I love to lift heavy things. I feel 'in the zone' when I stay in the eight reps or less range and I can't fucking stand anything above it.
I also hate traditional cardiovascular stuff. I don't like to run and I hate biking. I'd rather watch a porno starring Rosie O'donnell, Pauly Shore and an albino monkey than do HIIT.
As a former really skinny dude, I don't like the idea of burning a ton of calories. Hell, I used to be the guy who'd rather drive two blocks to the movie theater instead of walk for fear of losing precious muscle mass.
But last weekend my family talked me into going on a "hike" - which is really just a fancy word for walk - in Glacier National Park.
We walked 16 miles over a mountain, down a canyon, and through the woods, but to grandmother's house we didn't go.
The sun was relentless. It was always there and burned the back of my neck. My legs felt like they were going to crumble with each step. My UnderArmour boxer briefs had a death grip on my ass-crack and there were more than a couple of times when I broke down and cried for my mommy. Luckily she was only a few steps ahead of me.
And then, around the third mile, I realized something: I was acting like a pussy.
And not one of those nice ones with immaculately groomed hair that was undoubtedly shaped by a gay gardener with an incredible attention to detail. Nope, I felt like one of those big, scary, furry things I've seen in issues of Playboy from the 1970's. You know, the ones that prompted the advent of hair rollers, bobby pins, and those little ponytail rubber-band thingies.
So, I cursed myself and set a new goal to view the hike as a regular weight-training session. I was going to push myself and enjoy it, goddammit.
Of course, my family and I ended up having a great time. We laughed, yelled profanities, jumped, and collapsed. We even ran into a HYUGE moose (who are known to be very aggressive) on the trail and spent a good half hour baby-talking it, shitting our pants, and bush-whacking our way around it to a river.
My legs were sore to the touch the next day, and in what may be a bit of overkill, I downed about three servings of Surge to off-set the catabolic effects.
It all got me to thinking, though.
How many other adventures do we, the guys and girls dedicated to building muscle, pass up on our quest to become the biggest, strongest, mofos we can be?
I mean, my hike in Glacier was the challenge I've needed but haven't had the balls to undertake.
It was just too uncomfortable-sounding like heading to the gym to do front squats, single leg squats, Bulgarian split squats, and well, a shitload of other kinds of squats in one GIANT set with no rest. It's just not something you can psyche yourself up to do beforehand.
You have to be in the middle of it - with sweat pouring down your back - to really appreciate the effort and tune in to the challenge.
You know, I think I'm going to set a goal to do one uncomfortable exercise-related thing every couple of months and see what I come up with.
It may be a hike, a bike ride, or, shudder, a long-ass run. I think it'll be good for me. I think it'd be good for you, too.
Let's just hope our new adventures don't include an acrobatic bedroom romp with a girl who looks like a moose.
Now that would be truly uncomfortable.