When the soul is willing but the body’s on the “blink”!
This past Saturday, I was at Gleason’s figuring that I’d go full-bore into training mode. Something about my walk to my daughter’s Aikido Dojo, however, should have tipped me to the fact that I was going to be dragging!
Once I got to Gleason’s admittedly fairly spry on the stairs, I was in sweat-stinging-my-eyes mode by my third round of shadow boxing – and grateful for the end of the fourth and the one-round break I had before the double-ended bag was up and ready for me to use.
The killer, though, was when Lennox called out to me and said, “step it up,” on the second round of the double-ended bag. Sure, I’d been throwing combinations and had dedicated the first round to mostly jab-jab-hook sequences as I worked my way around the bag in right and left circles, but what he wanted was to see me move around the bag, as in “push-it-girl” kind of move. And that’s when the dog-pant started to kick-in and the flashbacks to my doctor saying – “you need more cardio”!
Okay. So I got through those four rounds – kicking butt, so to speak and after my one round break started in on the focus pads with a “can-do” spirit in force if ever I felt one. My body, however, was in a different mode. It was saying, “Are you kidding me or what???” Still, I tried, pushing myself even as my muscles were caving. And here’s where the interesting thing happened. In the third round, I didn’t have as much “pop,” but having dug deep into my core I was using my abs to throw cleaner, crisper shots at a faster rate. It’s as if by ratcheting back just a little in terms of absolute “punch-power,” I was finding another kind of throttle on my engine – with breath that started to sound like breath again instead of the ragged tortuous sound of the previous round.
By the end of the fourth I was no longer “dead on my feet” at all as I had been after the four rounds on the double-ended bag. And yes, while I was a bit slow during my first speed bag round, the other three were down right peppy, and I even had enough energy left to do three rounds of abs on the a small abs bench, not exactly the deepest sit-ups ever, but enough to feel it.
So where did this leave me? Good question. Perplexed for one, because I’m not sure why my energy was so low on Saturday, but glad that the way around it was to remember that adjusting my stance to take advantage of my core strength not only leveraged the energy of my body, but allowed me to pull back from the edge of my rapidly depleting muscle energy stores that meant I couldn’t enervate my breath never mind a left hook.
And here we are again. Back to the fundamentals: stance, core strength, stamina and conditioning … and yep, C A R D I O !