Snow recruits

If you read fitness literature at all, you'll hear about "recruiting new muscle fibers" and how this is a good thing.

See, if you always ask your muscles to do exactly the same things, they figure out how lazy they can be. They will do their minimum job requirements and take their paycheck and doze their way through life, TV remote at hand and bag of chips in their lap.

Work different muscles or the same muscles a slightly different way, and you "recruit new muscle fibers." Your muscles will whine and moan and threaten to strike, but they get stronger that way and more willing to do what you tell them.

Even if what you are telling them to do looks to most reasonable people ill-advised, if not downright disturbed.

I went for a 45-minute run yesterday on the snow-packed roads. Sounds benign, doesn't it? I have friends who love running on snow. They've made it sound meditative, even dreamy.

I don't ever want to have a dream that makes me work that hard. The traction underfoot was good — no slides — but my calves did double work pushing off through the soft snow and by the time I got home my core felt like I'd been doing crunches for the last fifteen minutes.

OK, it was awesome. Not comfortable, not fast, not my first choice come to find out, but the work was undeniably fun. It's been a while since I had to talk myself up a hill. ("I am recruiting new muscle fibers! MOVE IT SOLDIERS, wooooo-hooooo, YEAH!") I'd picked a route with a mile of 4-6% grade. Not that snow wasn't enough challenge or it was some macho thing; I just felt like running uphill.

Hey, the heart wants what it wants.

Best part? Getting people who were out shoveling their driveways to smile and wave back at the goofily ear-to-ear-grinning runner in the comically bright red hat.


Anonymous said...

looking forward to a run on Thrusday. Can't think of a better way to spend my last day of 2009. a great run and time with a great friend! luv zip