Tuesday, November 03, 2015

A Return To Form - The Fixing Of Geo. Part One - The Decline

Having attained my fitness "peak" in the summer of 2011 it has been a long downward spiral to my current state. That summer was my most successful as a competitive road cyclist racing in the provincial(BNS) road series, my weight had dropped under the 200 pound plateau for the first time in decades and my diet was relatively clean practicing a Primal /Primal/ Ancestral approach to nutrition.Halcyon days indeed!

The Decline.

My cycling accident in the Fall of 2011 and subsequent post concussion/ BPPV issues definitely began a chain of events that led to my fitness decline. Having lost so much fitness that winter I opted out of racing in 2012 and decided to retire from competitive cycling; both at the race and at the club level. Part of that decision was injury stress as I was tentative on the bike fearful of the next potential car/bike collision or a touched wheel. Being skittish in a paceline is not a good thing. Part of it was also a dissatisfaction with the leadership of the cycling club which I found oppressive and rife with self interest. Finally the reality that I worked most Saturdays which limited my chances of participating in group rides at any level. Essentially a short bike commute became the extent of my cycling by the summer of 2015.

Despite my chiropractor doing a fantastic job keeping me moving and repairing the damage I do to myself it soon became apparent I was struggling to run,specifically the stop/start hard effort required of competitive ball hockey. The body was aging and my structural issues and injury legacy made running a lesson in pain and misery despite the use of orthotics. I soon stopped playing in the ECBHL. My focus changed to playing pickup ball hockey as a goalie with only occasional forays playing out as a runner. I enjoy playing nets but it does little to maintain cardiovascular fitness. I started doing some sprint drills/ intervals in an attempt to maintain some kind of conditioning as a stop gap measure. But sprinting became a fair weather seasonal activity I preferred to do barefoot or in minimalist track shoes on an occasional basis only.

I also gave up my gym membership. Since I was not competing I questioned the need for structured training. I could do some ad hoc strength training in my basement. Spin classes no longer appealed to me since I used them primarily to retain some bike racing fitness/intensity during the winter months .

What I did not factor into my decisions was the resulting lack of motivation. The motivation found riding a fast paceline, or playing competitive ball hockey, or strength training/ spinning in the company of likeminded people. Left to my own devices my motivation rapidly left me pondering my new found weight gain while staring into a wine glass.

The tipping point was reached this past summer. I traditionally lose weight in the summer yet gained this year. I essentially avoided my road bike and was shocked at my conditioning when I did return to an occasional club ride. My bike commuting was not enough. Knowing this I still convinced myself I could return to ball hockey as a runner when I began ball hockey in September. I suffered a hamstring injury in my third game playing out as a runner as my conditioning and fitness is lacking. I was at a crossroad moment.....time to decide a direction of travel....

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