Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Time off the bike...reveals new passion

Well, where shall I begin...  I've been out of pocket for quite a long time and although most of you probably weren't sending out a search party to find me, I'm sure some may have been wondering where I've been and what's been going on in my neck of the woods.  My family and I have relocated to a new state for work, prepped a home for sale, located and moved into a new home all while trying to keep sane with so many things changing.

First and foremost, thanks for checking out the blog where I have made an effort to make things fun, educational (sort of), and entertaining.  Up until mid to late November, I had been spending lots and lots and lots of time focused on the bike.  I was engrossed in it, couldn't get enough of it and was always on it whenever I had a free moment right up until the excitement dropped off like going over a cliff.  

It was my own fault for putting in so much time on the trainer, focused solely on being faster, stronger, leaner on the bike that I rode the fun right out of it.  Have you been there? Become so short sighted on one thing that you lost or forgot the whole reason you were doing it in the first place?  That was me.  I wasn't sick of the bike, but I just didn't have the passion to saddle up and pedal with energy and excitement, so I stepped away from it altogether.

Some weeks passed by where I was looking and trying different things to ignite that spark that I found when I first got on my road bike.  I started running more, lifting weights, pilates, yoga, etc. in search for that magical sensation until I finally gave in to something that was taboo, unknown, and from the articles I read, potentially dangerous.  CROSSFIT.  

At the invitation of some friends that own and operate a crossfit gym affiliate, Crossfit PRx, I decided to give it a try and to my relief and amazement, it was not what I thought it was and at the same time it was more than I thought it was.  In my mind, I pictured arrogant meatheads lifting an insane amount of weight and judging those that couldn't match their strength, similar to my past experiences in a gym.  This was something completely different.  The group of men and women that suffered through daily workouts in this "box", as its called, were down to earth, friendly, supportive, and highly encouraging.  The first week was physically brutal.  I considered myself to be fairly fit, but quickly realized I was not as well rounded as I assumed. 

My body was sore everyday from the previous workout and just when the soreness was passing, another workout would make my muscles scream even more.  The workouts consisted of a warm up that prepares the targeted muscle group, followed by a routine that further fatigues that muscle group, and finished up by a WOD (Workout Of the Day) which is usually timed or set up as a high paced circuit that usually thrashes my body.  By definition, Crossfit optimizes fitness through constantly varied functional movements  performed at relatively high intensity and I definitely did not personify any portion of that!  As the weeks went by, I quickly realized the only person I need to compete with is myself.  Can I do better than I did a moment ago, a day ago, a week ago?  Can I push harder, do one more rep, make my mind tougher and think past the pain?  It was this mentality and the encouragement of my fellow athletes, which goes hand in hand with crossfit, that I was able to build more confidence in my abilities and see past my prior limitations.

Even though I was moving slowly due to muscle soreness and I could fall asleep in a matter of seconds the moment I stopped moving, I kept thinking about what challenges we were going to face the next day.  I could feel that burning sensation in my core...other than muscle soreness.  I started to feel that fire inside ignite and like a phoenix from the ashes, a new passion revealed itself because I was able to get out of my own way, try something new and truly allow myself to be humbled by what can be accomplished by stepping out of the comfort zone.

As for the bike, I haven't given up on it.  We will meet again soon and venture out on some new terrain.  It's still a passion I love and will continue to make time for, but my plans now are to incorporate my two fitness passions together that will not only make me a stronger cyclist, but a stronger overall athlete.  My specialty, will not be specialized.

This was my first Workout:

Be mindful that you do the following at your own risk and to listen to your body to reduce the chance for injury.

Warm up: 5 Sets
5 Barbell Squats (dumbbell or bands can be used)-push hips back, keep chest and chin up

Workout 1: 3 Sets
20 Wall Balls
10 Squat Cleans-(modify with a Catch Squat)
10 Dumbbell Snatches

Pistol Squat (one legged squat, left leg then right leg)-1 minute 
Rest-1 minute
Burpee-1 minute
Rest-1 minute
Jumprope-1 minute

Until the next time, 
Keep your mind sharp, body fit, and pedal hard