Friday, September 14, 2012

Another Kettlebell Day

Really digging the kettlebells these days if you haven't noticed.  I've been really busy the last month and a half and with that haven't had the spare time to ride my bike as much as I would like.  This isn't a bad thing though, as I truly believe to be the best athlete you can be, in any sport, you need to be well rounded.  From the time when I was just a teenager, I always found that the more sports I competed in at any given time, the better I was at ALL of them.  The "cross training" if you will, of other sports, for me, really gives me a great balance and an awareness of what I can do across the board athletically.  It took me a long time to figure this all out, but now that I have, it's really pretty rad.

I think to a certain extent it's a mental thing.  I'm obsessive about whatever athletic pursuit I choose, so, knowing myself in that way, I find that when I diversify my attention, I'm less crazy.  Like anyone that has ever been obsessive over something, I've found through experience that the more I think about something, the more I analyze every little detail, the more I "choke" when it comes time to perform.  Being less into the competitive mode these days helps things, but even on my daily rides I find that I can become so detail oriented that I forget to have a good time and just let things flow.

Finding kettlebells has not only reformed my workout routine off the bike (which, in honesty, was pretty much non existent for the last 4 or so years), but also gotten me to think less and just literally enjoy the ride more.  After all, what the hell do we do all this for if we don't really enjoy it?  I'm not getting paid to ride my bike, so why make a job out of it?

I'd have to say that the thing I love the most about training with the kettle bells is their simply brutal nature.  You're literally swinging cannonballs with handles around.  It's just moving weight and letting yourself flow with it.  Every part of your body is coming into play, and, for my money, it's the best way to get the most out of a small amount of time.  As of now, I've yet to be able to make it over 30 minutes when going hard.  I might have been able to stretch things out a bit if I were to actually rest during the workout, but the nature of the kettlebells and their flowing properties make it easy and meaningful to transition from one exercise to the next.  You literally never have to stop.  Going from one thing directly to the next is not only what makes it fun, but makes it effective as well.

Before this becomes an infomercial for kettlebell training, I'll stop it here.  Bottom line is I'm loving these things and I can see the difference they've made in my riding and my overall sense of wellness.  I'm back to feeling like the strong, 31 year old man I should be and not the skinny, over trained cyclist I had become.  (And by skinny I don't mean anything derogative, I just mean that I wasn't feeling strong. You can be skinny and strong for sure-just ask any of the guys I used to work with at the moving company.  They all looked like marathoners but could lift couches over their heads all day long.)

This weekend I'm going to try and get out on the bike at least once, but I've got a busy schedule to get through before that can happen.  It would be nice to get in a ride both days, but at this point, I'll just take one ride.  Best part about it is, though, there's no pressure to do anything.  It's all dependent on what I feel like doing and what I've got the time for.  Either way, with kettlebells and my mountain bikes, I've got choices.  It's good to have choices.

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