First off, my name is Alex Workman and I'm 35 years young. I've always been athletic, but have never been truly competitive in sports. I grew up as a severe asthmatic and I was a pudgy little kid. My parents never pushed me to play organized sports, although they did insist that I learn how to swim. Instead my young life was centered on music, which was (and still is) a big part of my life. Later, in high school I managed to get my asthma under control (with medication) and I started running cross country and track. But alas, I wasn't very gifted. During a typical cross country race, I'd come in somewhere in the middle of the pack. The same was true for track. I focused on running the 400m, but I could never break the 1 minute mark.
In college I was moderately active, but fitness tended to revolve around ultimate frisbee (which I'm good at) and ice hockey (which I'm poor at) rather than pure strength or endurance. Later, in grad school, I totally slacked off with fitness. The only saving grace was that I was fortunate to live close enough to campus to bike, so I biked a few miles each day.
When I started working full time I started to go to the gym three times per week. I still did a bit of cardio on the elliptical machine and the tread mill, but I focused primarily on building upper body strength. I had big bulky legs (through genetics) and I wanted my upper body to match. When I started lifting, I weighed somewhere around 165 lbs and I slowly bulked up to 190 lbs on a 5'8" frame.
Then in 2003 or so, I met my friend MRG. MRG was (and still is) a cardio machine. He got me back into shape with our 9:00 PM milk tea rides. I'll need to devote a future post in honor of MRG (and to explain our milk tea rides) so stay tuned.
In 2006, MRG convinced me to try my first sprint triathlon (the Pinebush triathlon, in Albany NY). Although I did okay, placing 63rd out of 359 people, which I thought was pretty good considering I was primarily still a weight lifter.I did the Pine Bush a few more times and each year I focused a bit more on cardio rather than weight lifting at the gym to improve my time. During my most recent attempt at the Pine Bush, I placed 19th out of 270 (a respectable top 20 showing!).
Over the last few years, I've slowly built up my cardiovascular endurance while *trying* to maintain upper body strength.
At this point, you might be wondering:
- When did I start climbing tall buildings?
- Why will I become the #1 stair climber in the in World?
Well, my readers, my story will be finished during my next post. Until then, take care, eat right, and stay fit!