Monday, March 16, 2009
Tri-Fitness Challenge: I Really Suck at This
I really suck at this.
Those were the words that came to my head after I completed the obstacle course for the second time at the Al Rosen Tri-Fitness Camp this past weekend in Tampa. I kinda-sorta finished with some amount of dignity just based on the fact that I had not yet had a pie smashed into my face, and as I jogged off of the field to catch my breath, my new friends clapped and cheered, "that was awesome!" They are very sweet. It was not awesome. It was terrible. But, it was. And that's the whole reason why I went - to figure out where my skill level lies and where I need to improve.
It turns out my skill level lies somewhere around equal to patio furniture. As you know, to say that I am not athletic is like saying the moon is round. But it's not as if I am completely without merit - I can run, lift heavy things, swim, bike, and hold a plank for way longer than Mike Manguso (oh, it is ON, Mike!). But I can't jump over a hurdle. Yet.
When I crossed the finish line and received my pity praise, I had been at this for a total of one day. I had already gotten better at scaling the wall (I was down to just one grown man needed to help me get over it), started to do a lot better on the cargo net, and was actually doing a decent job on the monkey bars, which I was the most worried about. And I was having a great time, despite having my ego taken down about 15 notches. But I was still terrible at the hurdles and never was able to flip over the bar at the end without knocking it down. We had a couple of hours break before we headed to the beach for another workout. I was hoping there was something on the agenda that I would be halfway decent at just so I could remind myself that in real life, I am not actually this lame.
Fortunately, the fitness gods smiled on me. During the beach workout and trail boot camp the next morning I was back in my element and feeling a lot better about my physical fitness. It felt great to run again, do crazy push-ups and lunges and jump rope like I do every day, and it was nice to get a little confirmation that I can still kick butt, even if only in my own mind. :) As I bandaged my hands, inspected my bruised legs, and doctored my ant-bitten arms, I wondered how long I had to wait before I could do it all again.
Being at the camp was a fantastic experience, and one that I will definitely repeat. How else am I going to get better? I met some fantastic women who were really fun to get to know. I received the comforting confirmation that my abs aren't as bad as I thought. I was pleased with my level of cardiovascular conditioning. And I wrote a nice long list of things to train on. Mostly, hip flexors. I am really looking forward to tackling that course again at another camp, and then in competition in November.
But best of all, it was so refreshing and motivating to be around "my own kind." To finally be with people who look forward to grueling workouts, who constantly challenge and push themselves to achieve more, who carry ice chests of food with them and have complicated orders at restaurants, and who understand what it means to want to accomplish the completely unreal was a breath of fresh air. I can't wait until I can be there again, hopefully with a much better course time!
For now, my work is cut out for me: my jumping, sprinting, and pulling strength need to dramatically improve so I can clear those hurdles, have a more efficient shuttle run, and scale that *&^%^%$ wall.
So why are you still reading this? Let's go work out! :)