Hello, abs.

So, my obsession with working out and weight training is rearing its ugly head once more. I’d been slacking a bit after Peter and I moved in together — trans: I sit on my ass and watch cable TV — but I’m trying to get myself back in gear.

My left hip has been cramping up in the middle of righthanded turns, which is exciting in all the wrong ways. There’s nothing like trying to keep a line while little gremlins whack at your hip with tiny hammers.

Not really wanting to face a three-week, 6000-mile trip with cramped hips, I’m ramping back up to a regular workout routine. Instead of the daily 15 minutes of stepper plus 10 minutes of stretching that I’ve been doing, I’m going to start alternating in weight training and toning DVDs again.

People, you know your life is really pathetic when you finally (finally!) find “Buns and Abs of Steel” on DVD. This, sadly, made my entire week.

I’m proud to say that my abs, while not steel, are at least sturdy plastic; I could do the first of three workouts last night without wanting to kill myself afterwards. I spent an inordinate amount of time in the bath last night looking for signs of a six-pack, and was encouraged to find a ridge that, when stretched the right way, might conceivably be a toned muscle.

The buns are, sadly, a different story. The hips and buns are not steel. They are, more accurately, flimsy paper. Perhaps tracing paper. Considering all the walking that I do, you’d think my thighs would be a little less wussy. But no. It’s no wonder my hips are complaining; I have, literally, no flexibility at all. It’s a miracle I can walk without cramping up and falling over.

So, the goal now is to be able to ride the SVS for hundreds of cramp-free miles. This is a bit optimistic, as my muscles hurt and the bike still won’t start. But everyone has to have a goal, right?

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5 Responses to Hello, abs.

  1. Alex says:

    Carolyn,
    Learn to sit side-saddle. I know its ridiculously irresponsible and dangerous, but its PERFECT for stretching your legs out WHILE riding, without having to A.) Stop, or B.) get off your bike.
    Also, often times on long rides I’ll stand up (hands still on the bars of course) just to stretch out my legs and my back. Take it from someone who’s done 1,000 miles in a day, it helps alot. People will look at you funny, but you’ll be alot more comfortable.
    Just my .02…

  2. Harry says:

    Carolyn,
    Have you thought of using SV footpegs, instead of SVS units? The SV pegs are lower and placed a little more forward, possibly better for a long ride…

  3. carolyn says:

    I don’t usually have trouble with long rides, just with my hips (usually the left) cramping in turns. It happens most often, actually, on the freeway on-ramp during my commute home. I’ve been inflexible all my life — physically! Hey! Peter, stop laughing! — so this is just an excuse to get in shape. 🙂

  4. Linda says:

    Well… after two months of going to the gym I can now touch my toes most days, which is something I haven’t been able to do since I was about twelve. 😉
    So, keep at it – it’ll make a difference quicker than anyone else expects, but probably not you.

  5. Sharad says:

    I’ve found that a combination of weight training that works multiple muscle groups at once and stretching (including yoga) really helps. My hips are also fairly tight from sitting in front of a computer all day. Long rides get to be painful as a result. I make sure I stretch at every gas stop and at the end of the day.
    Make sure you stretch the hips in all directions – flexion/extension and adduction/abduction.

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