When winter gives you lemons, flip a tire

Guest Blogger Eric Jorgensen

Do you know how much money I spent on clearance winter running gear this past summer? I’ll give you a hint: It was in the low dozens. I spent those dozens of dollars so when the snow, sleet and the abominable snowman reared their heads here in the Midwest I’d be ready and laughing in their faces.

Well, so much for all that winter mocking, because the Snow Miser is hibernating and the temperature rarely dips below freezing. Last year at this time I had lost my wallet (right before a flight) in a 10-foot-tall snowdrift and was cursing the heavens. This year, we’ve had three, 30-minute flurries that didn’t stick to the ground longer than a few seconds.

As you can see, the tire is very heavy and requires all the face squinting you can muster.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I hate winter with the same visceral punch one feels toward an ex who took the dog in the breakup and now raises it with some stranger. That said, I was mentally prepped for snow and ice runs and I’m feeling a little let down. The warmer weather has afforded my friends and me an opportunity we’ve been itching for, though.

We got a tire! A big one! And we flip that beast all around our yard!

My roommate managed to get his hands on a used, very, very heavy tractor tire. When he first rolled that bad boy into the yard I was too excited. I hadn’t been that giddy since my parents bought me the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party Wagon toy. See, a few months ago we watched the CrossFit Games on ESPN2 and saw some brutes flipping a massive tire as part of their workout. I lusted over that tire like no man should ever lust over inanimate objects. We immediately started tire hunting and found a winner a month ago. Had winter not given us warm weekend days, we might not have been able to start our new Saturday tradition: “The Wheel of Fortune.”

My roommate and I made sandbags out of old Army canvas bags, and they do a great job of burning every muscle in your body.

Most of the workout is centered around the tire. We flip it, jump in and out of it, and pound it with a sledge hammer. We also breakout our resistance bands, our sandbags, our pushup dip bars, and as of last weekend, a heavy rope for whipping and climbing. For the average person passing us in a car, it must look like we’re training for life in a post-apocalyptic world.

It’s a great workout, and several people have taken notice. It started with just my roommate and me, but we’ve added a new person every weekend. Last weekend, some random passerby stopped to watch us, then asked if he could join. We let him, though we hoped with all our might he wasn’t going to turn the sledge hammer on us in some bloodcurdling twist of fate.

I’m a huge advocate of cross-training, and if you have the opportunity at your gym, try a tire-based workout. It’s pretty macho feeling. Most importantly, when the weather deals a blow to your plans, roll with it. You might get lucky and find a new workout you love.

For SF Marathoners in my area, my friends and I are looking to take the workout public. If you’re up for a challenging Saturday workout, let me know and we’ll tell you when and where to be.

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