Extreme Cross-Training

As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts.  I like to do other things besides running.  Pretty much any other activity I do, whether it be swimming, biking, skiing, tennis, you name it, I like to consider cross-training. 

Granted some of these things may not be anyone’s idea of a traditional cross-training activity, but I figure anything that gets me up and moving around is a good thing. 

When you combine that with my natural penchant for trying new things, I’ve tried out some rather extreme sports in the past. 

A few of them you know about, like Skiing:

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But some of the ones you might not know about, like bouldering/rock climbing:

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And my personal favorite: Rowing

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I got into rowing on a whim really, but to this day I think it is still one of the coolest things I’ve done.  As a freshman at the University of Minnesota, I had a couple of good friends that decided to join the rowing team, and it had always seemed cool to me when I saw it in the movies, so I figured I’d join too. 

Now at the time, there was a Varsity Men’s Rowing team, but the Women’s team was still just a club sport.  That meant we had almost zero funding and totally crappy equipment including an ancient wooden shell (boat) that weighed about a thousand pounds and was crooked. 

But even so, we had a blast.  The workouts were super difficult, and with twice daily workouts seven days a week, they took a bit of a toll on my grades as well as my body. 

Nothing can compare to the feeling of peace and tranquility you feel as you get into the rhythm as a team and begin to glide smoothly through the water.  Unfortunately in our case the water in question was the Mississippi River and due to the location of the boat house, we always started our workouts downstream.  This was all well and good until it was time to start heading back UPSTREAM to the boathouse. 

By that time, we were exhausted from our workout and now fighting against a very strong current on the way home.  Even with all of the hard work, it was a blast.  The only real downside was that my muscles started to grow at an alarming rate, and in the craziest places.  My shin muscles, and shoulders were particularly alarming. 

Fortunately for me, after my freshman year I ended up moving on to other less time-consuming sports and my muscles went back to normal. 

So no extreme body building competitions in my future, lol.

I’ll be sharing more of my other favorite cross-training activities in future blog posts, but in the mean-time, I’d love to hear about some of yours.  Please post a comment and tell me what I might be missing out on.  

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