Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Brother's Boot Camp

Since fitness is what the Ramstead kids do for fun, a weekend of sibling bonding might be considered a bit of a boot camp. My visit with my brother this past weekend was an example how a little family competition gave me a workout I couldn’t have done on my own. Day 1: Run up Mt Tzhouhalem On the outskirts of Duncan, BC this trail run had 295 meter altitude gain with gradients as steep as 10 %. The first 5 minutes of the climb was daunting, to say the least. I was gasping for air trying to fuel my burning glutes as they pushed me up the steep climb. I managed to sputter out bits of conversation to my brother, while he trotted next to me barely breaking a sweat. I wondered how far it was to the top and if I would be able to make it up at my 8 km/hr pace. Just when I thought my left hamstring was about to snap we peaked the top, and our reward was breathe taking views of the Cowichan bay.

The descent was the easy part of the run, and at the bottom we felt well worked but rejuvenated. To make sure the workout was total body we moved a giant pile of wood outside his house when we returned. It felt good to use my body in new ways and challenge my fitness level. Day 2: CrossFit: My brother has been raving about his CrossFit workouts for months, so I wanted to try it out with him. CrossFit is an athletic workout that uses little equipment. The high repetition, explosive exercises fatigue the body quickly, giving it a very intense workout in a short amount of time. All the CrossFit workouts are posted online so Cory chose one for us to do that had 4 exercises: Squats, burpees (a jump into a plank with chest onto the floor back into a vertical jump) pushups, and sit-ups. We did 4 rounds with decreasing amounts of each exercise. Cory’s rounds were 40, 30, 20, and 10 reps and mine were 30, 20, 10, and 5 reps of the exercises.

The first round was the hardest, but I did it and I grunted my way through the rest of the sets. When I reached the last round my competitiveness with my brother set in and I wanted to do as many reps as he had, so I added a 5th round of 35 of each exercise. The workout only took a total of 18 minutes but it definitely challenged my body and I’ll be recovering for several days post workout.

Having a workout partner got me to push to my limits which gave me a sense of accomplishment. I survived my brother’s weekend boot camp and discovered new strength in my body and my mind. I’m ready to conquer the mountains of the week ahead of me.

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