A week after the LeBron X hit NIKEiD, and a day after the “Canary Diamond” version of the shoe lit the Internet ablaze, I arrived a bit later to the lower Manhattan sports complex to begin Week 2. The theme for of the day was speed, and D-Train didn’t waste any time in walking the group through the warm-ups. Following sets of high-knee kicks, lunges, defensive slides (with a thick rubber band strapped around our ankles for resistance), hip flexors, walking push-ups and groin stretches, we were instructed to break into groups of two, single file, stretched out across the baseline. The purpose of this drill was to maximize one’s velocity and build explosion. As you can imagine, this drill was no joke. After completing two sets of sprints, the next drill was a variation of LeBron’s chase down block.
From the same stationary push up position, the first man and the second man are vertically positioned about five feet apart from one another, with the lead’s foot on the block and the trailer’s hand on the baseline. When coach D-Train gave the first signal — in this case Maze and I were partnered — Maze had to begin running to the other end, and on the second signal, I had to explode up, sprint and try to tag Maze before he reached the baseline. By the time, I reached the opposite basket about half of the group was gasping for air, as if oxygen was vacuumed out of the facility.
The Nike + enabled version of the LeBron X (retailing at $270 for the Sports Pack) allows one to track their steps per second and quickest moments. The strong, yet ultra-lightweight Flywire cables — designed to move naturally with the body —provides lockdown protection during sudden changes of direction. The hyperfuse upper makes it a dream shoe for sneakerheads, and non-purists as well, as it allows for ventilation coupled with a fit for comfort.
By the time the group was separated into teams, fatigue had set in and many of us had little energy to make the full-court games competitive. This week, we were missing Ben from Slam and G from Complex, so two Nike staffers had to sub in to even it out. The games were sloppy, and the lack of defense was glaringly apparent to the staff watching from the sidelines. In the combined 25 minutes of action, I accumulated 521 Nike fuel points, and my vertical and top speed slightly dipped from last week, 21.11 and 5.8, respectively, on the court.
Now that I have my wind back, I’m looking forward to next week. Although, my stats dropped a little between Week 1 and 2, the Nike + technology breaks down exactly which areas I need to improve upon on the court. Naturally, towards the end of the session my activity decreased due to fatigue, but during my peak, the numbers equaled or were slightly more than the week before. And that’s the joy of it all. I know that with each day, I’m improving.