Adult Time Out: Cross Training for Mountain Biking.

Author, Cheri Felix rides Fruita

Another weekly column from Cheri Felix

Lately I’ve been getting this a lot; “It must be really tough for you. Not being able to mountain bike and all.” I guess since I drone on and on and on about mountain biking people think I’m crushed during the winter. I always remind people that I’m not a pro and that it’s actually nice to take a break. I know it’s hard to believe but it is. And I don’t ski so it really is a restful time for me. It’s like an adult time out. The way I see it, I rode from mid March to my last ride in Curt Gowdy State Park (Wyoming) in late November. That’s not bad. For a girl with three kids. And a dog and multiple bathrooms to clean.

But even though I enjoy the break from the bike that doesn’t mean I don’t have to do something to stay in shape. And by the way, I use “stay in shape” very loosely. Remember me? I’m average. Lately I’ve enjoyed saying “I’ve been cross training.” It sounds professional. Like it really matters what I do in the “off season”. Like I’m cool. All it really means is “fatty prevention”. At least for me. And somewhere around mid November I did an inventory (of my ass and abs) and decided it was time to shake things up. Literally. And so I start running on the treadmill three times a week. Now, up until then, I never ran. Maybe to the car. Maybe into the bike store if there was a sale. And yes, I have run into the coffee shop. But run for exercise? Nah, that’s not me. But like all things made of BS, I changed my tune. I’m known for that first mountain bike ride when I famously said, “I’m probably not going to like this.” We know how that turned out.

So, rather than curse the cold wind or buy a fat bike I’m “cross training” indoors. I buy ‘Runner’s World’ now and no, I don’t know how to do things half way. I bought (and read) two books on running and I bought new clothes. I also downloaded a few running workouts from iTunes where Serena Williams whispers sweet nothings in my ear like “Don’t embarrass yourself. Go faster.” I tell myself it’s all about the bike. But if I’m being honest it’s more than that. It’s about being stronger. Being leaner. And trying new things.

Hey, if you’re moving your body you’re doing great. From what I can gather there are many people in our country who are still working on that one. If you are pro and you are hooking yourself up to tubes to check your oxygen and lung capacity good on you. If you’re like me and you’re just looking for ways to express gratitude for being able to move and to exercise and to ride and to run and to do downward dog, well good on you too. And hey if you do it all for no other reason than to have your bike shorts fit in the spring, bravo bravo bravo.

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