LGN 35: Tough Mudder

%$#@! I do NOT want to do this. Stupid Tough Mudder. Stupid bored, mostly white people with nothing better to do with their time than get really healthy and fit and have fun challenging their physical limits. What’s wrong with you?? Burning Man isn’t enough to keep you entertained for a year?

What is Tough Mudder?

I really don’t want to do this. Did I mention that? And it’s not because I don’t think that I can. I’m sure I could get through it. Maybe. With extreme cramping. Okay, I would probably not make it all the way due to extreme cramping, to be honest with you. It’s easy to be strong and fast in short bursts. It’s hard to be strong and fast — even for bursts — over a long period of time.

So if I don’t want to do this, then why’d I sign up for it?

I have two answers for that.

1. I figure that it’s easier to do it than to resist doing it.

There’s a lot of momentum at UA since Justin put out the call. When some of them did it back in the Fall, I was at home that morning — after I got back from training with Matt — watching various Tough Mudder videos and such. Something about that was intensely lame.

I’m usually an anti-peer pressure kind of guy.  I guess I’ve had a tendency to tack against the wind.

But in this case … why?  Fun, health, good people, big goals.

2. It’s good to have a goal.

This is a goal that’s way out of my comfort zone. I’m also not much of a joiner. I told Justin last year that I was thinking that 2012 should be a time for me to participate instead of only observing. I meant that in a generic sense. Participate in life instead of — or in addition to — observing and contemplating life.

I have short range and mid range goals for training. But having something big and daunting as a goal … that’s some serious motivation. I am part engineer, too, so as usual I start obsessing over logistics. I mean, look at this:

I’m most worried about the fact that I can’t really swim. I don’t want to have to skip obstacles, though. (Ha. I say that now.) But I will if it’s a choice between a watery grave and bruised pride.

3. I trust my coach.

A bonus reason. I told Justin that I expect to be over-prepared. He said, “Oh, you’ll be ready.”

Let me translate that for you. I’m about to get my ass kicked, people. The training is going to be intense for the next few months.

I’m going to have to do some intentional bike riding, too. I’ve been given a prescription of hill attacks.

Picking up the pieces

Actually, I’m most worried about dropping dead from some unknown heart thing. You know, how people do after marathons. Or otherwise fit joggers do occasionally. But that’s the same kind of “worry” like when you worry about getting struck by lightning when a storm gets close.

Life is unpredictable. Eh, what’reyougonnado? NOTE:

By the way, if for some reason I drop dead while working out, I will consider it an accomplishment. It’s an honorable, if not tragically ironic, way to go. Don’t let it deter you. Be smart, be safe, work hard. All to increase your quality of life so you can live, love, play and work (i.e. pursue your passions) to the fullest.

So, I did absolutely nothing over the holidays. I took an entire week off. I went nowhere, did nothing, and saw no one. (That’s only a very, very slight exaggeration.) What the hell happened?

I should have been working out on my own. Hell, the weather was great. I could have gone hiking, biking, walking, jogging, whatever. But I was too busy doing nothing and regretting it. What is up with that?

I realized in a way that I can now put into words, that without structure in my life I undergo a process of psychic atrophy.

I couldn’t think of where to go. I wanted to be hanging out with friends but I couldn’t think of who I could call. I become like Lilith’s son in Octavia Butler’s Xenogensis Trilogy (aka Lilith’s Brood). He’s abducted at one point, becomes distraught and wanders off into the forest. But he’s a shape shifter. He subtly but steadily absorbs the traits of those around him and without social contact he begins to turn into a formless gray slug.

Kind of like that. Hm. That’s much heavier-sounding and dramatic than I intended. Oh well. I got to drop Octavia Butler’s name, though.

Spastic

Anyway, I thought that taking a two week break from training would help me to recover fully, but after a week or so my leg muscles in particular started twitching. A few days later the twitching was becoming annoying and distracting. Then a few days later they started cramping. Small bundles of muscles would twitch and mini-cramp at the slightest provocation.

My working theory is that my protein levels were crazy low since I wasn’t eating like I usually do when I’m thinking about the fact that I have workouts.

It was a ROUGH night in the gym last night. Sled suicides followed by Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats. It was the last workout of the last week of a cycle. That’s when you’re supposed to be performing your strongest and best. I was not. Warning cramps all night long, light-headedness, nausea, fatigue.

I was told that I should bounce back quickly. I hope so. I was feeling pretty darn good for a while there last month and I start a new cycle tomorrow.

Happy New Year, America! World!

It’s time to get back to it. Time to bounce back. Time to get ready. Tough Mudder is only five months away.

I really like this video. MustacheMan’s Tough Mudder Training video. Dig it. It gets into it at about 1:30.

 

Click here to see all of my LGN (I want to Look Good Naked) and functional strength training posts.

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