Road Test

I can tell Jonathan is worried. My competition training just started, and I’ve been gone for most of the week, working on a story in Southern California.IMG_7403

Jonathan knows my checkered past with traveling. First of all, the only exercise I tend to do on the road is churn out reasons why I can’t workout:

-I’m too tired.
-I’m too close to the beach.
-The hotel bed has 15 pillows. Why would I get out of it earlier than I have to?
-That room they call a “fitness center” is so sad with it’s one lonely treadmill and hodgepodge of dumbbells. I can’t get motivated to workout in there.
-I’ve been lugging around my suitcase all day, doesn’t that count as lifting?
-I had to run to the gate to catch my connecting flight. That’s cardio right there.

There’s a lot of internal dialogue going on in this head.

Second of all, I have this thing where when I travel, I constantly feel like I should eat as much as I can, whenever I can. You know, eat now while I have the chance, because, what if I get hungry on the plane and there’s no food available? Or what if I’m hungry when I land, and it’s too late—all of the restaurants and grocery stores are closed?

Even when my flight does land at a time when everything is open, I worry: What if I get hungry again later tonight when everything is closed? So I ask for a to-go box, pour in the entire basket of chips that’s sitting on the table and head to my hotel. There’s something about being away from familiar territory—not knowing where or when I’ll be able to eat again—that turns me into a squirrel or something getting ready for winter. But instead of scurrying around, stashing nuts in trees, I stash my back-up food supply in myself and it turns into extra-curricular inches. I mean as soon as I get through airport security, I start scanning the terminal—restaurants, vending machines— even though I’m not even hungry. I want food, just in case I’m hungry later. I realize how batty this sounds. That’s why when I’m traveling with people I know, I try my best to repress the cray-cray. But when I’m on my own, if food is in sight, it’s in mind, then it’s in my mouth. Healthy or not.

This trip, I knew I wouldn’t be traveling with anyone. I was meeting our crew out there. Yeah, uh oh, is right.

I mean, that’s not gonna fly under Jonathan’s watch. Can you imagine if I told him I ate french fries and chips all week, not because I was hungry … but because I thought I might be hungry later at some point when food might not be available? That I just undid all of our hard work and set us back an additional week because my appetite is predicting Armageddon? Oh, and by the way, this will be happening on a regular basis. I’ll be traveling for work just about every other week this fall.

That would be an awkward conversation.

No, I needed a game plan. My strategy:

To tackle my inner-squirrel, I decided to bring some hard-boiled eggs and Baby Bell cheese with me to the airport in my carry-on. It actually worked! Just having food in my bag, knowing I could eat it at any time—pre or post-apocalypse—kept my imaginary appetite satisfied. And when I was legitimately hungry, my snacks were perfect little pockets of protein to hit the spot. :)

Baby Bell Cheese

In terms of exercise, I decided that before I left, I would work out each day consecutively so that my day-off from the gym (recovery day) would fall on the day I was flying out. I knew I’d be too exhausted to lift after being in the air for 7 hours, so might as well make the day productive and give my muscles that time to rest and rebuild.

But how about the next day? Well, lucky me—around the corner from my hotel was one of those mega-chain gyms where, even if you’re not a member, you can usually snag a day-pass for $5-10. And sometimes if you ask real nice, they’ll let the fee slide and call it a “trial day.” The Fitness Goddesses were with me that night— “trial day” it was!

But then the Fitness Goddesses must have left the vicinity because 2 minutes into my workout, an employee noticed I had sandals on, which I was told, was a liability for them. Therefore I could not continue my workout unless I changed into shoes that covered my toes. Mind you, this gal monitoring the weight room was wearing patent leather pumps. So apparently, you can walk around the gym in high heels as long as they cover your toes but open-toed Crocs are way too unsafe. I didn’t have sneakers to change into. They weren’t on my packing list (another embarrassing indicator that my track record of working out on the road has been 0%). For the Old Me, getting asked to leave the gym would’ve been interpreted as a sign that exercising that day just wasn’t meant to be. The New Me (or at least the This-Week Me) moved on to Plan B: The sad hotel “fitness center.”

"Fitness Center" Dumbells

On the upside, it wasn’t as sad as most. The treadmill wasn’t so lonely (there was an elliptical machine keeping it company) and each dumbbell had a matching partner. On the downside, the lightest dumbbell on the rack was 10 pounds and it was Shoulders Day (I saved Shoulders Day and Biceps Day for this trip because they’re 2 muscle groups that burn out fast and I knew quick workouts would be easier to squeeze in either before or after our story shoots). Anyway, 10 lbs is way too heavy for me to work shoulders.

Strike two.

At this point I had to dig way down deep into the New Me to talk myself out of hanging up my open-toed Crocs at that point and calling it a day.

Plan C: The workout band.
Workout Band
I threw one in my suitcase at the last minute before I left because it felt like something someone who was competing in a fitness competition would do in case they had to “rough it” on the road. Why packing a pair of sneakers didn’t occur to me as well, cannot be explained. Luckily, the band is Croc-compatible and I was able to do a full shoulder workout in the comfort of my hotel room.:)
Rear Delt Flies

Here’s the link to the workout:Shoulders Day On The Road

I felt like such a problem-solver! I even came up with a creative way to “mount” my phone
My Camera Mount
(hanger clips were the perfect height!) so I could snap pics of my workout to A) show Jonathan he had nothing to worry about. I was still on track and B) in case any of you were looking for a No-Shoes, No-Gym, No-Problem Shoulder Routine. Boom! I was on a roll. Tomorrow it was biceps or bust!

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