Watching the Olympics has gotten me thinking about some of the weird workouts that I engaged in before I became a runner. I haven’t always been a runner, and I think we can all assume that at some point, I’ll probably set my sights on other pursuits.
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As I mentioned yesterday, while Alex and I were watching the women’s triathlon on Saturday (GO GWEN), I commented on how much fun that (the triathlon) looked, and Alex simultaneously said how miserable the sport looked. We already knew that I was the smarter one, didn’t we? (That would be a yes)
The Olympics is filled with “weird workouts” that many people probably don’t consider sports or workouts at all (I’m not going to go into specifics about that, but please know, dear Olympians, I could NEVER do what you are doing and I respect that (and you!)). Some of the “weirder” workouts that I don’t really understand but I will, at the very least, respect: Indoor track cycling, badminton (think about it, it is weird), the modern Pentathlon (AWESOME but weird).
Also, my one political stance: how can you consider rhythmic gymnastics a sport but not ballet? And if I hear ONE MORE person say that equestrian events shouldn’t be in the Olympics because the riders don’t do anything…. I SWEAR IN THE NAME OF ALL THINGS SACRED….
Deep breaths. Back to Task
Weird Workouts from My Past
Equestrian (Show Jumping, Hunter/Jumpers/Equitation, Dressage)
I rode and competed on horses for two decades of my life (find out all about my horses here!)–from the time I was 5 until I was 24. Horses were my life; the rest was just details that stood in the way of me riding. I took my horse to college, I competed on the college team and independently, and I was ranked regionally.
I worked very hard, and let me tell you, I trained the horses and myself as athletes. Lots of time in the weight room and in the ring (and fields) to gain the muscle control, timing, and coordination to complete our tasks and to make it look easy.
Agility/Show Jumping (for me and my dog!)
This is an offshoot of the Equestrian pursuits–I basically pretended that I was a horse and rider and would set up show jumping courses (made from those styro-foam pool noodles) in the basement of our lake house and wear myself out. And then I would If I was at our regular house, I would be leaping over door jambs and from rug to rug.
You better believe that I would run my dog around those courses, too. He was a good jumper, so it was too much fun! I would also do this in our back yard because we had some low shrub type things.
Movement Arts (Ballet, Yoga, Karate)
I am calling these “movement arts” because I truly believe that ballet and yoga are about the art of movement as well as the mental component. I practiced ballet when I was much younger, but I’ve never forgotten my positions, and if you watch me do yoga, I automatically put my hands and fingers as I would doing ballet (slightly open, slightly cupped, pointer finger extended). As I recently said to a client that if you think that Yoga is easy, you likely aren’t doing it right!
With regards to Karate, I took that for a few years when I was younger, and I loved it. It was like a dance, and I loved feeling strong. Plus, I was hyper, so there you go. Karate is also a sport that is about movement and the artistry of movement–the fact that you can also fight is additional.
You know that there were plenty other weird workouts that I tried out when I was a kid–kickball, pretty much everything in PE (pogo stick, anyone?), but these were the ones that I actually went hard at.
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What are some of the weirder workouts that you have tried?
What is a feat of atheticism that you feel should be considered a sport but isn’t in the Olympics?