Toys for Boys
I see possibilities for unique and fun exercise around me all the time. The trouble is and it is in keeping with this website's title, Jon-of-All-Trades, that with many of these concepts, routines, modes of exercise, there should be a level of proficiency before working it into one's fitness regime.
For better or for worse, I don't let this stop me.
I've been rather obsessed with balance boards and rola-bolas. I think it started at circus class. I was having a blast playing around on the ones they had there, but I realized I was spending time groovin' on the board which seemed like something I could make and actually do with minimal impact back at the condo, while things like trapeze, the Spanish web, and the tight wire were items that would be hard to duplicate outside. It was after all just around a month ago that Skye almost got stuck in a tree, around 30 ft up, trying to set-up a rig for our aerial silk.
The set of wheels ganged together, the three pipes and of course the two boards are all elements of the balance boards and rola-bolas. The platform is a ladder-type thingy I saw at the hardware store and got my imagination exploding with ideas. The rope, well, is a rope. A jump-rope to be more precise.
When I first saw this, I thought about how often I could have used such a simple device on the job, of set dressing, that is.
Then I started thinking that it was about the right size for a bench to work out on or a step to do some plyometric training.
When I got it home I couldn't wait to start playing on it. I grabbed one of my sandbags and tried some light bench pressing. It felt good.
I dropped one side down, it made a decent incline/decline bench, until I somehow got my fingers pinched by the leg. OK, remember to go slow and be careful everything is locked into place.
I stepped up and stepped down. I did it with a sandbag. It was more than stable enough.
I jumped up on it. I jumped over it. At 21 inches tall and 12 inches across, it was a pretty ideal height for me.
Then I started looking at the balance boards.
I placed one up on top of the platform, I stepped up and quickly got down. I'm not that crazy and least not this time. I started playing around with doing some hand balancing on it. Refer back to the proficiency comment above.
I decided to collapse it down and use it as a deck for the balance board. The carpet was just not the right surface for me to work my craft.
K.I.S.S.--Keep It Sweet and Simple
I prefer Keep It Simple Stupid, much more applicable the majority of the time.
I have been jump-roping on that blue gymnastic mat in the background. I felt the extra padding would help lessen the impact and I'm sure it does. It also makes the skipping slower and harder and not as much fun. After the first few times I just figured I was way out of shape and then I tried skipping on the carpet and just like that I was hopping around like Ali. Talk about hyperbole.
Today I decided to just use a rope, you know forgo the store bought one with the fancy handles with ball-bearings. I grabbed some 1/2" rope, wrapped it around each hand and started skipping, real old school.
The rope made this amazing swooshing sound, it was big and heavy and really, really slow. Because I had to jump so much higher due to the slow rotation, coupled with the burn in my forearms with having to turn the rope each rotation nearly floored me. I had churned out 3 minutes like it was nothing with a standard jump-rope. With the rope, I was gasping after 30 seconds.
I had only had this unicycle for a few months before our Los Angeles exodus. So I didn't ever really get back into to it. Of course, I had to haul it across the country, so that I could end up regularly moving it around trying to find somewhere to store it. I did this so that I would feel foolish for bringing more "stuff" than I really needed, anything to make this whole semi-nomadic thing more impractical than it already seemed.
I will get proficient again on this loopy contraption. It won't be a lame decision in the long-run. In fact, I will get to the place, where I know that I would have regretted it, had I left it in storage.
I'm getting the going straight thing, well sort of.
Turning, slowing down, mounting it without clinging desperately to something solid, well all these things are going to take some time.