Over the last few years I’ve been lucky with injuries. Usually a few days of rest have been all I’ve needed to recover. Unfortunately this latest injury has completely knocked the wind out of my sails causing a rethink to my approach to exercise. Focussing exclusively on cycling, often going out 5 or 6 times a week, and doing no other form of exercise has made me a bit lop-sided. As my physiotherapist tried to illustrate – if you imagine three glasses, one being endurance, one strength and one flexibility. My endurance glass is full, the strength glass has a small drop inside and the flexibility glass is empty. Ideally for a normal person they should be equal measures.
10 years ago I gave up long distance running due to recurring ankle, knee & hip injuries. All I did was run. I spent several years in the gym lifting weights until I got bored. All I ever did was lift weights. And then a few years ago I started cycling, and I cycled and cycled and cycled until I broke.
This week I’ve finally returned to some light exercise. On Tuesday I tried pilates for the first time and feel this would be a sensible addition to my exercise regime. I also went to the gym on Friday and did a light weights workout which reminded me why I used to enjoy strength training. Looking forward I’d like to combine my running, cycling and weights with the new addition of pilates to develop a more balanced approach to exercise. For some reason it has always seems more desirable to become a specialist in one form of exercise (or work), rather than be a ‘jack of all trades’. But this latest injury has served as a bit of a wake-up call. Fortunately I’ve found some less derogative terms for the lowly jack-of-all-trades: the “Renaissance Man” or “Polymath” would try to become proficient in many areas rather than specialise in just one.
I’m not sure what this means for Bike V Car, but my future plans are to take a few eggs out of my cycling basket and put them in my strength and flexibility glasses, if you’ll excuse the conflicting analogies. I just need to find my running shoes …