Kristin has been singing the praises of a contraption known as the Bosu Ball for what seems like eternity -- those of you with gym memberships may have seen them -- and has been telling me that it would be just the thing I need for making core and abs workouts tolerable. We have a stability ball that I've used a couple times but I can't help but try to walk on it like a circus bear everytime I see it and have thus come close to breaking my nose, dislocating my wrist, chipping teeth, and popping the damn ball. Consequently, me and the stability ball have since been separated from one another.
So yesterday we take a break from work and drive over to Sports Authority with our freshly-clipped coupon in hand. Spend $100, get $25 off. Great, let's go buy fitness equipment on New Year's Day like everyone else. Can we be anymore obvious? I really disgust me sometimes.
We walk in and the first thing I notice is three employees huddled around the magazine rack laughing and pointing. I didn't think anything of it at first, but when I heard them set the over-under at 17 days for the couple buying the treadmill, I wanted some of the action. Twenty bucks says they'll return it by the 15th.
We wandered over to the fitness section and threw some interlocking gym mats into the cart, an assortment of dumbells, and a Bosu Ball, along with a "Yoga for Athletes" DVD. All the while I felt the eyes of the Sports Authority staff looking at us. Through us. I felt them mocking us like all the other people in the store. I clenched my fists, gritted my teeth, and somehow fought back the urge to jump the counter, grab the little microphone they have, and clear our good names.
"Attention sales team! Please stop looking at us! We are not like the rest of these losers! We are not here because of a resolution. My wife and I work out 5 to 7 days a week. Sure, I may have put back on a little flab since August, but I was burned out from a 7-day mountain bike race. Seriously. I climbed mountains last year. On a bike! One with big wheels! Not, not a Big Wheels with capital letters! Stop laughing. My wife ran an ultra-marathon. That's longer than a marathon. Hey! Stop pointing at my gut. I have abs you know! They're there somewhere. Peyton is wrong! I swear it! I just need this Bosu Ball and this DVD and give me a few weeks and I promise I'll be back down to my racing weight again... Fine, be that way! Put me down for $50 on the over."
So we got home and set up our new little workout area in the garage near my bike and the tv/dvd player I have set up for my Spinervals workouts. We now have a 6x8 foot padded floor, some weights, and of course, the Bosu Ball. Speaking of which, I was pretty unimpressed when I finally saw what exactly the Bosu Ball is. It's essentially a stability ball cut in half and stuck to a plastic board. It costs $100. I'm assuming the plastic board is made of the very finest plastic available because a stability ball only costs $30. This is half a stability ball for $100.
That's right, less is more. I forgot.
So tonight I hopped onto the trainer for a comfortable spin to stretch out my legs from yesterday's run and when Kristin came home we did the Bosu workout DVD that it came with. Lots of bouncing around and doing squats and lunges on it and, yes, a fair bit of ab work too. As you might imagine, I have a very lopsided physique. My legs are very solid, toned, and strong. My upper body? Not so much. It's quite soft actually.
So there were several times when I would be following along with the video and thinking it was really easy and there were other times where I was practically begging for mercy. The one constant though was that I felt like a giant dork bouncing around atop half a ball. Fortunately, everytime I began to feel like a complete idiot I would just look over at Kristin and see her doing the same thing, but without the ball.
And if you think seeing me bounce around on a giant half-ball would be funny, you ought to see Kristin pretending to be bouncing on a giant half-ball.
All kidding aside, I think this Bosu thing might actually be pretty useful. The bouncing around made the exercise fun and I definitely felt the burn deep in my gut. I can only assume that it was my ab muscles waking from their long slumber.
There's a thread on the endurance racing forum on MTBR in which everyone is posting their height and weight. I never thought I'd get self-concious about my weight, but man do I feel like a fatass after reading that thread. Even when I was in top shape over the summer I was tipping the scales at 185 pounds (I'm a hair under 6'1" tall) but most of the guys posting on that forum -- my competition in other words -- are like 5'11" and 160 lbs. Some of them are taller or shorter, but at my current weight of 200, I feel like I should be signing up for the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest instead of the Leadville 100.
Oh, and speaking of racing, I took a few moments last night to post a rider profile on the Test of Metal page. It's basically just a photo and a brief Q&A filled with little witty remarks. Or, what passes for witty remarks 5 minutes before bed.
You can see my TOM rider profile right here.