Today is “Qing Ming” festival here in China – an ancient, ancient festival which in short is an opportunity (for those who celebrate it) to remember their ancestors – and all the good they did – with a very fond and loving heart.
They also call it “Tomb Sweeping” festival here in China – which again, basically boils down to honoring one’s ancestors at the grave sites (and yes, actual “sweeping” of the tombs DOES take place in many cases).
I’m always enthralled by the different cultures in the various parts of the world I’ve been to, and how folks celebrate different festivals differently – and mainland China is no exception to this rule.
Anyhow, it just so happened that today was the day this foreign “devil” (yours truly) chose for an outdoor workout – and what a great one it turned out to be, hehe.
The mainland Chinese have this curious habit of referring to foreigners as “gui laos” (Mandarin Chinese), which literally translated reads “old ghost from foreign land”).
‘Tis kinda hilarious, and I never fail to delight in seeing the onlooker’s faces when referring to myself as such when speaking my rudimentary Chinese … hehe.
Anyway, my workout, eh?
I did pull-ups. I did push-ups. I did handstand pushups – with a slight “twist” – and believe you me, that slight variation in the movement left my traps feeling like they were on fire and ready to “burst out of their casing” as it were.
And I did dips – plenty and plenty of them, just as mentioned in Shoulders like Boulders (which by the way seems to be going like hot cakes – so if you have not picked up a copy as yet – do so right HERE – – http://0excusesfitness.com/shoulders-like-boulders/ ).
But the best part of this entire workout today (done in a fairly congested park) was the roadwork I did to finish things off, my friend.
Oh YES – it was. I did my usual run at the END of my workout and hike (and if you need to know more about why I do this at the END of my workout, well, peruse the blog for an older post on it) – and it truly felt like it TIED everything together today and was the perfect icing on the cake to an otherwise already excellent workout.
Today’s roadwork wasn’t just a run done at varying paces. It was that, plus much, much more.
I stopped to do pushups in the middle of it all, and banged out 50 before I knew it – and BANG – was back at it again.
I kept up with a guy on a bicycle riding at moderate speed for part of my roadwork. I ran sprints for part of it and was actually LEADING the guy on the bike for some part of my routine.
I even dodged a few stray beggars “horsing around” in the local park (the crowds today meant this was a perfect day for them too).
Most people have this idea that roadwork means waking up at 4 A.M. in the morning, pounding raw egg yolk (a.k.a Rocky Balboa) and then hitting the pavements for a long, grueling, ardous run – which not only takes a long time, but could be boring as well.
Not to mention a “slow run”.
Believe me, I’ve heard folks use this very reason to avoid roadwork – that it’s “boring”. Or “slow”.
Stupendous. Absolutely stupendous.
Roadwork is anything BUT boring if done right. And there are plenty of ways to skin the “how to do it” cat so it remains fresh, challenging, and interesting every time you do it.
And neither is speed a concern if you do things right.
Ever try running backwards down a hill, for instance?
Well – add on running FAST – and that in milling crowds so you’re literally looking back and having to stop every few minutes and then take off again – to avoid bumping into someone full tilt – and doing all this in reverse – at almost full speed.
Add on doing “zig zags” frontwards and backwards.
And of course pushups, and other bodyweight exercises thrown in as well.
Not only does all this tax your cardio system to the max – when done FAST – but it also takes your co-ordination like nothing else will – not to mention works ALL the muscles of your body (especially the calves and shins) together as a unit, meaning you get stronger and fitter overall.
Sure, if you prefer what Rocky did, then by all means go for it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with roadwork done “old time boxing” style, and truth be told it has MANY benefits, not the least of which manifest in the ring.
So don’t ignore your road work, my friends – for ANY reason whatsoever. Make sure to get it in – either before or after (preferably after, but it’s your choice) your workout – but whenever it is – just make sure to DO it.
As Muhamad Ali famously once said, “”The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
‘Tis true, my friend. ‘Tis so true and it holds AS true for the fight of LIFE as it does a boxing bout.
Alright, my friend. I’m out for now – back again later!
P.S. – If there is one breed of athletes with shoulders like the proverbial boulders – it’s boxers, wrestlers, and old time strongmen. And they ALL did plenty of what is taught in Shoulders like Boulders, my friend. I know you’re “raring” to find out what the secrets are – I would too – so drop everything you’re doing and grab your copy right NOW, right HERE – – http://0excusesfitness.com/shoulders-like-boulders/