Monday, February 21, 2011

Ultra Essentials: Common Sense
If pressed, I would have to say that I'm partial to French Lavender.  Though Fresh Mint does have some rejuvenating qualities that are able to slap me back into reality after the most grueling day.

Yes, common sense is vital in transporting my body 100+ miles on race day, but Common Sense has become a necessity in cleaning up the mess I have made of my body in the process.

About 2 hours into a workout or race my mind will start to meander towards my post workout/race shower.  I can't help it.  I might be inspired by the smell emanating from my body.  (Winter training can be debilitating in this regard because when dealing with heavy sweatshirts and coats and snow pants, daily washing is an impossibility).  But I'm also surely transfixed with the notion of being lathered up in a steaming, hot shower where I can finally assuage some of the pain that is taking a joy ride through my muscles and general central nervous system.

During training for the 100 Mile Snowshoe Challenge, I've grown rather fond of my post-workout shower after trudging in sub zero weather for hours on end.  Those ice crystals forming in my eyebrows can be painful, truly.

So is this guy really writing about body wash?  Yes, I am - and I'll do so proudly with all my masculinity intact.  I'll go so far as to brush upon skin care notions and moisturizing effects!  Hey, you all know I'm heavily tattooed.  Many of you can't believe the vibrant colors I have going on some tats that are 10 years old!  So, skin care is not some kind of froufrou wuss thing.  (Yes, I'm on thin ice here, I know.)

And yes, most people expect me to talk about the new legions of compression tights or nutritional supplements that make me perform better.  Blah blah blah.  In due time.  There are plenty of sponsored athletes out there who will claim this and that for you, I promise.  I'll just speak to you about what I really know and enjoy and makes me feel better as a person - which, ultimately, is requisite to feel good as an athlete.

Foremost, when you deal with every form of skin abrasion and rash (yes, gross I know - but it's a reality in ultra distance racing) you need a gentle cleanser.  When you are damp and wet most of the day, you need to be careful not to have your skin dry out - ironic, I know.  As an Ironman I would be doing 3-4 workouts a day and usually showering after each one.

The reason I've grown to love Common Sense Hand and Body Wash is that, not only does it offer me some kind of creature comfort after many hours of abusive body practices - but that it does a good job in aiding me in the recovering from such practices and enhances quality of my skin - which, believe it or not, is a vital component of being able to get up and train such large volumes daily.  A terrible bout of dry skin can derail you no matter how burly you think you are.

 Common Sense writes:
If you frequently need to wash up, the generous portion of moisturizers in our formula can help keep your skin from drying.  We blend together mild coconut-based cleansers, adding just enough water for proper consistency.  Then we mix in pure vegetable glycerine and water soluble castor oil for their excellent moisturizing properties.  To this we add salt for stable consistency, citric acid for balanced pH, and pure plant oils for fragrance.

I know nothing about the chemistry of soap.  I'm already toeing the line of emasculation, I know.  So I draw the line at researching pH levels and what the hell vegetable glycerine is and why it's important!

But this hyper local product from a nearby farm that available in the Pittsfield General Store and Online HERE, is something I've grown to rely on.  With Common Sense you get that quality that only comes from a sincere devotion to a work of art from a loving artist.

There is a certain amount of sanity to be found in pampering yourself after demanding that your body ready itself for a 100 mile snowshoe race.

I would go so far as to claim that aromatherapy might be just as important as any post-workout powder or pill.  What eases the mind eases the body.  When a body is tranquil (and clean) it will recover.  Hence, with Common Sense bathing becomes an ablution, a moment to pause and be mindful of how exceptionally wonderful the moment in the shower feels.

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