It is the offseason, the time when I start slowly making improvements to my body, mind, and spirit as I look toward goals for the bike in 2015. I’ve always had a mental debate with myself over the idea of strength training and I blame my humble upbringing.
Whenever I would ask my dad if he wanted to go running with me, he would say ‘nah, but if you want a workout, come chop wood with me.’ I took him up on that offer from time to time and I guess that explains my viewpoint on going to the gym. Why would I spend all sorts of time and money to contort my body in specific ways with specific tools to achieve effectively the same thing as chopping wood? But if you chop wood or rake your elderly neighbors yard, you’re getting super strong while making a meaningful contribution to the world outside of yourself. So what’s the solution?
Well, there isn’t really a perfect one when you live in the city, work full time, and have to be efficient about these things (if only I had a wood pile out back that needed to be chopped). And so I accepted that strength training is worth it, there’s no sense in half-assing this bike racing thing and so I found the perfect space that makes the most sense to me. I luckily landed it big and get to hang out at Hosmer Chiropractic with my friends on Tuesday and Thursday mornings where we focus on strength and mobility training under the guidance of a real expert in the field. I feel good about it and know my instructor is invested in making me strong and ensuring I am doing it right so I get the maximum benefit and stay healthy. When I get to know him a little better, I’ll ask if we can have a wood chopping session one week. And I’ll offer to rake Donna’s yard.
Life is full of compromise, even with myself.
Anna Grace Christiansen is a Velocio Advocate, a semi-professional cyclist, a stand up representative for cycling equality and an unrequited bad ass. See her scene here.
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