Living in Chicago we are very subject to the vagaries and violence of winter weather. My heart goes out to friends who live on the East Coast and suffered one of the worst blizzards in their history this past weekend.
We have had plenty of snow in Chicago this year and, on a personal basis, that means I was unable to ride my bike because of the snow and icy conditions on the bike path. I just checked my riding log and saw that I only got in 11 rides in December so far. That means on the remaining days I was left with no choice but to go to the health club to work out. Since when I ride regularly, I don’t visit the club at all, the snows here have amounted to a blizzard of workouts for me.
I just finished one today. I did 30 minutes on the rower, lifted weights for 20 minutes and then cooled off with a final 10 minutes on the Schwinn Airdyne bike. This amounts to a nice hour workout, I burn some calories, let my heart know that I still care and also possibly build some lean muscle mass. This was a day with weights. I only do weights every other day. On the intervening days, I just work the rower and bike for cardio.
Every winter I go through the same cycle. A drop off in biking and a pick up in health club visits. It is something of a negative cycle for me in terms of enjoyment as I love bike riding but do the health club workouts with the same attitude that little kids eat their vegetables.
However, this year is turning out to be different. Now that I have been working out for nearly a month, I can feel that I have become stronger. I am doing more reps with the weights. That is strangely exciting for me. I am not talking pheromones here. I am finding a mental satisfaction in doing six or seven reps one day when I could only do five or six the week before. I think there may be some real psychological benefits to weight work in addition to the obvious simply muscular ones. I like ’em.
What is the old saying, “It’s an ill wind that blows no good….” Perhaps the winter winds combined with the snow have robbed me of the pleasure of riding my bike but have provided me with a new and different pleasure almost as satisfying.
Time will tell. Right now, though, I think I am going to try to continue weight work even after the snow melts.