In the groove

So I’m lying face down in the ditch next to the road that goes by my house, and as a passing headlight beam splashes over me, I’m realizing that I’ll be in a real dilly of a pickle if I’m spotted.

This is the scenario I’ve feared since I first started doing late-night road work in my subdivision. I’d rather not be seen running around on the road after dark, not that I’m doing anything wrong, but it may appear that I’m doing something wrong ... or weird at least.

So when I was out there doing my thing and saw headlights approaching from around the bend, I instantly dashed for the ditch and hit the deck. I thought I’d be completely hidden but the sweeping light illuminates my shoulder and sleeve.

Can the vehicle occupants see me lying here? If they can, and they stop, what could I possibly say?

“My name’s Forrest ... Forrest Gump?”

Strangely, the fear of discovery isn’t my main concern as I lay inhaling dusty grass dander. I’m supposed to be keeping my heart rate up for a full 30 minutes but I can feel it slowing to a restful state!

Fortunately for me, the vehicle passes, turns a corner and continues to a driveway down the road. I get up and resume my activities.

Settled in

After two weeks I’ve settled into a solid training routine, alternating between aerobic and anaerobic workouts, and working in the various other exercises as I can. In each of these first two weeks I’ve been able to work out for 30 to 45 minutes on six of the seven days.

For the aerobic workouts I’ve done away with running. It’s too boring and too hard on my knees. Instead, to get my heart rate elevated for the required 30 minutes, I work on the various footwork exercises outlined in the Twist book. These are aimed at boosting quickness, agility and balance but I’ve noticed that they quickly get the heart going. By using these exercises for my aerobic modules, I’m working on my conditioning but also my skating skills.

All this sprinting, leaping, hopping and shuffling is starting to yield results. My legs are feeling very firm. In the mirror my legs still look like hairy white toothpicks but from the inside of my body they feel like muscular pistons that are poised to chase down any cheetah that should happen to go streaking past.

My new regime has me feeling like I’m developing the rump of a female Jamaican sprinter and I suspect I will soon have to find a tailor for a bulk order of custom-made pants, as I expect that –any day now – my standard sized units will start bursting like popcorn.

These developments have me feeling quite positive about my foray into pro-style training, but my adventure hasn’t been all rosy tea and apple cobbler. A steady supply of aches and pains have maintained a constant presence throughout my project. In the first few days, every new activity, whether it be running or jumping, cycling or boxing, made me stiff and sore the next day.

More recently, my left hip has been grousing loudly after every workout, as if it’s dying to be put back in its socket, or perhaps removed ... I’m not sure.

I’m eager to begin week three, the last week before my first game on Sept. 24. The schedule I’ve drawn up includes more sprinting and less aerobic work in this last week before I hit the ice, in the hope of getting my legs tuned up for game action. I’m already getting excited and nervous about taking to the ice on my new legs.