This post is a cautionary tale. A tale whose moral is simple: always look carefully at your equipment BEFORE you hit the trails.
As I’ve previously mentioned, my coach has me doing sandbag hill repeats on Thursdays. I’m supposed to grab a 35 lb sandbag, throw it over my shoulders, and run up and down a nearby trail that basically consists of a mondo uphill for about 45 minutes. Honestly, this is one of my favorite workouts of the week. It gets me outside, the trail is really pretty and
has a lot of nature (chipmunks! Squirrels! Even the occasional snake!), and the duration of the workout is just about perfect. 45 minutes is long enough to feel like I’m going to die without feeling like it’s going to be interminable. It probably helps that this workout spikes my heart rate like (seriously) nothing else; so I burn a WHOLE BUNCH of calories which means I get to eat everything that’s not nailed down when I get home. It’s pretty much a win for all involved.
So I’ve been at my current box for about a year now. Some equipment, like the barbells, we use pretty much daily. Other stuff, like the sandbags, we almost never touch. As a result, there’s still plenty to learn about this equipment. Like, as I learned yesterday (the hard way), the sandbags come in DIFFERENT WEIGHTS! They all look exactly the same, but we have 35, 45, and even 50 pound sand bags that live in the same pile and are nearly identical.
On Thursdays, I swing by the gym to pick up my sandbag, throw it in my trunk, then drive out to my trail. Yesterday, I was having a hard time getting the sandbag off the ground (you’re supposed to clean it and throw it over your head so it lands on your shoulders). I was thinking that I was just having an off morning. You know how some mornings the bar just feels heavy because you’re tired/caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet/you’re sore from yesterday/whatever? I mean, as far as I knew there was no reason for this to be any more difficult than usual. So I sucked it up and told myself I was being silly. It was just a sandbag. Like any other sandbag. Like any other sandbag that I always trained with on Thursdays.
Threw the thing in my car, got to my trail, set up all my music and sunscreen and hydration belt, and went to pick up the sandbag to head out to the trail. That’s when I saw it. The label; sticking out of the side of the bag. Taunting me because I had been too stupid not to check it before I left the box. The darn thing was 50 pounds! Not 35 pounds; 50! No wonder it had been so difficult to clean!
I momentarily thought about swinging back to the box to get a bag of the correct weight, but the morning was already dragging on, it was hot (and not getting any cooler), and I had appointments scheduled for the afternoon. I really had to get my workout started. So I sucked it up. I sucked it up, picked it up, and the gods be damned if I didn’t kill that workout (slowly and with fewer repeats than usual because 15 pounds is apparently ridiculously heavy if you’re doing hill repeats).
I guess you can say I had my “Spartan up” moment for the week. I definitely felt like a total badass when I was done. I can’t say that it was a pleasant experience, or one that I will voluntarily repeat, but as my coach said when I reported back to him what had happened “well now you know you can do the workout with a 50 pound bag….”. Yup. I totally can. But I will definitely be back to my 35 pounder next week.
Any fun plans for the weekend?