Thursday, August 19, 2010

There is No "I" in Team...But, I Take it Too Far Sometimes.

My training session in Central park this week was intense. I just finally figured out my trainers motto, "Exercise is Optional, Movement is Essential." However, I am still learning the concept that my trainer Chris preaches: "If you train with poor movement, you will place fitness on top of dysfunction." Now, for me, an hour in the gym with boxing gloves hitting the mitts leaves me beyond exhausted and drenched to my socks in sweat. My spin class left me rubber-legged, equally drenched, and almost convulsing at the thought of riding a bike ever again. In both cases I loved that feeling of total exhaustion. It is the feeling of athletic accomplishment and knowing that my body worked to its maximum capacity and will be burning this extra fat away.

However, when I do the training in the park we often do exercises or movements that in and of itself are rather routine. If I close my eyes during some of these drills I would swear that I am standing on some burnt grass field at Chaminade College Preparatory during two-a-day practice gearing up for the High School football season. I mean look at gyms circa 1985 compared to today! We are so much smarter about training and movement, so why are we doing these rudimentary drills that I first learned on the hard asphalt in 7th Grade P.E. class? Yet, when we put all those movements together over a sustained period of an hour I am tired, and sweaty, but not more so than boxing or spin class. The secret is the next day, really they next two days. That is when all my muscles, muscles I didn't know I had are aching - so much more so than the boxing and spin. This is not a boot camp type class, far from it. There are no barking of orders, or screams to pick up the pace. Rather, there is a slavish demand to perfect movement. It is not about doing it hard or fast, rather doing it well. Obviously, using the TRX at certain stations during this class also add so much to this total work-out. And, once again, I just can't get enough of the team aspect. You know, it's funny, I was talking to my trainers Mike and Chris and I complained about a guy who got water on his own. Now, I am 42 years old, have not played competitive sports on a team since 2001, and this training group is not a "team," rather just a group of people meeting in the same spot in Central Park. Also, there are plenty of water breaks - especially during these hot, humid August nights. However, in my brain, some guy who I don't know, and I do not depend on in any team capacity whatsoever, jogs over to his bag for a swig of water on his own and that really ticks me off!

It's comical, really!

I am so condition from years and years and years of playing competitive sports that even after living a sedentary lifestyle throughout my 30's and early 40's and gaining 75 lbs, and being a decade removed from pulling on an athletic team uniform, I still revert to the days when I was young and fit and on a team - you never walk on the field (in this case the field is the volleyball courts in the corner of Sheep's Meadow and the steps to Bethesda Fountain), and you never get water unless the coach yells, "water break!"

Now, why is this silly story important? Because you can not ride a bike for 20 years and get on with no problem! And you can be away from exercise or healthy eating for decades and then when you start again your mind does not forget - therefore, ignore all that pain and disruption and trust your mind to adapt to a healthier way of living. It certainly did for me! One month I am on my couch watching reruns of Entourage with a Ray Bari pizza box on my chest, and a virtual Maginot Line of beer bottles between me and the kitchen, and the next I am doing sprints with high knees and getting pissed off that some guy is taking a non-sanctioned water break!

No comments: