Sunday, August 28, 2011

Balancing Act

A few weeks ago my doctor cleared me to resume kettlebell training. That was the best news I'd gotten in a while.
I had missed lifting the bells. I missed the rhythm and cadence of the lifts. I missed coordinating my breath with the movements, and all the technical aspects of long cycle.
I missed being strong, and the utility and fun things that go with it. This year at the church pool party many of the kids were disappointed I couldn't throw them into the deep end of the pool while we played in the water. Usually I'll stand in the pool and the kids would take turns being thrown for an hour or so. I missed that.
I did enjoy running, and improving at a useful activity. I ran progressively longer and faster, and I enjoyed setting and exceeding new goals.
Now I've resumed lifting. Running was obviously a good choice for conditioning. Even though my muscles had withered without weight training, it was easy to resume kettlebell lifting. I credit the common but underrated general endurance that running provides. I am blessed (cursed?) to live in a neighborhood filled with daunting hills. Many of them are so long they take several minutes to climb. Since kettlebell lifting, particular long cycle, is as taxing as running up a steep hill, it was a great substitute for lifting.
Despite the loss in upper body strength, it only took a month to return to my former level of kettlbell sport conditioning. Last week I did 90 reps of 2x24kg Long Cycle in 10 minutes, and the day after I set a personal best of 41 reps in a three minute sprint.
Despite these results, I still have to keep close tabs on my tendinitis. Sometimes I need an extra day off from lifting when my elbows are tender, and have a running workout instead. When my elbows were sore last night I decided to go for a 5:00 record with the lighter 20kg bells. Even though I had to use the lighter bells, I was happy to get 71 reps in five minutes.
Dealing with my tendinitis is truly a balancing act. Every day there is a question of not just what my lifting volume and intensity will be, but whether I will lift at all. Right now I am hoping to enter the South East championships if my health holds up. Afterward, I will probably take a break of some kind, and focus on GPP outside of kettlebell sport. I want to make sure my elbows completely heal before the year is up.
Until next time...

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