Sure, everyone knows about lunges and stair climbers so you can handle the steeps and the bumps, but that doesn’t mean we actually do them. These routines will really help your day way more than anything you’ll do, or not do, at the gym. You see, there are other muscles that need preparation for what we really go through and I intend to be ready this year.
Driving Those Muscles
I’ve already started training for this ski season. I hop in the car and drive downtown and back during rush hour. I have no need to go downtown as I have no job, but this exercise strengthens my stop and go traffic muscles. It also reminds me I need new techniques for combatting the tedium of driving 1.5 miles per hour for miles on end. I’ve already discovered my butt muscles are flabby and the seat heater needs to be fixed.
These Boots Were Made for Standing
I started this last week and, quite frankly, I am getting a lot of people staring at me. I go to the post office, the bank or, my personal favorite, The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)—pretty much anywhere I can find long lines of people works. I wear my ski boots and join the line for my training. This gets me used to the lift lines I expect to hang out in for a good part of the upcoming ski season. This works in two ways: I get used to standing there, bored out of my mind, and I break in my new ski boots all at the same time. I also renewed my license which was an added bonus.
Help a Brother Out
My buddy and I have teamed up on this exercise. Whenever he comes over to the house, I offer him a beer and then charge him $10 for it. In return, he invites me to a barbecue at his house and then charges $15 for every burger. This gets our financial muscles trained so they don’t freak out on the mountain. I’ve been going at it extra hard lately and made my kid forfeit her allowance this week for a Snickers bar. This is for her benefit as well as mine, because one day she’ll be on her own and Daddy Warbucks won’t be around anymore.
Work for It
Another exercise that requires you to wear your ski boots is going to the bathroom. And not just any bathroom—anytime I have to go, I strap on the boots and go downstairs. If I am already downstairs, I go upstairs. This mimics the layout of any ski lodge ever designed by whoever the idiot is who designs them. I know of only one lodge in America that has a bathroom on the ground floor and I’m not divulging it here or the lines will mimic the DMV.
The Hunt is On
This one is hard to imitate in training, but this is the best I can do. I load up a tray with drinks, burgers, and pretty much anything that will slide or spill and then walk around the house aimlessly. It works best when wearing ski boots, but I don’t want to mess up my own carpet with spilled drinks. This imitates the endless search for a table at lunch time that we all go through. The trick is to find a seat before the burger gets cold, the hot chocolate becomes just chocolate milk, and without spilling $5 worth of beer on your tray. Good luck with that.
The Death March
I hang a pair of skis from a rope tied to a tree branch and then spin it around. I stand there with my skis on my shoulder and try to duck my head before being beaned by the old boards I sent spinning. This perfectly imitates not only the walk through the ski village at the end of the day, but also the entrance to the gondola when everyone is realizing they have to hold their skis upright and not on their shoulders. For added effectiveness, and only for expert training, have a pair hanging and spinning behind you, too.
Running Hot and Cold
This isn’t for skiing, but is also an important part of your day. To get ready for the hot tub action back at the condo, I fill the bathtub with scalding hot water, climb in and then turn the shower on with ice-cold water raining down. This trains you for the hot-tub-in-a-snowstorm way we all relax at the end of the day. For added realism, have 4 or 7 people climb in with you and try to get comfortable. If you can pull this and the other exercises off, you’re ready for the mountain.