Friday, April 25, 2008

Shaping Up with a New Helper

It's called the Urban Rebounder and it's GREAT! I found mine on Craig's List for $50, which is a great price. You can view a video of some of the workout moves on the U.R. webite.

I was always disappointed with the jogging trampolines because they didn't offer enough bounce and were hard to store. I didn't know about the Urban Rebounder when I started shopping. What I thought I'd do is get what I thought would be like a jogging tramp and remove some of the springs. When I saw the rebounder posted on Craig's List and looked at the Urban Rebounder website, I noticed that even the lightweight ladies were getting a very good, but soft bounce. I went and looked at it and tried it and snapped it right up. Last night I did my first workout on it and I'm in LOVE! They even have kids bounce workouts.

This morning, I put my Urban Rebounder and my nursery trampoline in front of my computer and let my daycare kids go to town on them. I couldn't believe how much they loved bouncing with the DVD workout. They bounced vigorously off and on, mostly on, for an hour! My little extra-coordinated child (2.5 yrs) was even able to follow several of the moves, while my less coordinated child (also 2.5 yrs), who is overweight, passed her own personal limit for endurance.

The reason I decided I needed something like this is that I'm having a hard time getting into shape for Summer Nationals, the big-deal fencing tournament of the year. I'm carrying 10 pounds more on me than this time last year, which, honestly, leaves me at a very normal 125 lbs. for my height, but it's a little more than I am comfortable with as an athlete. My ideal weight is 118 lbs. In the past, I couldn't keep any weight on because I was always fencing and struggled to stay over 116 lbs. Below that I had no reserve and felt weak, but nice and light on my feet. Fencing is a sport that combines footwork, bladework, timing, mental ability to make 4-5 tactical decisions per second and to read the opponent and effect them. My strengths are footwork and bladework, which have to compensate for my weakness in the other areas, so being light and fast on my feet is crucial to my game.

On top of all this, my fencing uniform is too tight so I can't take deep breaths to oxygenate my muscles properly. I wear a leotard (most just wear a t-shirt), then the required items: knickers that come at least 10cm above the waist and have suspenders, underarm protector (like a half a 3/4 length shirt), chest protector, jacket, and lame (metallic vest used for scoring), oh, and knee socks, mask and a glove. It's a lot to wear and not altogether the most comfortable. It gets very hot. Fencer's sweat like crazy and fencing itself is one of the top ten calorie burning Olympic sports.

All my gear on.

To prepare for Nationals, I will begin "peak training" in the middle of May. This is very, very intense and goes something like this: 6 out of 7 weekdays are divided into strength/conditioning/endurance, aerobic training, skills practice, lessons, sparring. The 7th day is for resting. I will do each vigorously until I find my threshold, the limit which I can't recover from by the next day, then tone down until I can recover, then maintain that level or slowly build up from there.

Right now, I'm not even near ready to begin peak training. I took off so much time due to my grandmother's situation and my grieving (I just didn't feel like working out), being sick with daycare-crud viruses, and catching up on work that I'm just out of shape.

But that's all about to change now that I have my Urban Rebounder!

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