Tag Archives: bjj

What’s on your Bucket List?

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of catching up with a friend at church.  His wife is currently training for her first full IronMan and was out training in the Texas heat by riding 65 miles.  Like I am sure the spouse of any endurance athlete feels every once in a while if they are being honest, he mentioned he was ready for the race to be done so the training could end and it would no longer be on the bucket list.  So I asked him

“Well, what’s on your bucket list?”

His answer was not what I had expected at all.

“I have pretty much done mine.  Martial arts – check.  Hockey – check.  Bass guitar – check.”

That got me really thinking.  If your bucket list is done, what is left?  Simple – adding more items to the bucket list.

Ok Andrew – what is on your travel bucket list?  What the things you want to accomplish around your fitness goals and keeping sane on the road?  So here are the top 5ons my RoadWarriorFit bucket list.

Swim in both the Atlantic and the Pacific on the same day.

I am never sure whether to cry or get excited every time I think about completing this one.  I am the kind of traveler that if I am in sight of the ocean, I have to get salty.  So much so that I have been known to take the last flight out of Miami just so I can hit the beach for an hour or even squeeze in a 30-minute run next to big blue.  I have had the opportunity to complete this one slip through my fingers on 4 different occasions that I can remember.  The challenge here is it usually means I am getting up way early to swim before meetings and staying up way late to swim after my plane lands.   Throw in a 5+ hour flight and that is one really long day.  Going to have to happen though.

Complete a RunDisney event.

If you are unfamiliar with these events, you need to check them out at rundisney.com.  I have registered and paid for 3 different RunDisney events over the last 5 years, including the Inaugural Star Wars ½ Marathon.  I have even gone so far as to train (including the long runs) to be ready and something has come up to prevent me from going.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  TIME.  I am so into this that I even know what my running costume will be if (when, I mean when) I will be able to check this one off.  For a great read on how to really maximize this goal, check out my friend Jennifer’s blog here.

Visit all 50 States:

Last I checked I think I am at 42 states that I have visited for work (43 in total).  I have the sick desire to visit all 50 on work trips.  I know it is a basic bucket list items but still, I want to make this happen.

Run the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Yep, those steps.  The ones Rocky conquers in Rocky III.  The ones I went to run about 2 years ago and headed the wrong direction out of the hotel and never made it.  I can hear the theme music now and can almost taste the raw eggs.

Train at one of the top MMA gyms in the country:

I make it a habit to research, contact and train at the martial arts gyms in my destination cities.  Just this week I trained at Art of Eight in San Diego during my trip.  There are a few top gyms that I have the goal of training with (assuming they let me).  I am one of those freaks who likes to get kicked in the head and who better to get kicked by than those who train with the best?

Bonus item – Workout aggressively in an airport

This one is just silly and I think it would be fun to have someone video other’s reactions while I was doing it.  I want to plan and complete a workout in the terminal of an airport.  And not some walking lunges, wall sit easily hidden workout, no, I want Shaun T/Insanity, sweat dripping,  “What is that freak doing?” kind of a workout.  The kind that would have to take place in another one of those airports with an Admirals Club with showers in it.

I have been blessed to be able to do a lot of really cool things while on the road, especially around fitness but there are a few that have escaped me thus far.  This was my top 5 list – would love to hear yours.  Let me know in the comments below and I look forward to seeing you on the road.

My favorite travel things….

Anyone who travels at all knows that life is just easier when you can carry everything with you on the plane and skip the fun of the baggage carrousel.  There is no place I would rather be less than standing around watching the metal conveyor belt revolve around a carpeted island of futility and wasted time.  I avoid it at all costs.  It does not matter whether I am traveling for the day or for the week, you can bet I will be getting it all to fit in the overhead bin so I pay special attention to what I pack in my bag.  Suitcase space is premium real estate and has to be utilized well.

So what are the things that make the grade for me?

Here is my list of what holds special place in my carry on and why.  These are just a few of my favorite things (cue the edelweiss background music):

shoes
Vibram Five Finger Shoes:

This was probably the first product that I purchased specifically because of the way they travel and the one that I get the most comments on.  Vibrams to put it simply, are awesome and yes, I do run in them regularly.  Now I am not in the camp that is all about minimalist footwear or the camp that wears Five Finger shoes because they will help strengthen the smaller muscles in your feet.  For me, these are all about how much space they take up in a suitcase.  When you wear a size 11 shoe like I do, your tennis shoes take up a lot of space, even if you do stuff them with socks and underwear.  These take up less space than my flip flops and I really do love working out in them now.  I started on the space argument but now don’t think I would ever switch back to traditional shoes.  To shop for your own, click here.

jump rope

Jump Rope:

This is one that travels with me about 50% of the time based on the hotel gym I may be encountering.   All you need is about 10 sq ft of space with an 8 ft ceiling and you can get a great HIIT cardio workout in.  One thing to note, if you carry a weighted speed rope like I do, be prepared to be stopped by TSA about 50% of the time.  They are not used to seeing them and often confuse them with a club of some type.  I have never been stopped when I have carried my true rope with wooden handles though.

shaker bottle
Water bottle:

Seems simple enough but I did a whole blog post on just this about a year ago.  I know carry a ‘Premium’ bottle with me so that I can have both the benefit of tracking the water I intake as well as being able to utilize the shaker function.

TRX
TRX:

I LOVE MY TRX!!!  However it usually only travels with me when I know the hotel gym that I will be experiencing is beyond lackluster.  This one really does take up a lot of space but is totally worth it.  I use it routinely at home and on the road and you can get a GREAT workout with this single apparatus.  With the door mount, you don’t even have to leave the hotel room.  Best travel fitness investment I have ever made.

Snack bag:

You can read all about the contents here but I always travel with a snack bag, even day trips.  If I am going to invest my time and energy into making sure I get a good workout in, I am going to do everything I can to not sabotage it by making poor dietary choices if I can avoid them.   I always also include Shakeology in my bag as I want complete nutrition.

mouthpiece
Mouthpiece:

So this one is pretty specific to the martial artist but it does bring up a good point.  I love to train in martial arts, especially rolling BJJ.  One piece of equipment that is critical to preventing injury is wearing a mouthpiece so I travel with one everywhere I go.  A mouthpiece is custom fit to your mouth so it is not like you just go borrow one or pick one up at Walmart.  By having my mouthpiece, I can go roll at any school that will have me with little to no notice.  It lets me pursue one of my passions.  For you it may be a raquette or a club but bring along what you are passionate about so that if the opportunity arises (or you create it), you are not left with the excuse “It is too bad I did not have my……”

So there you have it, the list of my favorite things that may or may not be in your suitcase today.  What makes your cut?  What are the things you simply can’t travel without?

For full disclosure, I am not receiving any type of incentive from the companies that make or distribute these products, with the exception of Shakeology as I am a Beachbody Coach.

Starting over….but not from the same spot.

These last couple of months have been really rough travel months for me.  I have spent more days on the road than I can count, been to all four corners of the country and in looking towards the end of the month, there is no letup in sight.  I’m not going to lie; it has been difficult to keep my physical, emotional and especially my mental health in a good place through this season.

I find when I go on streaks like this, it is my mental health that seems to suffer the most, especially due to the central role my martial arts training contributes to keeping me centered.  You see when you are on a mat with someone who is either trying to kick you in the head or stop you from breathing, you tend hyper focus on the moment and not worry about anything else.  I no longer think about that project that is due, the deal I am trying to get closed or even the next blog post.  I am completely in the moment.  It really is cathartic for me.

The problem is, you have to be on the mat to really train and you can’t be on the mat if you are constantly on the road!!

I remember when I first started training in American Karate I started with a clear goal in mind, I wanted to earn my black belt before I turned 40.  I knew the minimum time requirement spent at each belt level per the curriculum and knew that as long as I did not miss training sessions and always passed my belt tests, I could do it but just barely.  Fast forward 5 years and I received my black belt 3 months before my 40th birthday in dramatic fashion (read about that experience here).  If I had had a section of travel like the season has been, it would have been devastating to me and put me way off on my goals, my training and my attitude.  Training was about rank advancement not necessarily personal improvement at that point.

DSC_0303

A forced break like this would have destroyed me.

In addition to training in karate, I also recently started training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.  This forced break has made me realize that I have taken a completely different approach to training and my mindset.  The different approach was not an intentional one but one that is a probably healthier.  Maybe it is because I have lower expectations due to my schedule or maybe it is because I have matured as a martial artist but I have no expectations around rank advancement in BJJ.   No goals around when I will advance, tournaments to win or techniques to master.  I just roll and learn…..and get lost in my own head.

I am a no-stripe white belt and I am OK with that.

DSC_0273

During my forced hiatus, I have continued to see my training partners and friends tweet, post, Instagram and Periscope their ongoing training sessions.  I can literally see them progress past my skill level, and I am ok with that.  This new journey has become much more than a color on a belt for me and their journey is not mine.  I have also found that there is so much I can do off the mat to be ready to be on the mat and in seasons like this, it is where my training has focused.

So why share all of this?  Because as RoadWarriors, it is easy to lose track of getting centered.  We are trying to be productive, to utilize our time to the greatest of our ability and to simply survive the gauntlet that is living life on the road but even with all of that, you have to make time for the activities that center you.  So what do you do to keep yourself centered and how do you make it a part of your daily routine?  For me it is train, pray and read.  I am not sure what it is for you but you have to make sure you do it.

Let me know and I will see you on the road.