Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Entry No. 17- The First Blog Post

At this point in time I am thinking of putting my fitness journal material into a blog. I want to edit the posts so that they don’t suck if I am going to do that though. Once they reach a level of relevance I will add them to the blog, but for now they will remain on my hard drive awaiting correction. So if you were confused by the Entry No. 17 part of the title, that should clear it up. If you're still confused, deload to hooked on phonics or something.
Most fitness blogs have the problem of being pointless. Often they will just give lift numbers or miles ran/swam/biked/etc. I find it ridiculous to read such things. It is like watching paint dry. The other end of the spectrum is when a person just gives artsy bullshit about their chosen sporting activity. It’s fine to have that for yourself, but I don’t think other people should care that much. It is true that sport has a romantic quality for many people. Pushing yourself until you can’t anymore is a beautiful image that is a perfect and relatable way to define ideas like struggle, defiance, and overcoming adversity. Not everyone cares though.
It’s great if you did a workout that showed you some great new meaning. It’s fine if you gain your own life philosophy from your training methods. I encourage people to help find meaning in their life through exercise because it’s a way less bleak picture than gaining these thoughts from our work habits. In most parts of the world now people work very hard for decades in the hope that they won’t have to for a few more. Spending fifty hours a week for fifty years toiling away at some sort of job will inevitably turn you into a miserable bastard. I’ve seen it happen to my parents, and I hope desperately that it doesn’t happen to me.
As a result of this I find myself constantly re-examining my goals as a person. Where do I want to be in life? How will I achieve these things? A nice, and much lower stress, set of goals to achieve occur in sport. I decided to be a competitive cyclist when I got to university. I found the team by accident. I was telling a fraternity recruiter why I couldn’t be in their fraternity, and he was scouting possible philanthropy work that night that happened to be at the cycling meeting. I was ecstatic. I used to bike all the time. I had put some training in that August in fact. I did a grand total of 1 team ride that year. It was 50 miles, and it sucked. I was in no shape to do it, but I did. It hurt. I was unable to bring myself to riding because I figured every ride would be like that. If somebody had told me doing a series of 20-30 mile rides would be a much better representation of what the team normally does I would have been more likely to participate more. I should have raced that year. I could have learned my lessons an entire year earlier if I had just had the balls to. Anxiety causes really poor judgment though; I’ll get into that more later.
The next year I did 2 training rides. Yeah, I am not showing a great amount of commitment here, but I feel the need to be honest about it. If we lie about our failures to prepare, then we have no excuse for them. If you train hard, and you lose the way I did in racing last year, then you should sell your bike and find something else to do. I hadn’t ridden a bike in months when I got up to that start line. I was nervous for obvious reasons. I knew I was going to be bad, but I was much worse than I expected. I got dropped after 1 mile. You read that correctly. I did horribly. As soon as we got onto the gravel I let everyone else go. I flatted out at mile 8. The next race I stayed for 7 miles. The race after that I lasted a whole 15. My season ended with that one, and I have improved so much that I could win that race if I tried today. Well, not today today. I’m still sore from squats yesterday. If we held a 35 mile race on Saturday I would smash it though.
So here I am at the end of November. I am sitting here in my room next to some empty soda cans, textbooks, and cycling books. For dinner I had a banana and a protein shake. Tomorrow I’ve got bench press, some rowing, and some stretching on the menu. I am in better shape than I could ever have expected. I have not let one week go by without a really hard workout. I have a legitimate plan to work my way into dominant race shape this year. I know what it takes after a couple of failures.
I hope this post has provided a good background for you on my sporting history as well as where I mean to go. I am a cyclist who lifts weights. Eventually I want to do an Ironman. I want to get better at both cycling and lifting, but as next semester approaches I will lift a lot less. During the season I will be doing probably one bench session a week, and the rest will be cycling. Racing every weekend takes a lot out of you. If you have any advice, feel free to send it my way. I am open to other’s opinions, but if you are plain wrong I will ignore you most likely. I know a decent amount when it comes to both resistance training and endurance training.
When I include any of the first 16 posts in this blog I will mention what post number it is, and I will tell you roughly the date I wrote it. Some of this shit is a year old or even a bit older. It may have a few dumbass statements from a kid who had never raced before. If you have any questions about cycling, since I know many of the readers I will likely have know fuck all about exercise that is not lifting, just ask. I’m not perfect when it comes to physiological knowledge, but I am a good jumping off point. I hope you didn’t die of boredom in the time it took to read this, and before you do I will end it here.