Beyond Weekend Warrior
By John Spencer Ellis
Every Sunday the ladies go out for an hour of power walking then hit the stair climber for another forty-five minutes of self-induced pain. Sue and Karen have a cup of java before they meet up with you and their pace is just too swift. So you go out with the guys Saturday and play a few hours of basketball. Sure it was fun, but now Sunday is here and your back hurts and your best friend has a swollen ankle. When you were growing up back East, you were, “quite the hockey player” you tell your son. After five minutes on the skates your wife bought for you three years ago, it’s realized that youth has passed you by. If your family’s weekend exercise expeditions end up like any of the above examples, it’s time to take another look at the rest your week. It’s possible to brake out of the weekend warrior mold and get more enjoyment from the exercises you enjoy.
With a busy work schedule and family obligations it’s difficult at times to be anything more than a forty-eight hour fitness fanatic. There is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying the weekend with family and friends and doing the activities you love. It’s only a problem when you take the activities to a point beyond your physical limits.
If there was just a way to squeeze in more time to practice? Is there a place that will teach advanced skills at the sport I love? I wonder if there’s a video on my sport that will increase my playing or competitive level? If I only new of someone a little better than me so we could practice together? All of these questions are easily answered when you know where to look for them. The time issue is certainly a major factor for most of us.
Organizing your schedule will help immensely. Cleaning out your garage to find the old baseball mit and roller blades probably wouldn’t hurt either. Pick one day during the week when your schedule is lightest. This will be the day to hone your skills. If you come back with the answer, “I don’t have a light day,” it’s time to create one. This can be done by switching the “must due” chores to another day. An extra thirty to forty-five minutes of practice during the week will keep your skill level sharp until the next two-day battle begins.
Many clinics and workshops are offered throughout the country on a wide array of sports and fitness topics. Several will host multi-day formats which are taught by the leading professionals in the field. They should include hands-on instruction as well as question-and-answer sessions. Often times slide presentations and video analysis are also offered. This is a great way to escape the regular grind and enhance your athletic prowess. Your local video rental store will most likely have a section on self-help, fitness or instructional topics. Any of these could have the information you desire. When you take it home to watch, ask a friend to join you. You may have just found a new training partner. A training partner will allow you to push yourself to new limits. It’s also a good idea to have one for safety in certain sports such as hiking and weight training.
If you’re having difficulty in finding a compatible partner, you may want to try a group such as the Athletic Singles Association or a similar company. Several newspapers have a section just for fitness minded people looking for a partner to train with. When placing an ad for a training partner, be sure to describe your fitness or skill level as well as your time availability and goals.
Many fitness centers will allow you to post a memo on their bulletin board that states your desire to find a training partner. This is very common with racquetball players who, as most athletes, feel the need to be consistently challenged by people of varied skill levels. You may want to look for someone who is a little better than you in your specific sport or activity. This will ensure you won’t get a free ride and your progression will be much faster. If your partner is more highly skilled, take note of their form, preparation period and concentration. Always feel free to ask questions, even the dumb ones. If someone has a skill, they usually love to share the knowledge with others.
So, now it’s time to put these ideas to use and become more than a weekend warrior and more than an injury statistic. Soar beyond your friends who have decided not to take these bold mid-week measures. It’s time to step out of the shadows of obscurity and into the limelight of victory for the battle rages on.