Monday, February 16, 2009

Crossfit in the world

For all the time I spend in the gym these days, you'd think I had no interest in sports or the outdoors. I've gotten so serious about my training that I've probably skied half as frequently since I started CrossFit than I did beforehand. The funny thing is that by my second day on skis this winter, I was already a better skier than I was after a dozen days on skis last winter. That difference can be attributed directly to my training. The magic is in the movements. The movement pattern for squats - chest up, ass back, weight balanced for powerful hip extension - are not so different from skiing. The center of gravity is moved forward on the foot when skiing, since the ground is tilted forward, but the general movement is the same. All that time working squats once, twice, often three times a week this year paid off in spades when I took my skis out to the first big mountain of the winter, allowing me to easily keep up with my much more skilled ski partners.

Still, the pressure of the Games Qualifiers has me wedded to my 3-on, 2-off program like a young grandpa-to-be with a 12-gauge, and I've missed some of the best skiing in years as a result. It's strange considering it was a backcountry ski buddy who turned me onto Crossfit four years ago and it was a desire to have more in the tank to enjoy those marathon ski-mountaineering days that happen in the spring, when my customary winter of relative inactivity had left me at my weakest. When you're out of shape, that second or third climb of the day can really sap your energy, and while trudging on may still be an option, the point of the getting out in the world is to enjoy yourself, and if you're not on top of your game, this isn't as much fun as it should be.

Therefore, despite the nagging list of goats waiting for me and the relatively mediocre conditions, I'm getting out on the slopes tonight. It won't be a glorious spring day on a big mountain, but riding under the local high-speed quad without a line and just skiing Fast is quite simply fun (and is a pretty decent sub for high-rep front squats to boot).

Will these adventures prepare me for the Games Qualifiers. I don't know, and I guess I don't really care. I train for life; I don't live to train (at least not every day). So, as hard as I'll push and as diligent I'll be about attacking my weaknesses and making a respectable showing come May, I'll be taking opportune ski days, enjoying the odd carb-laden gourmet meal, and taking my workouts into the wider world beyond the gym - maybe do that snowshoe Helen I've been talking about. Soon enough, winter will fade and ski-day workouts will be replaced with runs up Mount Monadnock; tire flipping, dragging, throwing, hitting marathons in the backyard; and mountain bike rides. There are only 412 useful things to do with a barbell. Why limit myself?


Jay Ashman said...

I REALLY want to see that snowshoe Helen...

Patrick Haskell said...

Ha! Hadn't considered filming it. Checks the weather and his programming. There, it's penciled in for tomorrow, provided we get snow and not rain.

How's that sound, Johnny?