The Long Shot (episode 4): Gym dandy
As much as I'd like it to be, my preparation for the Michelob Ultra Open in May isn't all about jetting off to the Four Seasons every week to work on my game (and tan). This whole "job" thing is awfully time consuming. So this time, we thought it might be cool to let folks see what "a day in the life" of an aspiring (temporary) LPGAer is really like.
Ideally, I try to hit balls at Chelsea Piers once or twice a week (which is proving to be somewhat ambitious at this point), plus work out with my trainer, Ed Williams, at Peak Performance on my "off" days. I don't hate working out, you might even say I like it, but I do hate waking up before sunrise, especially when it's cold outside.
But improving my strength is one of the biggest hurdles I'll have to face. I'm not nearly as strong as any of the women on tour. Combine that with the fact that I'm not as technically sound, nor do I practice nearly as much, and it's clear that getting stronger is an absolute necessity.
So other than a writer following me around with a notebook (thanks, Morty!) and a camera crew recording my every lunge and leg lift, Episode 4 is a pretty fair representation of my off-course routine. It's a bit of a grind, for sure, but one of the reasons I took on this project -- and a big reason my editors got behind it -- is to show just how hard it is to be good. And it sure helps me look forward to getting to work.
The workout: Sandbag-stepping
The benefit: A stronger core to power drives
"I can't wait to get to the office."
That's all Mag editor Sarah Turcotte can think about as she lunges across a wood floor with a sandbag on each shoulder.
It's 6 a.m., and inside New York City's dimly lit Peak Performance gym, Turcotte has already traded the sports section and a latte for some cruel and unusual punishment. It's just one more sacrifice required in her pursuit of an LPGA sponsor's exemption at next spring's Michelob Ultra Open.
Accompanied by trainer Edward Williams, Turcotte is sculpting her arms, core and lower body with interval training that includes kettle balls, sandbags and the Prowler, a weighted training sled -- all of which is helping her generate the torque that will be necessary to compete.
"Before Sarah started to do this, she was overextending in her swing," Williams says. "She'd use different parts of her body to compensate for a weak core."
Two months later, she has added 15 yards to her drives. So is the pain worth it?
"I'd rather be editing a badly written story about hurling than lugging these sandbags around," Turcotte says.Tough break, Sarah. We don't cover hurling.
-- MORTY AIN
Sarah Turcotte is an editor for ESPN the Magazine. E-mail your A-game tips to THELONGSHOT@ESPN.GO.COM