Sweating At My Desk before A Training Session With Laird Hamilton

Posted: Jul 23 2010


I’m not sure how I get volunteered for these things. A few weeks ago, an e-mail chain popped up at work announcing I would train with Laird Hamilton for a day as he prepares for a four-man endurance-cycling competition called Race Across America. Of course, Laird will stand-up paddle 115 miles from Malibu to Oceanside before the 3,000-mile bike race even begins, and at the race’s conclusion he has opted to stand-up paddle to and around the Statue of Liberty; a thorough bench-pressing of America, if you will.

Needless to say, I’m pretty nervous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m psyched at the opportunity, but training with living superheroes is a dangerous undertaking. And it’s not like we’re going to a gym; I’ve been told we will bike in the morning an undisclosed number of miles, followed by an interminable stand-up paddle through Los Angeles. So if I drown in his wake, well, I guess it’s as literal as it sounds: I drown in his wake.

To demonstrate the intimidation factor, I figured a little by the numbers comparison was in order:
Size:

Laird: 6’3” 215 lbs.
Me: 5’ 6 ” 160 lbs.

Most Notable Achievement:

Laird: Riding arguably the most massive wave ever at Teahupoo
Me: Winning 9th grade speech contest with an essay on discrimination against short people

Athletic Background:

Laird: “The best big wave surfer in the world today, bar none,” says Sam George. “He is the sport’s most complete surfer, displaying almost unnerving expertise in a multitude of disciplines: tow-surfing, bodysurfing, longboarding, sailboarding, and kite-surfing.”
Me: Former collegiate athlete who now works on a computer 10 hours a day and regrets his decision to broadcast past experience as a collegiate athlete. I can hear the rest of the office snickering now, actually.

Laird: Trying to break the Trans-America Cycling world record set in 2004 of 5 days, 8 hours, and 17 minutes.
Me: Being able to walk again within 5 days, 8 hours, and 17 minutes of said training session.

Well, there you have it. If all goes well, I’ll be able to report back on the carnage that is a day in Laird Hamilton’s superhuman training regimen, but to be honest; I’m just hoping to walk home.
By surfermag