Working out is hard to do, when it’s new

bretzel

Your agent in the midst of a ‘Brettzel’, so named because it was invented by Brett Jones and it makes you look like a pretzel. Note: That’s not a grimace from a cramp, at least not this time.

There’s always a bit of inertia to overcome before a workout—a little voice that asks, ‘You don’t really want to do this, do you?’

Fortunately, I’ve managed to overcome that voice for most of my adult life; my father set a good example for me, I know it supports my golf, and I just like sweating. Makes me feel like my toxins bleed out.

Yet, when I started working with Dr. Jeff Smeaton of the Dynamic Health and Performance in Oakville, Ontario, I had a different kind of inertia to overcome.

I went to Dr. Jeff to see how increased fitness could help my golf game. And at 58 years old, my hips often hurt, making it too painful for me to carry my golf bag anymore, and I now always sit down to be put shoes on. It’s enough to make me think that maybe Pete Townsend was right re  ‘I hope I die before’ part.

I’ve tried to keep this creaking at bay with a standing desk and by going to the gym about four days a week. I only did “leg day” every two weeks or so even though my hips and legs needed the most work. Leg day made my hips ache, not a lot but enough. Besides,  there’s nothing to look at in the mirror afterwards. (Any honest gym rat will tell you that. Oh yeah, oh vanity, oh brother.)

Dr. Jeff assessed me a few weeks ago and determined that I needed to increase the strength in my glutes, hips and thoracic spine (mid-back) and increase my range of motion in my right shoulder.

He provided me with a workout on the very cool www.mytpi.com site from created by the Titleist Performance Institute. It’s plotted on a calendar and complete with text and demonstration videos. The workout included 16 exercises and was to take 50 minutes.

However, I wasn’t eager to start. The workout did not include any work for my biceps, triceps, chest, back and shoulders, my favourite rota. Instead of lifting weights, it meant getting down on the floor with tubing, pillows, towels and tennis balls between my shoulder blades. Ouch.

Let me be clear: I am not a bulging bruiser. I don’t bother with special shakes. But I don’t care if you’re 18, 38 or 58, it is wonderful to feel that nice tightness that comes from lifing weights.

When I eventually started Dr. Jeff’s workout about five days late, I had to learn the exercises, which meant watching the demo videos once or twice each, which extended my workout to about 75 minutes. I didn’t feel that great sense of being maxxed out, and I hardly broke a sweat.

However, after two weeks, I realized that Dr. Jeff was getting me ready for the next stage of exercises, which includes some much tougher challenges that get my heart rate going, make me shake and sweat. And I hurt the next day, just like after leg day.

Although I’m only in my third week of it, I already feel stronger as I bound up my stairs and my evening walk has greater pace. I’m getting more into the workouts with each one, and as golf season approaches, I’m eager to see the difference it makes.

Actually, now it’s like every work out day is leg day. Take that interia!

 

 

About Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is a performance coach, an award-winning writer, Head Coach of the University of Guelph golf team and Mental Performance Coach at the ClubLink Academy at Glen Abbey. He is co-host of the Swing Thoughts podcast with Howard Glassman, and a leader in training in the ManKind Project. He gets all excited when he helps people tap into their brilliance.

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