Tis the season for variety!

Winter can be frustrating for those of us who love to play golf. This is especially the case when the golf channel starts airing beginning of the year tournaments down in Florida, and even worse, in Hawaii. ARGH!! To love an outdoor sport! When I try to talk my husband into moving to a warmer climate my biggest selling point is that we can probably play golf for most of the year. Alas…

However, I have now learned to love the off-season. It provides numerous opportunities to ramp up your game in non-traditional ways. Furthermore, I am eager when March and April roll around. As the saying goes, you can’t appreciate a sunny day unless you’ve seen some rainy ones.

I actually think it may be BETTER for people. Consider how swimmers train for some portion on dry land and how gymnasts actually go to the gym. It’s like cross-training. Any fitness specialist will tell you than when you add variety to your work-out routine you will actually get more out of it and not get bored.

Something happened to force me to learn the value of cross-training about 10 years ago. I was heavy into step aerobics (remember when that was all the rage?) and I would take classes after work at least 3 times per week. I was nuts about it, standing in the front and doing extra stuff the teacher wasn’t even doing. (Yea I dislike those girls too). Well I finally realized I had to tone it down when I ended up with a stress fracture in my right shin. It wasn’t too serious; the Dr. told me if I stayed off of it completely I could be better within 4 -6 weeks. FOUR TO SIX WEEKS!? This was the middle of the winter and I was deathly afraid of gaining weight. Truth be told, if I were closer to my ideal weight my bones never would have suffered from all that jumping to begin with. But I digress.

I decided to do cross training. The bad news is that I didn’t take it as easy as I should have and it took closer to 3 – 4 months for the leg to be better. The good news is that I didn’t gain a single extra pound (I already had some extra thank you very much) because I went to the gym at my appointed time anyway and proceeded to use the recumbent bicycle which didn’t add weight to my shin was very motivational because it gave me a read out of the calories I was burning every minute. When summer hit and I didn’t go to the gym as much I bought a simple rowing machine, also with caloric read out, and actually lost weight. I was skinnier that summer than I have been since even though I had to walk with a boot most of the time. Cross-training because of an injury actually ended up helping me and I ended up ahead of the game and thinner than I had been in a long time.

Being good at something can be all-consuming or it can be compartmentalized to add variety. Variety is better. I have come up with a number of strategies for keeping one’s game sharp, and even improving, during the off-season. Happy Reading!♣