Explosion at Surf Expo.
Last week found me purposing in my very heart to strive for greatness, once again. To be a good example to children everywhere, David Lee Scale’s included, and challenge my erstwhile nemesis to the greatest trilogy in fight history even better than Fury versus Wilder.
Noble and savage.
Except, the last time I properly fought was a lifetime ago and in a suburban Sydney still brave and free. My opponent was the notable slab weaver, mixed martial artist, Maroubra Boy Richie “Vas” Vaculik who had inexplicably agreed to the match. I trained some Brazilian Jiujitsu in the morning, took a short kickboxing lesson in the afternoon, met him in the ring as night strangled light.
The thing I remembered most was exhaustion. Pure physical exhaustion after mere seconds of bouncing around the ring getting my kidneys kicked, temples lightly socked.
Sweat pouring, sweat blinding me, gasping for breath. Eventually, near the end of round one, I threw a punch, dislodged my shoulder from its socket and mercifully disgusted Richie and his trainer into grimacing and refusing to continue.
Fighting is tiring.
Lesson learned, and remembered, I knew I would have to achieve some semblance of fitness before the next Explosion at Surf Expo.
Now, previously, I had been the sort to declare “surfing is my workout” except outfitted with the latest and greatest in fitness tracking technology, the WHOOP 4.0, I realized that surfing not, in fact, a workout or at least not the way I surf.
Average session (Album twin fin) on one of Cardiff-by-the-Sea’s handful of reefs (Pipe’s, Turtles) did not register as an “activity.”
WHOOP knows all, knows when heartrate soars, know when body is strained, knows when it is not. If the sleek black strap senses any sort of exertion it quickly logs, later asking via the easy-to-navigate cellular smartphone application what sort of activity it was. Sometimes it guesses, always correctly.
Three things are constantly being calculated: Strain, Recovery and Sleep. Strain, as Derek Rielly elucidated, is measured on a scale of 0 to 21. A day spent in David Lee Scale’s Adidas would register somewhere in the medium to upper 4s. A day spent perched on a Corinthian leather stool, under zinc countertop, dissecting world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater’s motives, drinking Grey Goose and sodas would register somewhere in the low to medium 5s.
Surfing, or at least the way I surf, would register in the medium 7s and, again, not an “activity.”
I took two things from this valuable information. I need to surf harder and kick above 10 every day, if I hoped to steal the heavyweight crown as a super middleweight.
Kick above 15 probably.
Let me tell you, kicking above 10 is no easy thing. WHOOP is a cruel, heartless trainer, which is what makes it oh so good. The amount of sweat pouring, grimacing, matters not. Laps can be run, exhaustion felt, WHOOP comes back with a shrug. It cares not for disposition.
Here, for instance, is a day that I ran around the park doing intermittent pushups and planking very sweaty.
Here is a day that I ran three miles to the train station to pick up an abandoned car doing intermittent pushups along the way.
My legs didn’t work right after the train station jaunt and I knew I needed to get stronger, fitter, faster. I knew that my piecemeal approach, as clearly evidenced by WHOOP, would not cut it.
I needed my Cousin Danny, locked up for a second stretch after robbing southern California banks at a record clip, getting out, heisting some art and jewels then re-pivoting to banks before getting locked up again.
I needed prison fit.