GETTING BACK INTO SHAPE . . . THE BEGINNING OF THE JOURNEY

by Steve Clem on April 17, 2009

When I was 17, it was a very good year…

Back then, I was a competitive swimmer, specializing in backstroke and individual medley, and had a washboard stomach and much more hair. I continued competing in swimming until my sophomore year of college, when burnout and a bum shoulder made me look for other options to occupy my time. But up until that time, every summer, I used to participate in a mini-triathalon to celebrate the University of Okoboji Homecoming festivities (and if you aren’t an Iowan, you likely don’t know that there is not really a University of Okoboji).

Since leaving the pool, somehow over the years, my six-pack abs turned into “buddhalicious.”

I’ve decided recently, after hopping in the pool and doing some laps, that before I turn 40, a year from this August, I’d like to return to doing the Okoboji triathalon. This year seems highly unlikely, as it is only 3 months away, and I have a lot of work to do…but by this time next year I’m hoping I’ll be on a workout regimen of swimming, biking, and running that will make it realistic for me to do the event.

Today was my first day on a bike that didn’t involve pulling a Burley full of little ones in quite some time. I had planned to ride a 10 mile portion of a trail near my place, but instead ended up doing a 12-mile loop that included some roadways as a result of a close trail due to construction.

It felt really great. I even managed to go to a full sprint for the last mile, and the burn in my legs was something I hadn’t felt in quite some time.

I’m sure by tomorrow at this time, my butt will be killing me and my muscles will be aching, but you have to start somewhere. Who knows…if I’m lucky, maybe I’ll manage to get rid of some of this buddha belly in the process?

* * * *

Steve Clem originally published this piece on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra.

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