Column: Earth – the original gym


So there I was, inches away from executing a one rep groin snap that would render me worthless and on the side of what would be classified as a green circle slope, or whatever the most innocuous run at a ski resort would be. Thing was, I was in the backcountry of Colorado’s Never Summer mountain range, a half hour ski to the yurt where we were staying, another 30-minute ski to the car and an hour drive to cell phone service. The only person around was my girlfriend, armed with a camera, at the top of the otherwise untouched run we climbed using alpine touring skis with skins.

Thankfully everything stayed intact and I was able to lay in the snow and laugh at the clumsy turn that became a forward lunge of nightmares.

I love using earth as my training ground. Not in a badass Navy Seal or extreme sport minimalist type way, but in a just ordinary guy who wants to be in shape for the life he wants to lead, sort of way. I’d rather put on a pack and hike a mountain than hit any machine at the gym. You’ll never find me on a treadmill. The last time I was on one of those things, I stepped on the side and the next thing I knew my nose was in the instep of my foot. That was years of flexibility ago.

Anyway, as an active dude in his mid 30s, I’ve figured the most important thing is to match your workout to what you want to do. If you want to look good at the beach, go for it. If you don’t want to tear a groin while skiing, then do exercises that might prevent it.

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