One of my goals when coming to Abu Dhabi was to make some changes to how I've been living.
I don't live a hard life by any stretch of the imagination but I haven't been as active since my two kids were born.
I started working out again about six weeks ago, and now there's something that I'm using to measure my progress in the short-term.
It's called Get Driver Fit.
If you're not into car racing you may not know that Abu Dhabi is home to a Formula 1 racing track.
Formula 1 drivers need to be in peak physical condition to handle some crazy g-force, resist fatigue, and stay sharp during a long grueling race.
The seven-week Get Driver Fit program leads up to the annual race that will be held here at the Yas Marina Circuit. The idea behind the program is to encourage people in the city to get out and be more active.
How I'm leveraging the program
Four Weeks ago I went to the Yas Marina track like I enjoy doing. It's usually open to the public on Tuesday evenings. They put the lights on and you can walk, run, or bike around the track.
Before hitting the tarmac, anyone who wanted to join the Get Driver Fit program was weighed, and measured. Then we were off for a lap of walking around the 5.5 KM track with five stations setup at intervals around the track. Most of stations involved some form of High Intensity Interval Training. We would perform an action for a minute and record the results.
This was a perfect chance to take a snapshot of where I was at, and see if I could improve upon my results.
What's the point of the contest
When everything is all said and done, one luck person will win a trip to the Seychelles. That would be incredible, but in order to do that, you need to have good results (lower BMI and lost inches), attend the free classes provided, improve upon your five fitness tests, and complete what sounds like a cool obstacle course at the end.
My numbers weren't great, but I did my best to push to set an actual benchmark.
All of the results we wrote down were on the honour system. I could have coasted, but I'm 100% bought into the idea of getting fit.
I'm not going to sandbag the baseline
I went all out in the test because I know it's unlikely that I'll be anywhere close to winning. The biggest reason is that most of the free classes start at 7 p.m. or are outside.
7 p.m. is around the time when my wife and I are getting the kids ready for bed. The other issue with classes being outside is that I have vitiligi. That's not a big deal in itself – I've lived with it since I was 10. But it means I'm not able to be out in the sun very long without burning to a crisp. That reduces what I can participate in while the sun is up.
This isn't me quitting before I even get going. It's just being realistic about my goals and where I'm at in life.
My top two reasons for getting involved
Who doesn't like an obstacle course. I would have signed up just so I could do that. I have no idea what it will look like, but whatever it is, I'll attack it with aplomb.
I'm not focusing on weight. I know if I do the right things, I'll get a leaner frame. I'm focusing a lot on doing the right things. That mostly involves getting exercise most days. I'm making sure I say “Most days,” and not “Every Day.” When you say every day, it means missing one day torpedoes your whole plan.
When you say “Most days,” it just means most days. It also lets me take some days off if I'm feeling particularly tired.
I've done a good job of doing around 40 minutes of cardio most mornings. I've also been attending the free Get Driver Fit classes about twice a week. We did some pretty crazy cardio last night and I could feel the difference in my body. Good things are happening.
I'm also not going to weigh myself until the final day. Sometimes people get fixated on weight. I'm just making sure I get to the most days and am cognizant about what I'm eating.
Thanks for reading
I really wanted to write about this and share a little about what I'm up to.
The two main habits I'm fueling are fitness and writing, so you'll definitely see and hear more about this as I finish up the program. Make sure you check back as I'll be publishing a post about how I plan on hacking the test at the end to maximize my results. No cheating. Just putting my focus in the right areas to succeed.