How else do I slow my body’s slow, total and inevitable degeneration? Do they still sell Bow Flex?

It’s just under a week until Tough Mudder and I want it to be here already. I’m at that point where I feel trained enough and some dumb slip up is right around the corner. Now that my insane physio benefits have come to an end, I have to resort to more traditional means. Given that these means are unsupervised, it’s hard to ignore the notion that I’ll injure myself in the final week. The other day I came perilously close to rolling an ankle running for a street car. Which then left without me. I stopped and held my knee up at a right angle. Slowly, gingerly I touched my foot back to the ground. I made an effort not to put much weight on it. Instead once the next street car came I held it suspended and gently did ankle circles.

Just think about it, if my ankle was tilted another centimetre that would’ve been all my training for naught. Are sweat beads forming at the base of your skull? ‘Cause I just had spine shivers acknowledging the possibility.

Without guidance over the past few days, I’ve been doing wayward exercises that’ve lacked focus. It’s weird to have gone from personal training to find the ball back in my court. It’s not like I’m a stranger to setting my own workouts, but it’s been a few years. I’m on one of those free trials at Goodlife right now and it reminded me how vastly different things have been since the last time I held a gym membership proper. It was all of those things I remembered: Beefy dudes checking themselves out in the mirror. Overwhelmed newbies being shown the flashy facilities and refrigerators full of green juices. People with strange complexes about swapping in on sets. The following passive-aggressive disappointment over whatever exercises involve you doing progressive sets on the squat rack. The equipment was all fine, but something in that ‘globogym’ ethos feels off to me. The one shining light was chatting to a dude using the equipment in an unconventional manner. He had an obvious gymnastic background and mused how he had to find workarounds for some exercises. Using the squat rack for ersatz stall bar inverted leg raises was pretty great and made me realise that while I enjoyed overcoming heavy weights on bars, I needed something more dynamic to keep my interest.

I’ve kept up with the jogging, primarily because I’m afraid of my legs seizing up during an excessively sedentary weekend. Gotta keep them moving and help those muscles move. Had a nice intermission during a run today where I stopped in a park and practised old gymnastic techniques. I’ve always had much more success with handstand walks than anything stationary, so I spent five to ten minutes handstanding. Legs up, then back to the ground, over and over. My cartwheels are looking better than ever, but without a spring loaded floor my round-offs need work.

The question that crops up now is where am I able to do lifting, calisthenics, cardio and gymnastic technique without resorting to body-breaking crossfit? Fun as it is to see such progression, that shit is downright irresponsible. Furthermore, how can I do boxing and swimming too? All for $100 or less a month? Does this magical gym exist? Or are my desires more than Toronto is capable of providing? Do I need to just scour Groupon and, for the next few months, coast on a variety of gym memberships and deals?

Oh, the mercenary life is calling.

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