Tamika Catchings gets back into workout mode

Welcome to espnW everyone! I'm so excited launch day is finally here, and that I've been invited to be a blogger on this site. I have a forum for discussing whatever I want (well, within reason ...). Should be super sweet!

So, here we go. A bit of background on my pro hoops career: The Indiana Fever drafted me third overall in the 2001 WNBA draft, so even though a knee injury I suffered that year delayed my WNBA debut until 2002, I technically have been in the league for a decade. I can't believe it's been that long -- time flies when you're having fun.

Off the court, I have been focusing on my own Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, called the Catch the Stars Foundation. Our mission is to empower youth by providing goal-setting programs promoting literacy, fitness and mentoring. In a future post, I'll have more on how Catch the Stars helps kids achieve their dreams. For now, a bit about my 2010-11 offseason.

This fall, I was part of the U.S. team that won gold at the World Championships in the Czech Republic, and I've been taking a break from basketball since we got back. That was Oct. 4, and here we are on Dec. 6 ... nice break, but now I have to start moving and get my butt kicked back into gear.

During the offseason I try to pick up a new non-basketball activity as a way to preserve my body and mind. Last year, before I headed over to play pro ball in Poland, I started doing something called Buda Khi, so I'm going to jump back into it.

My Buda Khi sessions involve an hour of martial arts-type movements -- lots of kicking and punching. It's a tough and intense, but fun, cardio workout that I was introduced to by L.J. Easley, a former world champion in karate. Once I tried it, I was hooked. What I love most about Buda Khi (other than LJ, my kick-ass instructor) is that no class is the same. Time flies by while you're doing it, but you are totally exhausted when it's over. That's important for me because my attention span can be short, so I have to find things that keep me engaged.

Along with the Buda Khi, which I do three times a week, I also have a membership at a local health club, so I'm thinking about taking some swimming and yoga classes. The gym has everything -- pool, weights, basketball court, track, cardio equipment, tennis courts and all kinds of different classes. Everything I need is in a 20-mile radius (including Conseco Fieldhouse, where the Pacers and the Fever play), and I move around quite a bit on a daily basis, getting my basketball and weights and Buda Khi done. Sometimes I'm at my health club, and sometimes I'm down at Conseco. I like the variety; it keeps my workouts fresh, and helps me train to be the best me I can be.

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