Tuesday, 9 June 2015

June Challenge

Copyright ©2015 Mark Kelly.
Life without a challenge is no life at all. At least it is that way for some.
Having gone through my own rehab with my knees recently - no thanks to the physios - I felt I needed something to re-focus my physical and mental state. I had a flash back to my 17th summer, and what had occurred:

I had trained twice-a-day, every day for the entire month of June (possibly July? Memory isn't so hot on such details any more).
My spark of inspiration was the girl I had decided to give up competitive swimming for and became my first love. This month of physical endurance kicked off on the day she flew out to the USA to spend a month with her mother and step-father.

For me, after 5 years of competitive swimming, 6 days-a-week, sometime twice-a-day, land training was a doddle. So my routine consisted of basic weight lifting and squats, core work and a three mile run - morning and night. I will admit at the end of it all I had burned out, but was in excellent shape.

Now, aged 51, I am doing the same, minus the three mile runs due to my knee ops.
The conditions I've imposed upon the challenge are:

Each session should be no less than *30 minutes.
Each session should be no longer than *60 minutes.
To be peformed morning and evening of every day.

*This does not include the warm-up and cool-down phases.

The other advantage I have is having been qualified as a sports massage therapist, personal trainer and fitness instructor for the past 10 years, plus a far greater understanding of nutrition and the requirements of the human body undergoing such stresses. Whereas at 17 it was all down to blind enthusiasm, raging hormones, masses of excess energy and an already high level of fitness, all boosted by being in love for the first time - possibly the biggest boost of all.

So far I am into the start of my second week. The most challenging aspect has been the mental aspect. Pushing yourself after getting home from work at 8:30pm onwards and getting straight into training mode, then first thing upon waking doing the same thing. Physically the only hinderance are my knees, especially the left leg and titanium plate. The first week really seemed to drag.

Copyright ©2015 Mark Kelly.

On the up side, my waist is reducing, as is my body fat. My energy levels seem to be improving. Flexibility within my spine, hips and shoulders is also improving, as is my recovery. Muscle mass is not as bulky, but leaner looking to a degree, most likely due to the reduction in body fat. Even better,  my mood is more positive.

The other aspect of this challenge is creating a different set of routines each day, but with the various books, personal knowledge and the amazing YouTube, it isn't as difficult as I fist thought it to be. Back in 1981 I just banged out the same session day and night, possibly as a result of ploughing up and down a swimming pool without question for 5 years?

I will be very happy should I succeed in completing the full month, but none too surprised if it beats me. Physically, I am a far different beast to that of the aforementioned 17 year old I used to be, with different strengths, weaknesses and injuries to consider and work with.

Ultimately I do this to see how my body will respond to the test and if it will succeed or fail, and to what end the results will be ( plus, training makes me feel happy and alive  :)  ).
This is my challenege for the month of June. I will next post on this topic either when I succeed at the end of the month, or at whatever point my body refuses to allow me to carry on.

We shall see.

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