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I have a gym

Sign at my new gym

Sign at my new gym

I have a gym. Well, not in the ownership sense. But you know how people say “at my gym … “; well, now I can too.

It’s been a long time since I went to a gym. It’s happened sporadically in my life when I’ve felt the need to get on top of my fitness or when I’ve had a specific goal. Usually I’m more an outdoors kinda guy.

But after watching Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boormans wrangle their motorbikes through sand and mud in their two motorbike films, I realised that I should probably have some core and upper body strength to match my leg strength. Otherwise it’s not going to be pretty tiring those first few weeks or months on the road. Because, let’s be honest here, I’m not a great dirt biker. I lack the intestinal fortitude to ride fast through sand and mud, which usually results in me dropping my bike or paddling through with my feet. To put it another way – my dirt bike motorbike skills are about as good as my MTB skills. But I’ve never been one to let a lack of expertise stop me – I have always been happy to baffle my way through more slowly than the experts.

Being realistic about my skills also means that I can start working on solutions to overcome my weaknesses. And the first solution is to go to the gym to build some specific strength. Seven months is plenty of time to get strong … and that strength will probably also result in greater confidence on the bike when I hit the sand or mud.

Today I joined up. Tomorrow morning I will actually do a workout. I’ll get a proper program done up in a week or two once I’ve got back into a routine. In the meantime, I’ll use the first phase of an adventure riding strength program I found online to get used to the gym and work out where I’m at.

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