Thursday, December 20, 2012

Athletes who get "REAL CLOSE"

Do you have a training partner?  Are you part of a group or Tri Club that trains together?  I know as part of the A-Train, there are many of us, and we get very familiar with each other.  There's always a few who get really close. Hell, we run together or ride together for hours.  We even shower together. Yes, its a public outdoor shower by the beach, but you get the idea. We get VERY CLOSE.

We have conversations we just can't have with regular people.  You know which conversations I'm talking about.  "Hey, my bike shorts, well they just aren't that comfortable, what should I do?"  "I'm allergic to that stuff, I get all red, you know, down there!"  My particular favorite (we'll keep the names out of this) was one morning after 3 hours in the saddle, I asked, how are you feeling?  The reply:  "Like I've been gang raped in the @$$."

When I ride with Beth, the Mistress of Bayshore,  there is never a ride, I don't slide up next to her bike, and say:  "Beth, I have to tell you... MY @$$ HURTS!"  You just can't say things like that to regular people.  Athletes have no problem talking about chaffing remedies, and find discussing penile numbness acceptable dinner table conversation.

We are proud of our bruises and scars.  You know you have at least one photo on your phone where you buttocks is purple and skinned.  Forget the photos, you gladly pulled your shorts down to show everyone, oblivious to the fact that you just mooned everyone, including the nice older couple in the parking lot.

As funny as all of this is, we really do get close.  We form friendships out on the road and in the gym.  We share towels, water bottles and protein drinks. People ask questions, like, are you two together, or dating?  Often the answer is no, we just work out and are together all the time.  Sometimes those same two people, actually do become a couple.  Then they start referring to each other as the "SO".  We even have one couple, two of the original members of the A-Train that are now shopping for baby furniture.  You never know!

We are there for each other, no matter what.  We're a team, we're a club, we are a family!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Remember the Lazy Little Bird

Have you ever heard of the story of the little bird that didn't have time to work out?  This lazy little bird decided he didn't have time to exercise, so when it started getting cold and all his friends flew south for the winter, he decided to it would be easier to just stay behind. He really didn't have time to fly south anyway.

Well the weather got colder, and colder and eventually the little bird came to the conclusion he may have made a mistake.  He started, flying south frantically, in a effort to get to warmer weather, but ran into a storm.  The fact was he was just too out of shape to make the trip.  He found himself falling out of the sky.  He landed in a field, in a snow bank.  He sat there freezing to death, and just when he thought it couldn't get any worse, and cow walked by and crapped on the little bird.  

Well this certainly is the end, he thought, but suddenly felt warmer.  As a matter of fact, he felt so good, he began to chirp a happy tune.  Just then a cat was walking along the fence, suddenly jumped to the sound of the chirping.  He dug through the snow and manure, found the little bird, cleaned him off and ate him!

  • Everyone who craps on you, isn't necessarily your enemy
  • Everyone who digs you out of the crap, isn't necessarily your friend
  • And finally... if your warm and happy in a pile of $%!# keep your mouth shut!
Oh yeah... Most importantly, DON'T SKIP YOUR WORKOUTS!
Yes, its that time of year that we are extremely busy.  We are running all over the place, and may feel we don't have the time to get that workout in today. Now, I'm not saying don't take a rest day.   We need those.  We also need some down time, to enjoy our friends and family.

It is still important to keep our workout schedule, even though we are in "off-season" mode, or don't have a race anytime soon.  Today's workouts do a few things.  They keep us in the rhythm of working out.  Getting up early, is a terrible shock to the system if you don't do it regularly, then suddenly January 2nd try to "hit it hard" again.  Our workouts this time of year should be FUN! Running or riding with friends reinvigorates us.  Keeps us motivated, and reinforces our good habits in the face of the pressure from others to slow down.

Our workouts may not be as intense or as long duration as we did a before the holidays, but keep the momentum going.  No one wants to be the lazy little bird.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Don't sweat the small stuff!

The Holiday Insanity continues!  The pace on the roads quicken, people in the grocery stores move their carts around the aisles like they are on a two mile oval.  People often grumble and groan at check out lines.  There is a heightened level of stress all around.  What toy do I buy the kids?  What do I get for that special someone?  The commercials on TV make it seem, that if you don't get that perfect gift, you don't care enough.  Talk about pressure.

This holiday season (I'm using my radio voice from years gone by) why not try something completely different.  SMILE!  When something or somebody pisses you off, SMILE!  When someone is in the check out line behind you and has only one item or maybe two, let them in front of you.  If a family member is driving you insane, SMILE, look them in the eye, and say, "you know I love you".  You would be amazed at the response.

Instead of worrying about the physical gifts, focus on spending time together.  Its not the place, or the gift, its the time we have together that's so important.  Life is too f*(&!@# short to get wrapped up in minutiae.

Now I'm trying to remind myself to do this!  The other night at a restaurant, with family from out of town, we had a rather unpleasant experience.  Dinner took an inordinate amount of time, and the service was horrendous.  When my sister asked the waiter for a status, he was rather rude, and even raised his voice a tad.  Now having begun at 5:00 am as I normally do, and spending the better part of the day at the hospital, I was "stressed" and hungry.  Most of you who know me, know that is just not a good recipe for decorous behavior on my part.  I don't recall the exact words I used, but needless to say I wasn't exuding the Holiday spirit.  My aunt says, she thought he was going to cry, my uncle said I scared him.  I think that was an exaggeration, but afterward I did feel rather guilty.

So, from here on out, I'm going to make a truly conscious effort to SMILE in the face of stress.  To be nice, even when people are pissing me off.  To not sweat the small stuff!

Nothing helps beat stress quite like a high intensity workout, or maybe one of those long grueling bike rides.  Care to join me?

For those of you who have taken a spin class or two with me, you will recognize the song in this video.  When you feel beat up, and feel you can't get up anymore, get up and do it anyway!

Remember, don't sweat the small stuff!