Indianapolis, Ind. (January 31, 2008) â€“ I hope everyone is having a good new year. 2008 looks set to be another exciting year of racing on and off the track.
Itâ€™s been nearly three months since I returned home from England where I competed in the 2007 Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy for the Team USA Scholarship, but to be honest, it feels longer. Experiencing and racing in England was a fantastic opportunity and Iâ€˜ll never forget my time there.
To start off the new-year I went to the PitFit training center in Indianapolis, Indiana. I spent five days straight, boxing, swimming and rock climbing, and worked on improving my weight and cardiovascular training. Each day I would participate in a different activity working on different muscles and improving my endurance and strength. Ryan Von Rueden taught and trained me throughout the week, helping me push through as many activities as possible. Each workout was rigorous, as expected, but gave me a good perspective on areas that I can continue to work on throughout the year.
One of my favorite activities was the boxing class, taught by Kristy Follmar. She is a former professional boxer who was the Indiana Golden Gloves champion in 1999 and 2000, and NABC Featherweight champion in 2002 and 2003. She retired in 2005 and currently hosts boxing classes with PitFit clients. It was the most intense class/workout Iâ€™d participated in, but the techniques involved with boxing made it an enjoyable class. Youâ€™re constantly moving, conserving you energy until you need it the most, and keeping focused on the target. Of course, you donâ€™t box another opponent in this class, which is what my dad thought. â€œOh yeah! I knocked out that guy I raced against last week!â€ No, we used punching bagsâ€¦ Man those things are relentless!
It was below freezing for most of the time we were there, but that didnâ€™t keep me from experiencing a little fun in the snow. I had never seen anything bigger than a frozen glass of water until I arrived in Indianapolis. Ponds, lakes, rivers, creeks, pools and even bridges were completely frozen. During a windy day I would look at a pond, expecting to see ripples, but nothing. Then when the snow covered the ponds, it was like looking at a giant sheet of paper. Unfortunately it only snowed a couple of inches one night, but the white powder lasted the week because of the freezing temperatures.
To cap off an exciting and painful weekend myself, Ryan, and a fellow driver went indoor rock climbing. Itâ€™d had been six or seven years since I had last gone rock climbing [probably at a friendâ€™s birthday party, and when I was afraid of heights] but I was excited about trying a new sport. It was an awesome feeling climbing all over the place, but towards the end of the day, we started getting a little serious and began challenging each other to climb up certain walls. It was all fun and games, but we kept each other busy one-upping each other.
Overall, it was an enjoyable experience from day one. I learned a lot of new workout activities that I can work on at home, and even met up with some drivers in Champ Car Atlantic and Indy Pro. I made a few new friends through PitFit and hope to get involved with one of their programs they have to offer soon.
I want to thank Jim Leo [Founder and CEO of PitFit] for allowing me the opportunity to experience what PitFit has to offer, and Ryan Von Rueden [Pit Crew and Driver Trainer] for pushing me and keeping me up and running though out the routines.