Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Getting back into shape

Since I ended my collegiate swimming career in March, I've been slacking off in the fitness department. Over the summer, I lifted or swam like once or twice a week in Singapore. Their pool was gorgeous but nauseatingly hot, since it was outdoors and they did not have any sort of aerator system to cool it off. Plus it was long course (50 meters), and I hate long course with a passion.


 While I was in China, I swam a few times but never ventured into the weight room... mostly because I didn't want to get judged and stared at by creepy asian guys while they worked out. Note~ if you have never been to China, girls do not work out or play sports. In fact, they don't even like to ride bikes and prefer sitting on the back bumper thing and letting a guy ride the bike. So it was already interesting to them that my friend Christine and I were working out. Apparently biking to class and everywhere around town is enough of a workout for the local girls.

In order to use the lap swim lanes at Tsinghua University's pool, we had to pass the deep water swim test. The deep water swim test was swimming a 200. Communicating the information on my deep water swim test ID card was interesting, because I do not read Chinese and the lifeguard there did not speak English. I had a little difficulty figuring out what the little card meant by "faculty", since I wasn't familiar with that Chinese word. Luckily, a student who spoke some English came into the lifeguard office and translated "faculty" as what major we were studying at the University. Here is a picture of my ID card that says I passed the deep water swim test - the first line written in blue ink is my name in Chinese, and the second line in blue ink says Industrial and Systems Engineering, which was the whole "faculty" debacle.

So since coming home to California, I've been trying to get back into shape and work out more than I did over the summer. I've been to Crossfit Pleasanton a few Saturdays in a row for their "free drop-in session," and its not too bad. Actually, I've lost so much strength since I stopped lifting that I've been getting my butt kicked by 35-year-old moms that work out there... last Saturday's workout included 50 reps of a Thruster, which is a signature Crossfit lift that is essentially a dead lift to overhead push press. I was barely able to handle the 45 lb bar, and had to pause and take a break after every 10 reps and the mom working out next to me just cranked out almost all 50 in a row. And its been a while since I've done pullups, so I was struggling to learn how to do the "kipping" pullup and the mom next to me cranked out 30 pullups in a few minutes.  Overall, the Crossfit Pleasanton gym was pretty nice and the group workout of the day was great since it pushed me to work harder than the moms. I would definitely be a regular if it wasn't so expensive to work out there.

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Being a student athlete in college really spoiled me, because now I tend to only do Olympic-style lifts at the rack and with the free weights. I went to lift today at another gym in the area called Gainspeed, which specializes in training high school athletes. The owner was really nice and let me work out for free, which was a sweet deal.

This is how I knew I was really out of shape - I'm terribly ashamed to say this but I was able to hang clean more weight than I could squat. I need a few more weeks to get back into reasonable lifting weights, but by then I will be leaving for Ukraine! Oh, the life of a swammer. I'm looking forward to finding a swimming pool and weight room to lift in when I get to Ukraine.


Tammela said...

This post cracked me up! It will definitely be interesting to try and find ways to work out in Ukraine. Hang cleaning more than you can squat?! I've been lifting a lot less this summer, too, since finishing track season in May.

Jing said...

Yeah... I knew someone would judge me on that haha. I did 4 reps of 65, 75, 85 for the cleans and 8 reps of 65, 75, 75 for the squat because I thought my legs were going to collapse of lactic acid. I'm sure they will have gyms and stuff in Ukraine, and maybe we can go play some pickup soccer games or something too!

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