I've been taking Karate classes as National Karate since June of 2005. I credit this with making it much easier for me to loose about 70 pounds through Weight Watchers -- and I suspect I lost a fair amount in the year and a half between starting karate and Weight Watchers. I enjoy karate very much, and in December made the commitment to continue training until I get my second degree black belt. (I'm probably 18 months to 2 years shy of my black belt if I'm doing the math correctly, and the 2nd degree would be at least another 2 years)
However, I've heard that there are physiological and psychological benefits to cross training. This weekend was a good example of me doing cross training.
On Friday, Derrick and I went to the second annual Father Child Rock Climbing event through the church men's group at a climbing gym in Warrenville. We climbed for about two hours, and I did a fair amount of climbing. This is my fourth time indoor climbing (all within a bit over a year), and I'm making plans to do more. I will be getting my own harness, and am thinking of getting one for Derrick, and will get a breaking device since Derrick doesn't like the automatic belay devices. My plan is to go to the gym on Saturday mornings when Tara has to work.
Then, on Saturday I took advantage of the best conditions in many years and did some cross-country skiing at the Mallard Lake Forest Preserve in Hanover Park and Carol Stream -- yes, this is the one with "Mt. Trashmore" along one side, but the ski/bike/hike trail stays away from the old landfill pretty well. I was out for about 90 minutes and enjoyed both exercise and solitude. Unfortunately, it is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow and I suspect that the snow will be long gone by next weekend.
One drawback to all of this exercise is that my right knee is less happy then it has been in a long time. A week ago Wednesday (Jan 23) I hurt it again at karate class, but it seemed fine by the next day. But then last Thursday without doing anything that seemed to injure it Wednesday night, it started bothering me again. On Friday this hampered my climbing a fair amount since I use my right leg a lot when climbing (it is by far my strongest limb). Yesterday, it didn't bother me until I was done. But then it started to be almost sore. This morning it was clearly swollen. But I cannot afford to skip my karate classes tomorrow since I expect to test this month and want to get every opportunity to check that I can.