Along the path to enlightenment, there will be some discomfort. As the sayings go, truth will set you free, but it also hurts.
I’ve always said that ice hockey is the toughest sport I’ve played … and maybe the most thorough workout in my usual routine.
But as I’ve found out in the two times I’ve played with my Apple Watch accountability partner, the number of calories I’ve actually been expending doesn’t match up with my perceived effort — or the soreness that sets in afterward.
For instance, after about 25 minutes of what I thought were high-tempo drills at the Baierl Ice Complex in Warrendale, I looked down at my watch to see I had burned about 150 calories. 1-5-0.
THAT’S IT?!? I’M BUSTING MY BUTT OUT HERE!!! I LOATHE YOU, WATCH.
Suddenly, I remembered a bit of insight from a book I’m working my way through. It’s called ‘Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.’ The overarching premise is that the brain dictates how hard we can exert ourselves, more so than our muscle power or calorie stores do.
In other words, reaching and surpassing athletic limits is more based upon motivation than anything else. So, when a couple of players on the other end of the rink asked if I wanted to join for a two-on-two pickup game, I jumped at the request.
With nowhere to hide out there and being maybe the third-best player in our little game, I had to push hard just to keep up with the others. Thirty minutes later, and what do you know? I had burned about twice as many calories in the game as I did while working out by myself for about that long.
For someone like me, who tends to think that I don’t need outside motivations to reach my best — I drive myself, baby! — this was sobering.
But, you can’t hide from the data. (Actually, you can, but I digress.) Fact: I worked nearly twice as hard per minute while competing than I did when I was dictating the pace.
That revelation made me ask some questions of myself, but it’s also a nice reminder that there’s usually something extra deep down. We just have to find a way to dig it out.
Calories burned (active): 1,129
Minutes exercised: 115
Hours stood: 15
Steps taken: 13,146
Physical activity: Weren’t you paying attention? Hockey, hockey, hockey!
Hours shirtless: None, unless you count the lack of undershirt while on the ice. Let’s just count it. One hour.
Semicolon count: 0