The Challenge, Part 5
Jeff works out with the US Team and simplifies goals
September 11, 2003 - By Jeff Potter
Well, I'm finally coming out of my Stealth Mode in terms of the Backyard Challenge.
A month or so ago I decided I was making too big of gains and not being sportsmanlike. So I decided to take a month off and drive 7,000 miles around the western states with the family in a minivan with a tent and to eat as much as possible and get way more casual about the training. So, that's what we did!
We just got back. We each gained ten pounds and I set back my program enough to fit in with a more typical Backyard regimen.
But we weren't couch-potatoes. The Backyard worldview is a finely balanced way of life. We rode our bikes for an hour a day on our trip and avoided snack food in the car, choosing water and veggies instead. This freed up our waistlines to make sure we found as many of the best Backyard-style restaurants as we could out west. (A report on this research is forthcoming at OutYourBackdoor.com.)
I was also most fortunate on this road trip to be able to toss in a Level 4 training session with the US Ski Team at Soldier Hollow as a way to finally meet Coach Pete, author of OYB's "Momentum." --Altho' I don't know if having him yell at me up that steep hill qualifies as "meeting." Amid the lactic haze I do remember him being a pretty nice guy. It was Level 4 for *them*, I have no idea what it was for me...Level 8? ...Level Keel-over-and-pass-out? Such an experience may be too over the top and thus cheating in terms of Backyard values, but seeing as how "no holds barred" and "go for it!" are two of our many mottos, I think it was OK. (Man, that Torin Koos can BOUND up hills! Like Jordan in the key!)
Then I also got to bike up quite a few lovely big hills and mountains, making this uphill-loving flatlander happy indeed. But this isn't artificial non-Backyard training if you consider that we got ourselves all the way out there on our own, with kids in a minivan. It was very real.
Now we're back. I'm in a lovely Backyard-panic to make a success of the world's only truly alternative outdoor sport and DIY culture book publishing house (if you know of others, let me know, we need to talk!). But things are looking up. Of course the timing was bad for this trip. It always is for an independent small biz person. But: "seize the moment!"
So...the wading pool is finally algae-free again, the trails mowed, and rollerski pole-tips sharpened. Let the contest begin! --Again! The proper slapdash handicap is now in place.
I was getting carried away with my goals before this. I had TWO of them. I'm now back down to ONE, where I should be in terms of Backyarding: to lose ten pounds.
In the 2 weeks since we've gotten back I've put in 12 hours of hard-effort Backyard training: log tossing & hauling, driveway pick-axing, rollering, inlining, paddling, biking, running, pole-running, circuits. I'm also out of homebrew beer, so we're ready to roll!
I've also broken 3 pairs of mostly trashed old rollerskis since I got back and am fiddling with patches and fixes, as per Backyardism. New powerbands to replace the busted ones to hang from the tree for poling exercise are on their way! It's all coming together! --Uh, unless it keeps breakin', then I'll just keep grabbin' the poles and going bounding: nothing to break there!
So, Mike, I hope your high-tech fancy training has you really rockin', coz yer gonna need it when it comes time to eat my dust!
Jeff Potter runs *Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com