Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Caaamper's Fitness Challenge

I recently had a new idea for expanding my blog some. I’ve been thinking about carrying around my camera and taking occasional photos to post. I like photography, and despite being an amateur, I think I take a good shot now and again. You can look for some of those in the coming weeks and months. However, an interesting thing happened today when I finally got around to firing up my little Sony Cybershot…I found some shots from my personal fitness challenge in 2009; the SFP Challenge.

I had forgotten that I had those pictures. In fact, in the blur of my last year recovering from a torn Achilles Tendon suffered in a softball game about a month after “The Challenge,” I had almost forgotten about the big bike ride altogether. However, looking at the pics, it all came flooding back.

That was a tough day.

The deal was that in 2008, I had gained a bunch of weight. I tend to do that from time to time.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve gone through this weight gain/weight loss roller coaster. One year, I go up. The next year, I go down. Each time I go down, the effort to do so gets harder and harder. So, as 2009 rolled around, I was looking for a challenge that would push me to work on my health and fitness, and be something I would actually enjoy doing. After a little bit of thought, it occurred to me that I had never ridden a century ride.

For those of you who aren’t into cycling, a century ride is to ride your bicycle 100 miles in one day.

As with photography, I fancy myself as a pretty good amateur cyclist. Not a great cyclist by any means, but not bad when I’m in shape. That said, I’d never done the century. I’d done 75-milers, but not a 100-miler. It was one of those milestones that I hadn’t done, but that I did just want to do. It was something I liked, but would be a definite challenge that I would have to work to get ready for.

To make the challenge even harder to back out of, I made it a big public thing. I started telling everyone I was going to do it. I even announced it in front of the whole church where I worship and serve. I wanted it to be so embarrassing to quit that I’d be sure to suffer through whatever physical pain was necessary to complete the task.

All done

Ultimately, I didn’t find an organized century ride that fit my training plan and schedule well enough, so I opted to ride the 100 miles alone, but on the Cardinal Greenway near Muncie, Indiana. The completed portion of the Greenway at the time was 27 miles long running from Losantville on the southeast side of Muncie up to Gaston on the northwest side of Muncie. To do 100 miles, I would need to ride the full length up and back…twice. The total mileage of the journey was 108 miles.

I completed the challenge on September 19, 2009. I started at about 8am, and got off my bike at the end at about 6:45pm. 108 miles done. It was a long, HARD day. A special thank you goes to my wife who spent the day driving our car ahead to each rest stop to meet me, encourage me, refill my water bottles, and make sure that I ate something. It had to be a boring day for her, but her help was a tremendous factor in my completing the event.

Then, one month later, I tore the Achilles Tendon. Surgery. Cast. Walking Boot. Months of recovery. Regained weight. Now, I’m back at the top of the roller coaster.

 Time for a new challenge.

It was a wild-haired idea!

Introducing the Mike DeCamp 2011 Challenge. I’m going to complete 2011 miles in the year 2011 by either walking, running, or biking. If you do the math, that would be almost 6 miles every day of the year! Obviously, there will be days when I am sick, traveling, or otherwise cannot complete the necessary miles, so I added the biking to help me catch up during the cycling season. I haven’t worked out all the details and rules for myself yet. You can look for those in the coming few weeks leading up to January 1st. However, there will be both an activity aspect and a nutrition aspect. I’m going to cover both bases.

Wish me luck, and if you want to join me in the challenge, let me know.  I'll be blogging on my progress.

(You can see more pictures from the 2009 SFP Challenge on my Facebook page.)

1 comment:

  1. sounds intriguing, 11 days you know what for me... and I need to do something, but not sure I can do 2011 miles in one year in any form :) I will have to see what I can come up with to challenge myself like my inspiring Uncle Mike :)