Sunday, February 28, 2010

Make the Hurting Stop

I am tired to an extent that is quite unfamiliar. I am tired and I am sore. I have also been crying a lot since yesterday at about 9:35am. That is the approximate time that my workout at Crossfit Charlotte came to an end. That is also the approximate time that I realized that Crossfit was sent to this planet to destroy me. The workout looked quite simple on paper. It involved a great deal of counting but I have been quite adept at that since cheating my way through Advanced Statistics during my sophomore year in college. Count to 20 four times. Count to 30 four times. Count to 50 four times. I don't even need an abacus to do that. It would have helped though. It was the movement behind those numbers that left me shattered. What do those numbers represent? In sum: 100 squats, 100 push ups, 100 pull ups, and just for kicks, 100 sit ups. Yes, that was unpleasant. When you are fighting to hold my wheel this summer you will have only Crossfit to blame. True fitness is not found in your dvd player. You have to go to the box for that.

I spent the rest of my Saturday lying on the floor in the fetal position with a plate of bacon and avocados within reach. Add a little maple syrup to that and you have a raucous party for your mouth. Properly refueled by copious amounts of fat and protein, I was ready for Sunday's ride.

The weather in NC has been unseasonably and unreasonably cold but I was motivated to leap out of bed for an early morning road ride by an invite from a skinny tire newbie. This was to be his first road outing and I could not pass up the opportunity to serve as witness, participant and spiritual guide. Southern roads are unfailingly quiet on Sunday mornings as the faithful gather in large numbers to worship in their chosen religious spaces. Empty roads are a special treat and not to be wasted.

Rising to temperatures hovering around freezing was not only disappointing but also served to sap some of my motivation. Still weak from Saturday's flogging, I considered staying in bed but an old friend was waiting for me in the living room.

Yeah, she's pretty.

I'm poorly insulated and do not enjoy wearing three layers of clothing in order to stay warm on my bike . My beloved TCX must have known I would need a little extra impetus to brave the cold weather. She decided to bring in some outside help. It is simply impossible to say no to certain people and one of them was in my living room.

Who could say to no David Hasselhoff? He's just so German.

Although a bit chilly, it was a beautiful morning. The ride began with a short roll into my adopted home town and then to one of my favorite places. There was just one pit stop along the way.

Don't question my love for the train. Just accept it and move on.

That sight can break even the worst morning frost.

A few moments were spent discussing the rules of the road and proper safety precautions. I prefer to avoid getting hit by cars so safety instructions were a must. There are some roadie culture rules that I wanted to share but felt they should wait for a more appropriate time. Like now perhaps.

Bubblegum colored bar tape is never allowed. It's just not done.

As our two man caravan rolled away from the shop it became immediately apparent that the stage had been set for a great ride. The temperature increased quickly as the sun rose to greet us. We quickly settled into a rhythm and headed toward the peaceful country roads I have come to know so well. Everything was going well until Aaron tried to sneak up behind me to steal the fruit snacks out of my jersey pocket.

How could he possibly expect to get away with that. I knew he was back there the whole time.

There were three major players in this Sunday morning jaunt. Myself, of course, or there would be no blog. Aaron, mountain bike maniac and soon to be road monster. And the wind. The horrible, relentless wind. It was strong enough to be a burden and always seemed to be hitting at just the wrong angle. My 130 frame was not built to power into the headwind for long stretches. I am much more suited to sucking the wheels of larger men. So I did exactly that.

Long live smooth roads and good drafts.

As we hit the halfway point of our ride it seemed like a good time to catch our breath and grab a bite to eat. My remaining fruit snacks went down smooth but Aaron's chocolate covered energy bar needed some help on the way down. Bicycle's East water bottle to the rescue.

How's that for product placement?

With our stomachs full and our spirits high we rolled back toward town. We had a few good hills fast approaching and it was time for me to go work. I moved back to the front and pointed my front wheel uphill. There was no spirit crushing on the schedule today so I took a look behind me to make sure the gap stayed small.

He's faster than I thought. This is going to be a problem.

There were a handful of little climbs to test our legs before our ride came to a close. All were taken in stride as we moved toward my favorite climb of the day. Marglyn road is the last bump on the way home and I always greet it with a smile. It is the final test before you can sit up and spin freely into town. As the final mile passed, Aaron pointed to our reflection in window of a local business. Some quick camera work savored the moment and we brought the ride to an end just where it began.

Reflecting on a satisfying ride. Hey, that's funny. Ask anybody. That's comedy gold right there.

We look good and we know it.

Sad to see the ride end but happy with the outcome, I headed for home. Little did I know that there were two wonderful surprises waiting for me. The first was a delicious assortment of paleo baked goods and snacks prepared the by small Italian 5k monster that lives in my house. Blueberry muffins, apple bread and crispy kale snacks. Screw nachos and beer. You haven't truly utilized your taste buds until you have had salty, crunchy kale.

Looks like a great way to spend an afternoon.

The second surprise was a salad the size of Ohio made by my two dimensional celebrity friend. He is really into the zone and sticks to it whenever he cooks for me. His salad was five blocks of total happiness. There is some tension between us though. I have asked him a thousand times to wear a shirt while he prepares my meals. I don't understand why he won't listen. Silly Hoff.

Please, I beg you, put on a shirt.

As my weekend draws to a close I find myself repeatedly checking my new favorite website. What will tomorrow's work out be? Well, with a little luck and some divine intervention I have to believe that I will get to use the rower. If you have not used a proper rower then you can not understand how satisfying it can be to break yourself against this destroyer of humans. One round of that is never enough.

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