Bodybuilding + Wakeboarding = Cyclist
Prior to my love and passion for cycling, I really only had two other sports growing up that provided a similar feeling. Although cycling has always been a part of my life, there was about a 12 year chunk where my focus was wakeboard, waterski, and hit the gym. For the past 8 years cycling has totally taken over, and at the moment, it really is my only athletic passion.
But something can be said for the training and competing I took part in by way of wakeboarding and bodybuilding, and I know that in a round about way, it has made me a better cyclist.
Now don’t get me wrong, although I did compete in the sport of bodybuilding, I would never have really considered myself a “muscle head”. I’m a small guy, so even when I was packed with muscles I competed in the bantam weight division (134 lbs and under). Believe it or not, in the photo on the right I weighed in at a whopping 125 pounds as a competition weight. Okay, so how did prancing around a stage in a purple speedo help make me a better cyclist?
Discipline – Out of all the things I have ever done in my life, I would have to say that competing in bodybuilding brought more discipline than all else combined. This has transcended to my cycling and given me the the self-motivation to stay on track and continuously push myself to the max.
Nutrition – I’m not a nutritionist, but during my time in the bodybuilding world I do feel that I gained a whole whack of nutrition knowledge. This has been absolutely huge for my cycling because I know my body so well now that I’m able to take in all the goodness it needs to propel me.
Shaved Legs – I haven’t yet shaved my legs for the betterment of my cycling….but I sure did have one hairless body when I competed in bodybuilding. I know exactly what it’s like to shave the legs, so if the time comes when I feel I need to do it for cycling, I’m ready.
Strength – There’s a little something known as “muscle memory”….whether it’s actually true or not is up to science. I do feel that if a body is strengthened, it will remember this when pushed again in the future. As a bodybuilder, I definitely wasn’t known for my huge legs….but I do know that all those squats back then have enabled my leg muscles to grow more easily through my cycling. Due to cycling, my legs are equally as big or bigger than they were when I was frying them in the gym a couple times a week.
Clothing – After posing up on a stage in my speedo with hundreds of people watched me……..being seen in tight cycling outfits is no problem at all.
I still miss my wakeboarding days very much….and the time spent on my CWB wakeboard. I never had the chance then, but I’d like to thank CWB wakeboards for some great days on the water. Those summer loving memories of skiing all day and baking in the hot sun still bring a smile to my face. Even so, I’m very happy I hung up my board and replaced it with a bike. I mean like, literally, hung up the board….and it now rests happily on our entrance wall reminding me of all the great things it has brought to my riding.
Competition – I competed once in bodybuilding, but a whole bunch of times in waterskiing. When it comes to cycling, it’s given me the experience and confidence necessary to compete in sport. Very valuable for cycling racing or any other competition I face.
Sun – Living a great deal of my life on the water and in the sun has given my body immunity from the rays. I can be out all day and never worry about burning. When you’re out on a 4 hour ride, it sure is nice not to fear leaving the sunblock behind. My tan might look a little funnier now with the jersey lines and all, but I’m totally okay with it.
Wind – As a wakeboarder and waterskier one of the biggest enemies is Wind. I had my battles and cursed the wind many times in the past, so I was totally ready for round two when I seriously took up cycling. I still have my battles and yell out my swears, but it’s been going on so long I am so used to it. My buddies who rode Ronix wakeboards used to tell me that they cut best on the rough water.
What other athletic passions did you have prior to cycling? How have they helped you? I’d love to hear it.