Detroit, US 42 F

© Laurie Bartolo 2021-2023


The Sled Delivers Big Changes

I’ve spent the summer primarily focused on sled training. With the exception of standard rest days, I’ve pushed the sled every day since mid-May. When I first started, I moved a big stack of plates to my outdoor gym and figured it would be more than enough for a while. After all, I’m pretty small and the sled unloaded is already more than half my body weight. Today, after a full summer of sled work, I loaded up the sled with every plate I had in the outdoor gym and pushed it. Luckily, I have an extra pair of twenty-fives in my indoor gym that I can bring outside so I can continue adding weight to the sled.

While I’m happy with the strength gains on the sled, there is more going on here than getting stronger and leaner. The sled came at a time when I was hungry for change. I needed something to zap that lingering sense of limbo created by a pandemic that never officially ended and a long winter that also seemed never-ending. I wasn’t interested in returning to “normal”, as many people desire, as much as I was longing for something new and palpably different. Taking a trip wasn’t going to fix this. I was looking for an entirely new daily routine.

Just moving my workouts from my basement gym to the outdoors provided a significant change. Initially I thought I’d split my time between the outdoor and indoor gyms. Instead, I moved more equipment outside so I could spend more time outdoors. Similarly, I thought the sled would be a new add-on to my program. Instead, the sled took the lead, and now the program revolves around the sled. Being outdoors and incorporating more conditioning work allowed me to include Rocky in my workouts, providing him with much-needed training and exercise, even more important in the wake of Charlie’s passing. This is the new daily routine I was seeking, forcing me out of limbo into an energized and dynamic state.

The sled delivered more than bigger quads and improved cardio. The restlessness of limbo is gone, chased off by adrenaline produced while pushing a big chunk of steel down a long rugged path. As dreaded seasonal changes loom, I feel more prepared to defeat the “winter blues” with the sled and outdoor gym to counter the effects of reduced sunlight and daylight. And Rocky and I have a great way to bond, train and exercise together each day. Now let’s see how long it takes me to add that fifty pounds to the load.😀