Winter Weekend Warriors

The Winter Weekend Warrior Workout project.

From the brisk chill of a bright April morning on the Susquehanna to the dog days of a late summers afternoon winding along shallow Irondequoit Creek, dodging bugs and rocks, paddlers are out training. In the far north, competitors glide through the woods on the Raquette river after a few days of rain while the ocean tides decide the direction NYC canoeists take on the Hackensack that day.

That all ends when the snow starts falling.

When the paddles are put away and garage door is frozen shut, a very real depression can set in. The days are short and dark, contact with friends who met up at 5:30PM every day is cut to a few texts; “Hey I saw a gap in the ice today!”. To stave off the Holiday calories, some paddlers take to their skis, or join a gym, or wrap up warm enough to run outside,
During the NYMCRA end of season banquet, a handful of paddlers hatched a plan to get together once a week to drink beer and relive the glory days get mad abs and sick cardio. Emma Millspaugh was to be the point person. As a trainer with Metro Fitness in downtown Syracuse, she secured a group rate for a large workout space.  

The group met once for a trial workout and paddle December, and began the weekly routine in early January.
The workouts themselves aimed to hit the whole body, and went heavy on cardio.Emma had several circuits set up each week. Among other things the group would often swing battle ropes, push a 45lb sled, spend time on the rowing machine, and repeatedly hit a tire with a sledge hammer. Emma would explain each exercise and each circuit 4-5 times before we started, and sometimes again during the workouts when we still hadn’t caught on.

The high intensity of the workouts and the group setting kept us pushing each other, and kept us focused on race day.

For our final workout paddlers from NYC, Oneonta, Ithaca, Rochester, Camillus arrived in Syracuse. Katie Peck, Wardell lee, Joe and Dylan did a split paddle workout on Saturday. Just under 2 hours in the morning and afternoon, each. The workouts wrapped around an excellent lunch at Pyramids Halal.

The Sunday workout metro fitness was heavily attended, as was the paddle after on 9-mile creek. Teams included Ed Wagner and Jon V., Phil and Emma, Phoebe and Katie, Ben and Miranda, Joe C1, and Trevor C1/C0. Thankfully it was a bright sunny day, and teams were able to pack up.

The Winter Workout Warrior sessions were a great way to keep those who could make it active throughout the offseason, and continue to foster camaraderie in the community. Next year we will start getting the word out about this program earlier, and hopefully bring more people into the fold.

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