. It is so much worse than I thought or expected, and I already had extremely low expectations; it really is like a train wreck in slow motion. I’m not going into the full extent of the awfulness here right now, but let me just mention one extremely disturbing development: The LCI Coach is the person who teaches an LCI Seminar and he’s responsible for training new LCIs. The LCI Assistants, of which I am one, serve as extra eyes and ears for the LCI Coach in assessing the new LCIs as they teach. At least, that’s what I was led to believe.

Last night, however, the LCI Coach mentioned sort of off-hand, “I have assigned a few presentations to the LCI Assistants, and I trust they’ll volunteer to cover those.”

Let me just say right now that when I did my LCI Seminar in October, I spent hours preparing for my two presentations. I created lesson plans, I designed handouts and printed enough copies for everybody in the class (something this LCI Coach and the organizer of the Seminar both seem incapable of, but that’s a different story), found props, and practiced over and over to refine the amount of time my presentations took. Ian got really tired of hearing me talk about bike nutrition and bike fit, but even with that preparation, I felt a little bit anxious. Happily, my preparations paid off and both my presentations went beautifully; everybody loved them.

That said, imagine how I feel when last night, with no advance warning (despite my having emailed the LCI Coach and the seminar organizer in charge of the event asking if I should prepare in any way) or any time to prepare, I found out that I would be responsible for a group presentation today (Saturday) and an individual presentation on Sunday. And the LCI Coach specifically mentioned that he wanted “assess me” because he’d never seen me teach before, since I took my LCI Seminar in Boston with a different Coach. Yet that Coach passed me as an LCI-in-Training just fine. Why do I need more assessment?

In short — I know, I know, too late — I am seething. I agreed somewhat spur-of-the-moment to help with this because I thought it would give me a chance to review LCI need-to-know information before I start teaching bike classes myself. Also, they offered $100 for the weekend (not exactly a prime motivation since I’m spending over 20 hours on this activity in 2.5 days). Now I’m ready to walk out, not just over what I described above, but over a number of other issues. Only my concern for the other LCI Candidates, one of whom was in tears because of the other issues with the seminar Coach when I encountered her in the bathroom yesterday evening, makes me willing to go back. Boy am I glad I didn’t pay money for this like all the LCI Candidates.

I’m just keeping my eyes on the goal: Monday, and getting one class under my belt so I can shed the “In Training” part and become a full LCI. When I get to go back to work at the usual time without any breaks after this grueling weekend, and I’m confident I will feel only the deepest relief that Saturday and Sunday have passed.