Anyone who has spent any time on the road knows that it eats at you. The jet-lag, the unfamiliar environment, the constant eating out as well as the evening night client events and/or work sessions to make sure the trip is productive all conspire to tear your spirit, fitness and health down.
Believe me, I know how you feel. Over the last 13 years, I have logged more than a million frequent flier miles, spent a full year in hotel rooms and rented countless rental cars. To put it simply, I live on the road. So much so that I have developed the filter of ‘how will this fit in my roll-aboard’ and apply it to every purchase. I am the kind of person who has two of every toiletry item. Why you ask? Simple, it is way easier to have two of everything than to unpack and repack every week.
Yeah, George Clooney’s got nothing on me……OK, he might have a couple of things on me but whatever.
Back to why RoadWarriorFit.net? The short answer is because I was not RoadWarrior fit for a long time. For the first 6 years of my RoadWarrior journey, I did not give my fitness level a second thought. Heck, I was coaching my sons’ baseball teams, played softball regularly and have even started to do Karate. Out of shape guys don’t do that kind of stuff! I am fitter than most (or so I thought)!!
Problem was I ate just about whatever I wanted…..and I really was not as active as the previous paragraph would lead you to believe (after all, how much effort is there really in telling a bunch of 8 year olds how to field a ground ball?). Reality was I was in my early 30’s but living and eating like I was still in college. Too bad no one told my metabolism that we weren’t still living the good ole days.
That’s when a few seemingly unrelated events got strung together that made me open my eyes and take a hard look at reality. As my journey in martial arts progressed, I was fortunate to be exposed to some advanced level training. I even got to spar on one of the other student’s black belt test. I watched this 18 year old go through the paces and nearly collapse from exhaustion. Here was this ‘kid’ who was in great shape who looked like he was going to throw up at any moment from the effort he was putting in. I knew if I was going to attain the same rank, I could not do it in the shape I was in.
You see, I love to train but as my training time increased, so did the joint pain I would experience the next day. My knees would just hurt. It was on one of those pain filled ‘day after training’ that the second event happened. I was having an innocuous conversation with my boss about one of my expense reports. I wanted to make sure he had seen a particular charge for something or other. It was his commentary that particularly struck me:
“Andrew, how could I not see it? Your expense reports are always the same. $x for flight, $y for car rental and $22.44 for Papa’s Burgers for a cheeseburger and 2 beers. Your expense reports are more predictable than the tides.”
There it was. My bad habits (and they were bad) summed up in 4 sentences. Not only did I eat poorly and then sit on my duff in a hotel room all night, I did so consistently. So consistent that others were shocked when I did something different. I was in my late 30’s, at least 30lbs overweight, was basically sedentary, knew I wasn’t in the shape I should be and was doing nothing about it. It was time to do something about it.
Yes Andrew but why “RoadWarriorFit”!?!? Get to the point!!
Dang you are push but alright then. When I started my journey to fitness, I looked for all kinds of resources to help me achieve my goals while supporting a life lived on the road. What I found was that it either did not exist or was really hard to find.
Sure, there was all of this great content out there but they never worked for me on the road. I would find great workouts that I was excited to try, put together by top level trainers in top level gyms. The challenge would be they were doing them in top level gyms, not the “workout room” I had access to (you know the one with the one working treadmill and broken stair climber).
There were great diet plans that promised to detox my fat and free radical laden system while encouraging weight loss and I am sure they work. However, they always seemed to contain 12 special ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce let alone find in the grocery store. And attempting to explain to a waiter how I wanted all of my food prepared to match said diet plan with any success?…..yeah, good luck with that!!
I knew I had to do it on my own and I did. Don’t let me fool you, I do not have a body fat % in the single digits and you will never see me on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine (however if the editors ever catch wind of this blog, I am open to the idea). I am a lot healthier though. I lost the extra 30lbs, I now place a priority on my fitness and have found a routine that allows me to ensure that my travel enhances my fitness rather than impedes it. The change in focus is one that probably saved my life, literally. More on that in the next post, back to RoadWarriorFit.net.
So here is what I hope to provide through RoadWarriorFit.net:
- A telling of my journey – hopefully you can avoid some of my pitfalls and build off of the successes. And we can share a story or two.
- Fitness Plans – I am not a certified trainer but I know a good work out when I run across it. More importantly, I know what will and won’t work in the hotel gym. We will be compiling workouts for all sorts of folks who have access to all sorts of resources (or lack thereof).
- Diet – I love to cook. I love to emulate dishes I see on the road in restaurants. I also have developed a passion for finding healthy eats in the most unhealthy environments (like any airport in the State of Louisiana)
- Useful Resources – I am not a certified trainer but I know how to surf the internet. Keep checking back for links to new (or at least new to me) products and reviews.
- Reviews – of cities, of hotels, of gyms, of whatever I encounter along the next steps of the RoadWarriorFit.net journey
If you have made it this far, you are obviously either a glutton for punishment or an insomniac but I thank you for sticking it out. I hope that you will continue on the journey with me as we explore what it means to be RoadWarriorFit, regardless of whether that road leads to the other side of the country or just the other side of town.