What I miss about hard-core training

Today is the 79th consecutive day I have not climbed. 

When you go without doing the activity you love for a while, you begin to miss the various little sensations it evoked.

If you had told me a year ago that I would not be able to climb for 79 days, I wouldn’t have thought it possible for me to survive throughout them and preserve my sanity. And yet life goes on, and it seems it may very well be another 79 days or more until my wrist heals well enough to climb again.

Hunger.

This is one of the things I notice myself missing the most, as a spinoff from not being able to train or exercise even close to the extent I am used to. I’ve gone from training 10 hours a week of intense high-impact climbing and conditioning to praying each night that in the morning my ankle and wrist will be stable enough to take a 30-min spin on the elliptical or stationary bike.

The first couple weeks after I stopped climbing, I found myself still eating gargantuan amounts of food, then perplexing over the strange bloated sensation I was experiencing. Before, I had never been able to consume enough and now I find I can get through the day with barely anything at all (in comparison, I suppose.) Shocking!

Well-Earned Hunger.

Well-earned hunger is another thing altogether. This is when you arrive home after a workout, entering the house with one sole purpose and a grizzly bear attitude toward whatever may impede you-humans to dishes to tables in your route of attack. The gleam in your eyes says ‘duck and cover!’ and it is clear no conversation or interaction is to be had until your date with the fridge is over-and that may take several visits. It’s not to say you haven’t had a good day, in fact, most likely, you have. It just means you’ve managed to push yourself to that beautiful point past your preconceived limits and you know your muscles will have a lot of growing to do tonight. And you know you’ll be that much closer to finishing that route or running those laps-it’s the sensation of accomplishment.

Without that feeling, my chocolate cake doesn’t taste as sweet and a loaf of bread can’t provide so much fulfillment.

Sleep.

Anxiety while you’re falling asleep? Endless podcast of all the places where you went wrong today running through your head? Look no further than an extreme workout. These will knock you right out for the night. I miss the deep, satisfying sleeps that follow an extreme workout.

Joy from Basic Instincts:

Extreme workouts are not for everyone. Some prefer a nice, light run to get them going in the morning or a weekly visit to the gym. All forms of exercise are a noble pursuit, and your workout is something that can be very personalized to bring you the maximum joy. However, I have always loved challenge, and the feeling of pushing myself far beyond my physical and mental boundaries is by far one of the most satisfying I have experienced. It reduces me down to my core being: the basic needs & sensations of hunger, exhaustion and sleep. It shows me how much joy can be derived from my own simple movement and brings me back down to earth and in touch with what really matters.

I’d kill for a killer training session tonight.

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