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The Beauty of Cross-Training

first_imgPhoto: Lee TimmonsI have always been a very focused individual.  When I have a goal, I search for the most direct and efficient path to reach it.  This tunnel vision approach has been an asset to me throughout my high school and university careers… I learned how to work smart, and as a result didn’t have to study nearly as much as many of my peers.While this laser-focused mentality can come in useful in other aspects of life, it holds no water in athletics.Growing up as a competitive whitewater kayaker, I was always under the impression that I should strengthen only those muscles that I needed for my sport.  All others could fade away for all I cared; they were nothing but dead weight for that sport.  My workouts were focused on the upper body at all times, and did not involve very much flexibility or joint mobility work.  They were also very repetitive, since I thought that I had effectively targeted all of the most important muscles that I used when paddling.I operated under this mentality for a long time, but struggled with tendonitis and a myriad other injuries.  I also could not quite reach the results that I knew I was capable of.  There was something missing there, and I knew it.A few years ago, I took it upon myself to pick the brains of some of the most knowledgeable exercise sciences individuals that I knew.  These people included UNCA strength coaches, CrossFit Asheville coaches, and Olympic paddlesports coaches. They finally hammered into my stubborn brain the fact that the human body is one holistic and incredibly intertwined machine.  We cannot strengthen only a part of it and expect it to continue to operate efficiently.In response to this revelation, I applied a new workout regime… variety!  I started adapting my gym workouts, swimming, running, mountain biking, skiing, doing yoga, and basically just trying to step out of my comfort zone as much as possible.  I tried to keep my body confused, and never allow it to have a repetitive comfort zone.  Not only was this new way of thinking making me a stronger and more balanced athlete, it was way more fun!  Every athlete struggles with burnout on occasion, but by having a mixture of different training activities to choose from that still benefit your end goals, it is much easier to keep the morale up.Since I made that switch, I can absolutely tell a difference in my athletic work capacity.  I used to run cross-country in high school and put in 20+ mile weeks training for that.  In spite of my lack of time in my running shoes, I was able to achieve a PR time in the Parsec Prize 5k, a great charity event that occurred on October 15th.  I am also very proud of a 6th place finish in the Whitewater Grand Prix this May against some of the best paddlers in the world.But what is the number one advantage of applying this big picture cross-training program?It’s just more fun!last_img read more

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Dodgers’ all-stars are ready to shine in Minneapolis

first_imgPuig surely has no idea what to expect, but someone probably told him it’s all about fun and he needed no further scouting report.Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had a little advice for Puig and Gordon, who will make their first appearance at the game in Minnesota. Really, just for Gordon.“I just talked to Dee about enjoying it,” Mattingly said. “Yasiel, I don’t have to worry about him having fun.”The Dodgers have four players in this week’s All-Star Game for the first time since 2010, when Andre Ethier, Jonathan Broxton, Rafael Furcal and Hong-Chih Kuo made the event.Puig was voted in by the fans, but Gordon and Kershaw made the roster via player votes, and Greinke was chosen by National League manager Mike Matheny.The selections say a lot about those players as well as the Dodgers’ season. The Dodgers started in woeful fashion, falling behind in the NL West by 9 1/2 games, but now they’re in first place.Kershaw, Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu have combined to win 32 games, helping the Dodgers rebound from a bad start.Kershaw is 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA with a no-hitter this season, but it’s unclear if he’ll start the All-Star Game.“I’d love to see him start, but that’s not my decision,” Mattingly said.Kershaw said he’s fine with whatever Matheny decides.“There’s not a lot of prep. You show up, have fun, throw as hard as you can and hopefully don’t get hurt,” Kershaw said.Greinke has also won 11 games and was selected by Matheny. Gordon, who will have 10 family members in Minnesota with him, is downright giddy about the All-Star Game.“This is one of the best days of my life,” Gordon said. “I get to play in the All-Star Game with some of the biggest stars in the world. I’m definitely excited to represent the Dodgers.”Puig seems excited about anything that has him playing baseball, especially knowing there will be more folks watching.Asked if he knows who’s throwing to him in Monday’s home run derby, Puig said no. When pressed, he said through a translator: “Maybe I’ll just pick a fan off the foul line and have them throw.”It’s Puig, so you might actually buy it. You know the star on the side of his head surely isn’t the only trick up the sleeve of that new All-Star jersey. Yasiel Puig was just getting warmed up for the All-Star Game on Sunday.He nonchalantly caught a ball in right field, barely moving a muscle, to get San Diego’s Chase Headley out to end the top of the sixth inning. He hit a run-scoring single to left field that broke a scoreless tie against the Padres and held up for a 1-0 win at Dodger Stadium.Puig clapped his hands and pumped his fist all the way to first base.He made a running catch at the track in the seventh inning, too. And in the eighth, he hit a one-out double as the Dodgers headed into the All-Star break leading the National League West by one game over San Francisco. The only person to outdo Puig in the theatrics department was a nun who was shown jumping up and down on the JumboTron after Puig’s game-winner.Puig will participate in his first All-Star Game this week and kicks off the festivities by competing in today’s home run derby. Puig — ready for the event with a new mohawk do with a star shaved into the side of his head — and the All-Star event, more about show than X’s and O’s, will be a perfect match.Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Dee Gordon also will represent the Dodgers on the National League roster, and all were scheduled to fly out to Minnesota after Sunday’s game. Kershaw and Greinke already have been All-Stars.Asked if he’s more excited or nervous for his first appearance, Puig didn’t even need a translator.“Nervous?” Puig scoffed. “For what?”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Internationals named for Nations Cup events

first_img22 Apr 2014 Internationals named for Nations Cup events Internationals Gabriella Cowley and Annabel Dimmock will represent England Golf in the Nations Cup event at the Helen Holm Scottish open stroke play championship at Troon from 25-27 April. The following weekend, May 3-4, they will team up with fellow international, Alex Peters, for the Nations Cup event at the Welsh open stroke play championship at Prestatyn. The players: Gabriella Cowley, 18 (Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire) was runner-up in this year’s Portuguese amateur championship. She won the England Golf girls’ order of merit for 2013, a year when her achievements included qualifying for the Women’s British Open, winning the Critchley Salver and helping England to retain their crown at the Girls’ Home Internationals. Annabel Dimmock, 17, (Wentworth, Surrey, image © Leaderboard Photography) won the 2014 Jones-Doherty Cup during a successful trip to the USA for the Orange Blossom Tour, where she was also runner-up in the South Atlantic women’s amateur. She has followed up by becoming runner-up in the Spanish women’s amateur, taking fifth individual place in the European Nations Cup and, with Steven Brown, winning the Sunningdale Foursomes. Alex Peters, 20, (Notts Ladies’, Nottinghamshire) has just won the 2014 Leveret, the prestigious scratch event at Formby ladies’, and reached the quarter finals of this year’s Spanish amateur. She topped the 2013 England Golf women’s order of merit, sponsored by Lorrin Golf having been runner-up in the English amateur and Welsh stroke play championships. Like Gabriella Cowley, she represented GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe.last_img read more