Just a short update in between day after day of brilliant sunny sweaty being the last one up (but the first one down; bless you, off-season) the mountain on the bicycle.
Last summer when I started building my life towards a place where I could be coaching full-time, I did some research to figure out other ways I could continue to develop my education of the body. My oft-injured past has given me relatively basic knowledge of the names and functions of the better part of the posterior chain, but it appears that most humans have quite a few more muscles than that so I eventually settled on the National Academy of Sports Medicine - Certified Personal Trainer course and exam.
I chose this one because of the recommendation/certification of a few trainers I know and trust, and it seems to be one of the higher standards for personal training in the US. There are a lot of different packages available on the website that include different levels of instruction as you work your way towards the exam. I chose the most basic one, where they mail you a book, a backpack, and a good luck with that, you can upgrade if you fail.
The website does a fairly convincing job of terrifying you into studying hard with their "40% pass rate" gibberish. I already have a large pile of degrees and certifications still in their mailing envelopes at the bottom of my filing cabinet, so I launched myself back into the same old study/review/test cycle that is how everyone on earth learns. When you sign up for the course, there's a finite time period that passes before you must either take the test or pay for an extension. I got a bit busy ("busy") over the winter and studying dropped there, but finally a few weeks ago I called and scheduled the test for the last day before I expired, this past Monday. I spent the last few weeks brushing up on the material, then most of Monday morning stress-eating my way through a few practice tests and a rather large portion of Phil Maffetone fudge before a quick leg-yanking sesh (most on this soon...maybe) and then I toddled off to the exam center. Obviously I wouldn't be discussing this if I had royally flunked the exam, so it's safe to assume that I passed, which I did and no, the car was not in motion when I snapped this shot and my god, do I need a haircut.
There are at least four million blog posts talking about how to study for and pass the exam, so I won't waste too much wit on that, but I felt like the exam was appropriately difficult and covered the hot topics of the course well. Whether or not I had passed the exam, the knowledge that I gained by moving through the education process has been extremely valuable to me, both as an athlete and as a coach. (I hear the faint sounds of my athletes groaning about strength workouts ringing here). I know that most coaches have strong opinions one way or another about where when how much strength training to include in triathlon training, and I personally believe that it makes for an athlete that is more durable year over year. I don't have a strong public opinion about how it is involved in the training load and I'm not even going to twist my mouth to mention Crossfit because I have no interest in contributing to the war being waged on rhadbo by people with less than 8% body fat.
So, more letters, bigger brain (snort), extra liability insurance and I'm out the door to deepen the seam imprints on my battered special places. Please to pardon a higher level of typos and misplaced words than usual due to the fact that the part of my brain that spell-checks blog posts is on hiatus until the sores revert back into calluses. And when I'm bitching about saddle sores you know that I am having about as much fun as a girl can have.