The proclamation is heard in the office, on social media, at the bar with friends; “It’s leg day.” When someone utters “it’s leg day” the accompanying tone of resentment and even dread is usually followed by an audible “ugh”. This exasperation belies one fact, the person making the utterance is not a cyclist. It’s likely they are a part of the Crossfit cult or on a fitness regimen to tone up and look good in a swimsuit. My immediate thought is, no shit it’s leg day, isn’t every day leg day?
As Cyclists, we cultivate our legs ritualistically. They provide the power that propels us deep into the pain cave, to freedom and to exaltation. Sure, we can talk about building the engine that is our heart and lungs. We do intervals, hill repeats, and sprints to increase aerobic capacity but the act of pushing on our pedals is what makes us move. It is our guns and our guns only that provide the visual evidence of our deposits into the V-Bank. The following is a simple list of acts the Velominati partake in that demonstrate that Every Day is Leg Day:
- Shaving ( Rule #33 )
- Crisp and clean tan line cultivation ( Rule #7 )
- Not taking the stairs when the elevator goes to the 2nd floor
- Recovery Days
- Getting a Happy DeVlaeminck
- Not lifting weights, grocery bags, or small children if it can be avoided
- Gun-oriented narcissism
- Riding bikes at the exclusion of any other form of exercise except sex (in which case you’ve gone Post-race Kelly and it’s a recovery day and therefore, Leg Day)
The Pros go to great lengths in not using their legs to power anything but their bicycles. Coppi used to have his soigneur carry him up flights of stairs to the hotel room. Hincapie would make sure his phone, remote, and other personal needs were at arms’ length on Recovery Days so he wouldn’t have to get off the couch. I wonder if he looked for apartments in Gerona with the toilet in the living room.
Of course most of us are endomorphs who look to be prepubescent boys with bald legs, baby smooth faces, and farmer’s tans. But our legs, our legs are bronzed and chiseled works of effort that would inspire Michelangelo and be worthy of any swimsuit edition (as long as it focuses on the waist down). So regardless of our buggy-whip arms and pencil-necks, let’s celebrate. The next time you hear someone bemoan their own personal leg day hell, remember that for you as well it is leg day. Take pride in the fact that you are a Velominatus and that for you, Every Day is Leg Day. Because on that day, regardless of the day of the week or where on your training calendar it lands, you have done something to honor your pins.