Tag Archives: road warrior

Have Gi – Will Travel

Welcome to my new series, Have Gi – Will Travel.   Let me warn you in advance that these posts really are for a very specialized audience.  The traveling martial artist.  More and more as I travel, I am contacting dojos in my destination cities to inquire about training at their facilities.  The good news is you are the beneficiary of my experiences.

This first episode of Have Gi – Will Travel will detail out the rules of the traveling martial artist.

Always disclose your purpose:

Every Martial Arts school that I have ever come in contact with has some type of “Hey – come try us out” special.   My goal is to train every chance I get, not to bilk the system.  If I like a school, you can be sure I will want to come back.  Thus, I will contact all schools in advance and not only ask permission to train but also if there are any appropriate mat fees.

My opinions are always my own:

I am not (currently) sponsored in any way.  I get nothing other than knowledge, comraderie and physical fitness from training with any of these folks.  There is no bias (other than my own) to my reviews.

Every opinion I share here, I also share on social media:

My goal is to promote martial arts and martial artists.  The reality is that reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Trip Adviser, etc. make a real difference in the success of these small businesses.  I am more than happy to share my opinion so they can gain exposure and in the end, more business.

I realize that different schools have different goals:

I lie much more on the martial than the art of martial arts.  With that said, I can learn from both the yin and the yang.  Especially with me, the school should not adjust to the pupil, the pupil should adjust to the master.

I will stay humble and open minded:

It is really easy to fall into the mindset that ‘X’ martial art is the best….or ‘Y’ technique does not work in real life.  While I will certainly focus on the arts that interest me the most (Karate, BJJ and Mui Tai) if I stumble across the occasional Kung Fu or Aikido class, I am not going to shy away.

So come along with me on my journey across the US and the Martial Arts scene.  The first few posts will be of my favorite schools across that country that have been generous enough to let me train with them.  From there, we will experience this journey together.

Do you remember your second step?

Do you ever look back on a journey and ask “what was the second step?”  No.  Most everyone remembers the first step, the proverbial hardest one, but very few remember let alone talk about the second, the third, the fourth, etc.  Well that is what I want to talk about today.

When I first started focusing on my health and fitness level while traveling, I had to start somewhere, right?  Noone just makes a massive change in everything they do, do they?

Certainly not me.

So where does one start on this journey towards a healthier version of yourself?  Here are the 3 changes I made to start.

Change #1:  Nothing Fried

OK people, don’t underestimate how big a change this really was for me.  I would literally eat burgers with fries or fish & chips every day I was on the road.  Literally!!  So this was the first real change I made.  If it came out of a deep fryer, I was not eating it.

The first change here is funny to look back on but I no longer ordered the fish & chips and went with the burger (or chicken sandwich) instead.  I would then substitute a dinner salad for the fries.  I must have had this combination hundreds of times and still do pretty regularly actually.

Change #2:  Do Something – Every Day!!

With how much I love to work out now, it is hard to remember back to a time when I did nothing but that was exactly what I did for years.  Now mind you, I would pack workout clothes every trip but they never saw anything but the inside of a suite case.  In fact, for a while, I was traveling to Houston so often that I literally set up an apartment at one of my communities.  With how much I love to work out now, it is hard to remember back to a time when I did nothing but that was exactly what I did for years.  Now mind you, I would pack workout clothes every trip but they never saw anything but the inside of a suite case.  In fact, for a while, I was traveling to Houston so often that I literally set up an apartment at one of my communities.  They gym there was fantastic.  I think I can count on one hand how many times I actually used it back then.

This change is actually where my guardrail for Workout before Wine came from.  I figured if I wanted to have the extra calories contained in the alcohol, I needed to earn it first….and I really like wine.

Change #3:  Rethink “Free”

Extra (fattening) calories are everywhere for the RoadWarrior!!  The cookie at check-in with the hotel.  The waffle maker and bacon at breakfast.  The evening desert bar in the concierge lounge and THE ALCOHOL EVERYWHERE!!!  Hotel and airlines are very good about making sure their best travelers are well taken care of.

These freebies are anything but free.  It is way too easy to find yourself on glass #3 or desert #2 or having desert every night you travel.  My big change was to eat on the road like I would at home.  I do not have desert every night at home.  I am not having 3 glasses of wine a night at home.

Now notice I did not say I gave all that up.  Nope, I just was conscious in my choices of what I would partake in and what I would not.

So those were my steps two, three and four.  Nothing majorly groundbreaking.  No healthy living overhaul.  Just 3 things I could do every day to get closer to RoadWarriorFit.

So how about you?

What is your next step?

What would you give up?

Welcome to the Lenten season!!  That wonderful time of year when some choose what vice they will give up in order to worship the One who gave up everything for them.  If your Twitter/Facebook feed is anything like mine is, it is filled with people either disclosing their vice of choice or professing what indulgence they will do without until Easter.  All of this sacrifice got me to thinking, what would I really like to ‘give up’ (read ‘purge’) from my life?

What would a Road Warrior like to give up if we really could?

So in honor of Lent, here is my top 40 list of things I would more than happily ‘fast’ from this Lenten season:

  1. Flights that depart prior to 7:00 AM: They look great on the calendar.  “I’ll be able to spend the night at home the night before the trip” is a great way to convince yourself you are doing something special for your family.  Reality is they want to kill you when you are getting ready at 4:30 in the morning.  This is a no-win scenario any way you cut it.
  2. Turbulence: Seriously, if I wanted a roller coaster ride, I would head to the nearest Six Flags park.
  3. Sitting in coach: Yes, I am spoiled but if I get to make the list, sitting in coach is one of the first things I would be willing to ‘give up’ for Lent.
  4. Foam Mattresses: I sincerely would like to introduce whoever invented these beauties to karate mat.  They deserve a good kick in the head.
  5. Airport Food: Yes, there are some good spots but for the most part it is abysmal.
  6. Weather Delays: Hey – this is my list and I get to declare that there are no more delays due to white flaky stuff falling from the sky.Calendar
  7. 3 day trips that span 3 time zones: Seriously, why can’t we book multiple appointments in the same time zone (let alone the same city)?
  8. ‘Day Trips’ lasting 16+ hours: We seriously need to reevaluate what constitutes a ‘day trip’.  Just because you can get to/from a market within a 24 hour period does not necessarily mean you should.Ceiling Height
  9. Hotel ‘gyms’ that consist of a treadmill and a broken down StairMaster: And putting a paper note of apology on the broken treadmill does not make it any better.  Fix the equipment for God’s sake.
  10. The casual traveler who thinks the RoadWarrior life a glamorous one: Really?  Yes, I get to ‘see’ lots of great places.  As long as you define ‘see’ as a path that consists of the Airport, hotel, client office followed by a return visit to the airport.
  11. Taking flights on a non-preferred airline: I fly one preferred airline for a reason (see #3).  I would like them to fly direct from every possible location to every possible location.  Is that too much to ask?
  12. Compact Rental Cars: I hesitate to call half of these cars.  I don’t know how Europe deals with it.
  13. Sunday Travel: I sincerely HATE this.
  14. Friday Return flights: Second only to Sunday departures.  Sundays and Friday are made for family and home.
  15. Conferences: Oh if one could only dream of this world.
  16. Hotel rooms without coffee makers: This is just mean!!
  17. Hotel up-lighting: I realize you want the building to look good from the exterior but if we could manage to find a way to not have a metal halide light equivalent to the sun pointed directly into my window, I would appreciate it.
  18. The forgotten toiletry: There is always something I miss replacing.  Couldn’t a magical fairy replace it for me without my involvement?
  19. Out of Office: Why even bother?  I am always Out of the Office.
  20. Emails from your travel booking system: Yes, I know my trip is upcoming.  So is the one you will email me about tomorrow.  STOP!!  You are just filling up my email box.
  21. TSA Security Line Banter: Yes, I know I need to take off my shoes and belt.  I even know that I am not allowed liquids or gels in containers larger than 4 oz.  I do not need to be continually educated about the procedures as I stand in line to go through the Pre-check line for 20 minutes.denver-tsa-line
  22. Travelers who travel once a year who are TSA Pre-checked: Why did you even bother?   You waited way longer for your interview than you would have going through security.it will fit
  23. Travelers with no sense of special awareness: No, your overstuffed ‘roll aboard’ is not going to fit in the overhead compartment on this Embraer Jet.
  24. Overhead compartments in an Embraer Jet: Really Embraer?   There is not even room for my jacket on the left hand side of the plane.
  25. Clueless casual travelers: (Sensing a trend now?) People – shoes come off, all metal and electronics out of pockets and liquids out of the bag.  It really is not that hard and by the way, look back up at #20 – we have been listening to them tell us this for the last 15 minutes straight.
  26. Barbie Ironing Boards: I paid good money to sleep in your hotel room.  Please provide me an ironing board that actually allows me to iron my shirt.
  27. Something forgotten at home: As hard as I try, there is always something I miss at home.  I get the text from my wife and just want to crawl into the fetal position.  I really could do without this.
  28. Booking 9 AM meetings that start EST when you are actually in PST: This one is completely self-inflicted but dear God, I have got to pay more attention to when a call starts relative to where I will be sleeping the previous night.
  29. Co-workers scheduling calls that start immediately after you land: I realize that the time was ‘free’ on my calendar but seriously, do I have to put an appointment on my calendar that says ‘walk through airport’.
  30. Rental Car Shuttle buses: I know it is impractical but man I wish every rental car pick-up was on airport property.
  31. Unrealistic per diems: I am not an extravagant traveler by any means but sometimes, the hotels that you can get for the company per diem are just not up to snuff.
  32. Expense reports: I know, I know. The aps that are available now make this way easier but I still do not know a single RoadWarrior who enjoys this process.
  33. Useless upgrades: I cannot tell you how many times I have been ‘upgraded’ to the suite level at hotels when I am checking in at 1:00 AM and checking out at 8:00 AM.  Thanks for the extra sitting space that I will not use.
  34. On Demand Movie Preview Channels: I never order them (I have Netflix after all) and as much as I like Mario Lopez, I really don’t need to see him every time I turn on the TV.
  35. Brown Food: Why is it that restaurants (hotel and airport restaurants in particular) serve mainly brown food?  Is it really that hard to make a salad?  There has to be more green than brown food out there, right?
  36. Promotional emails: From everybody.  I am pretty convinced that Southwest Airlines monitors your flight schedule and purposefully sends you an email while you are in flight so you will think about them when you land.
  37. Office get-together emails: It is just mean to send me an email about the leftover bagels/donuts/pizza/happy hour that is going on in the office today.
  38. Slow airport wi-fi: When Jerry Jones built the new Cowboy Stadium, he wanted to be sure that it had the bandwidth to support over 100,000 people posting to social media at the same time without lag.  Airport IT Directors, please take note.
  39. Checked bags: No one needs this drama and time suck.
  40. Worrying about any of this stuff: Life is too short to allow any of the above to affect you.  Love others as God loves you and enjoy the journey.

Hope you got a chuckle at one or two of the above.  See you on the road!

How does a RoadWarrior ‘Eat Clean’ on the Road? By minding her P’s & Q’s!

Happy New Year!!

As we launch headlong into another year, I am finding myself evaluating the year previous in order to get ready for the new adventure ahead.  Every New Year brings with it the hopes of rejuvenation of spirit, mind and body.  For many that is a new found dedication to ‘Eating Clean’.  But what does that really mean and how can do we make this happen while living a life on the road?

Let’s start with asking a very simple question:

“What the heck does ‘Eating clean’ even mean?”

Seriously, are we just being sure to wash our food first? 

Is it eating only raw, locally sourced vegetable products that are ethically harvested?

It really is such an arbitrary statement…..kind of like ‘organic’ here in the U.S. (Don’t get me started on that one, the scientist in me wants to scream every time I hear this term).   The funny part about clean eating is there really isn’t a specific definition.  In fact, there is not even a Wikipedia page dedicated to it!!  So what do people really mean when they become dedicated to ‘Eating Clean’?

I think the most commonly accepted understanding of the term could be summarized as:

A focused diet around largely unprocessed foods with specific emphasis on whole vegetative produce (fruits, veggies, grains) along with lean protein sources and healthy fats while avoiding overly processed, refined foods and unhealthy fats.

As you can imagine, this definition allows for a lot of leeway in just how strict your diet has to be in order to be considered “clean” but the point of this post is not to come to a universally accepted definition of Clean Eating.   What I want to discuss is how do you actually make this type of a diet (regardless of how strict) work when you are on the road?  It is easy, or at least easier, to keep your diet on point when you are at home – shopping for the groceries, prepping your own meals, packing your lunch, etc.

But what about the road?  How do we carry those great habits we are developing at home and not waste them once we hit the airport?

Simple, you need to mind your P’s & Q’s!!

Plan ahead

I cannot stress this point enough, if you fail to plan – you are planning to fail.  Heading out on a trip with no plan in place is a recipe for meals that involve a lot of brown.  Whether the brown be from the bag the meal is served in or the color of the food itself, you are a long ways from eating anything close to what would be considered clean.  To read more on how I plan for a trip (it is more than just what restaurant is in the hotel) here is a link to my process.  You would never hike into the wilderness without a map or a GPS – don’t travel without an idea of the lay of the land.

Preparation

How your food is prepared makes a huge difference in the quality of the nutrition you are consuming.  Your body is going to have a much better reaction to Salmon that is baked, broiled or grilled than to the same 4 oz filet that is battered and deep fried or “sautéed” (read: fried in a pan vs. a deep fryer) in a cream sauce.

protein portion size

Quantity

The quantity of the food you take in matters nearly as much as the preparation and is where most people struggle the most.  Spend time familiarizing yourself with what an actual portion size looks like.  Think about it, a portion of lean protein is about the size of a deck of cards.  Now think about the last time you remember getting a chicken breast at a restaurant that was the size of a deck of cards as opposed to a small tablet computer.

colored grill

Quality

Order your food like you would if you were buying a box of crayons.  Remember back in the day when all you wanted was that box of 64 Crayons?  You know, the one with the built-in sharpener!!  Your food should be the same way – full of color and vibrancy.  Mix the browns of whole grains with the greens, reds, yellows, oranges and purples of garden vegetables.  I say we take back the phrase “Taste the Rainbow” back from that candy company and put it back on our dinner plates.

Persistence

Stick to these tips for ALL MEALS and not just dinner.  Too many RoadWarriors let breakfast and lunch just “happen” and try and focus on dinner.  Problem is that by the time you get to dinner, you are starving  because your calorie count is so low.  Be persistent in your diet.

Much more on this subject is to follow over as we continue to explore each of these points in more depth.  How about you?  How do you ensure you are able to stay on track with your diet, whether you are on the road or not?  I want to hear from you as well.

Again, happy New Year and Happy “Clean Eating”

But it looks so good on the calendar!! (Alternative title: What the heck was I thinking?)

At least once or twice a year, I have a week of travel that looks great on a calendar.  The kind of week, like the one I just started, where I have 6 different in person meetings across six states in 5 days.  The kind of week where on the last leg of the trip you find yourself chanting  “never again” over and over like it is a tantric mantra.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

This week I will find myself on six different planes, 4 hotel rooms, 3 rental cars, 2 different trains, countless taxi/Ubers and (fortunately only) 2 time zones.  I think I will literally be spending an entire day in some type of mode of transportation this week.  Crazy.

So how do you prepare for a marathon week like this one?

First of all, you prepare.  Heading into a period of travel like this without making preparations is setting yourself up for disaster.  And I mean going past planning on what you are going to wear and what weather to pack for.  You need to prepare yourself, your family and your coworkers for the craziness of weeks like this one.  How you ask?

Communicate:

This is a big one for me.  I have a very bad habit of not communicating to my wife early and often about upcoming weeks like this one.  After over a decade on the road, she pretty much assumes that I am going to be traveling each and every week but weeks like this are the exception.  Of course this is also the week my eldest son decides to throw a relational grenade in the middle of the living room.   Oh, and wrestling season is starting with two different evening events.  And my youngest son has an orchestra commitment.  And, and, and……. While there is never a good week for this type of trip, this is a particularly bad one.  Of course, I waited to communicate the schedule this week so it caused grief for all involved.

You also need to communicate with your coworkers.  Normally I am very flexible with how and when I will take phone calls and do webinars.  Did you catch the fact that I will be on a plane/train for nearly 24 hours this week?  Pretty hard to conduct a webinar from 38k feet.  Communicating this early and often with your teammates will only benefit all of you.

Support:

One of my wife’s love languages is Acts of Service.  I have written about it before (read it here) but I spend my Sunday’s planning but this Sunday was even more intensive than most.  I always plan the menu for the week and shop for the groceries but this week I also prepped all of the meals.  I made sure the laundry was done and put away.  The garage was cleaned out so the car could park in it.  Why?  So when her day gets a head of steam, or a hail storm rolls through, she is not letting the dinner storm or the literal storm derail the family.  The more I can make sure is ready to go (Monday’s dinner, Wrestling Singlet cleaned and ready to go, PE Clothes cleaned, lunch accounts having full balances) – the better the week will go.

Does that mean I get to sit on the couch and watch football all Sunday?  Nope.

refigerator

But I can tell you that when I leave and our refrigerator looks like it did this morning (above) than there is zero complaining about the games being on all Sunday when I am in the kitchen making this happen.  It also makes reentry on Friday night, way better.

Schedule:

Yes, I schedule my flights and meetings but I also have to schedule my workouts and meals on weeks like this.  I do not want to find myself at the airport looking to board a late flight having not worked out and not eaten.  It is a recipe for late night fast food and running to the gift shop for Tums.  Not good.

gym

It also means thinking ahead to the schedule of the week for those around you.  How can I make the upcoming week easier to deal with?  Are the clothes ready for any special events?  Are there days where you know if you are going to get a Facetime conversation with the kids in that it has to be in the morning?  Can you reposition anything scheduled for the upcoming week into another time slot to make everyone’s week go a bit smoother?

Now that I think about it, prepping for weeks like this all boils down to putting others first.  When we as RoadWarriors are on the road – it is an inherently selfish time.  We can’t deal with the trials, tribulations, arguments and meltdowns that are happening at home.  The best we can do is help to avoid them in the first place.  So wish me luck this week and maybe I will see you in one of the 6 airports I get to visit this week.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day – especially on the road!!

For years we have all been hearing about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  We could probably get together and sing the jingles from Saturday morning cartoons of our youth together.  So why is it that the older we get that the more we neglect this uber important start of the day?  I even see it in my own kids.  For years I made them a complete breakfast before school (seriously, the USDA could have taken a picture and used it as the cover to their brochure most mornings) but now that they are teenagers I am lucky to get them to grab a bowl of cereal.  Really makes me wonder why I am surprised when I travel with folks and they do not grab breakfast in the mornings – and no, a Venti-Triple shot- non-fat, no whip macchiato IS NOT BREAKFAST!!!

Now I could certainly make a strong argument and point you to all kinds of resources as to why you need to eat breakfast.

Like this study from John Hopkins University

Or this one from LiveScience

Or even this one from WebMD

Are you getting the point?

Instead, I want to address the reasons why you as a RoadWarrior (or anyone who finds themselves on the road) need to pay special attention to making sure you start the day off right.

Accomplishment: 

This one may just be me but I feel better knowing that I got up and started getting things done.  I dislike feeling rushed in the morning more than I dislike the alarm clock.  Allowing of the extra 20 minutes making time to stop by the breakfast buffet starts my day off with a sense of accomplishment.  It may sound trite but you are literally starting your day off with a victory and victory is contagious.

Mind Set/Focus: 

I use this time to get my mind focused on the tasks that are at hand that day.  I can eat, have the calendar open and review the appointments, to do list and travel plans for the day.  I spent this much time and effort getting there, use the morning time to make sure you are prepared to execute.

Nutrition:

The beautiful part of most hotel breakfast buffets, whether in the lobby or the concierge lounge, is they typically offer some great nutritional choices.  Unlike most evening fare that consists of heavy pastas and fried finger foods, breakfast options tend to include eggs, oatmeal, fresh fruit, non-fat yogurt, juices and coffee (wait – did I just put together a complete meal!?!?!)

Sneak in a Vegetable:  

I have come a long way since my days of only eating canned green beans but I still struggle to make sure I eat enough vegetables.  However one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is in an omelet.  Load that bad boy up with all kinds of veggies and then you can even smother it with salsa (did you know that as long as there is not added sugar that cooked tomatoes have the same nutritional value??)

Availability:    

Most hotels of repute these days have some type of breakfast buffet.  It seems to be a standard amenity these days – which is a wonderful thing – so it does not take much extra effort to start the day off right.  I make sure I get a good breakfast because often, it is the only great meal I get.  From running to meetings, to calls, to shuttles, to airports to hotels I often find that I am grabbing fruit and/or a Protein Bar and calling it ‘lunch’.

So listen to common logic and make sure you start your day off right….WITH BREAKFAST!!!  I’ll see in you in the lobby in the morning.

Flip-flops, Jeans and Mickey Mouse – a lesson in wardrobe

I have a confession to make, I am a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to what I wear on a plane.  I make it my mission in life to make sure I am dressed comfortably before walking down the jet bridge.  I have changed in to “street” clothes in the restrooms of more airports this year than most people will visit in their lifetime and if being able to completely change outfits without any item of clothing or patch of skin hitting the bathroom floor were an Olympic sport, I would have a really good shot at medaling.

You see, I like to travel comfortably.  Really comfortably.

I would say that on 95% of the flights I take, I am in jeans, a t-shirt and flip-flops (assuming the weather permits).  It is what I am most comfortable in and actually what I feel most confident in.

flip flop

Those who travel with me on a regular basis have gotten used to my obsession but this was not always the case.  When I first started making this a habit, I often felt judged by both my coworkers and fellow travelers.  When you are in sales or service, you are always on.  Just because you left the client’s office does not mean you are ‘off stage’.   One of the women I used to work for was a fabulous leader and was keenly aware of this fact.  She was always put together and on point.  I think my habit of being in t-shirt actually really bothered her for a while – until we unexpectedly sat together with a client on a flight back from a conference.

There I was with two of the most influential personas in my industry, having an in depth conversation about trends in the industry, future advancements and speculating on the next generations of tools to come forth……..

And I am wearing a Mickey Mouse T-Shirt!!

mickey mouse

I literally wanted to crawl out of my skin (or at least that shirt).  Here I was, trying to make a name for myself and I am wearing a cartoon character across my chest.  I was left with a choice, cower and apologize for not being dressed ‘more appropriately’ or be confident in who I was rather than what I was wearing.

Of course the story has a happy ending and I managed to not make a fool of myself and in fact, that shirt spurred on conversations about our families, vacations and my obsession with the company that is Disney.  It also taught me a very important lesson, the clothes do not in fact make the man.  I firmly believe that the man makes the clothes. I was far more confident in jeans, flip-flops and a Mickey Mouse t-shirt on that plane than I had been just 4 hours early in a sports coat and tie.

The clothes do not make the man.  The man makes the clothes!!

Since then, I would like to think that not conforming to the khaki pants and blue blazer uniform of the typical business traveler has become somewhat of a trademark for me.  I even think that some of my clients/coworkers would be disappointed if showed up for a flight in anything but a t-shirt.  The message in all of this?

Confidence is more important than conformity.

I would rather lose a client/deal because I was transparent than win one because I put on a false front.  It really is that simple.

Life is too short to put perception ahead of transparency.  So travel in a t-shirt, or a bow tie, or yoga pants or a 3-piece suit.  Just make sure it reflects who you really are and the skin you are most comfortable in.

Can’t wait to see what you are wearing.

The ‘Dad Bod’ Myth

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist” – Keyser Soze – The Usual Suspects

So lately there has been a lot of chatter around the ‘Dad Bod’ and how it is actually more attractive than a lean physique.  This all started from a Blog post (the pesky bloggers ;-} ) by a student at Clemson University, Mackenzie Pearson, who was commenting on the interests of her roommate when it came to the male physique.  To give credit where credit is due, you can read her post here.  Since this was posted back in March of 2015, I have seen it covered by MSN, The Today Show, Health, GQ, ABC, CBS and CNN.   Ms. Pearson should give a clinic on how to pick a topic to go viral.

But Seriously??  This is a thing?!?!?

Pearson defines the Dad Bod as a ‘nice balance between a beer gut and working out’ – I call it a medical tragedy waiting to happen.

AAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Where do I even begin?   It is especially troubling to me that the men she is describing in the blog are not even dads.  They are young men who should be in their prime.  I can confidently say that the majority of the people that I see on my Facebook feed look considerable different now than they did in high school/college.  I know I do.  They call it your physical prime for a reason.

Dear Frat Boy – Your ‘Dad Bod’ is trying to kill you!!  Literally.

Now I am not at a single % body fat, I enjoy my wine and beer but I also know that I cannot allow myself to have any excuse to carry extra weight around, especially around my mid-section.  You see, that fat that is around your middle is known as Visceral Fat – and it is the most dangerous to carry around with you.  It actually directly increases your chance at developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and even sleep apnea.  How?  According to WebMD, here’s how:

  • Abdominal fat breaks down easily into fatty acids that are processed by the Liver and your muscles. Neither of which likes the material it is breaking down.
  • When the liver breaks down the fatty acids, your LDL levels (the bad Cholesterol) spikes.
  • When your LDL levels spike, insulin becomes less effective – causing blood sugar levels to spike (read: increased chance of developing diabetes)
  • Hormones released during the processing of the fatty acids also create constriction of the vasculature system – leading to heart disease and potentially stroke.
  • Even the sheer weight and volume of the fat can push against your diaphragm and result in difficulty breathing and if severe enough, sleep apnea.

Now ladies, I have a specific message for all of you.  Do not let us get away with this excuse for not taking care of ourselves.  This is not about getting to the point where we will be staring in the next installment of Magic Mike but we should want to be around for as long as possible.  Besides, who said all dads were soft and pudgy?  Last I checked, Hugh Jackman, Jean Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Craig, Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Gossling and even Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson are all dads.  If we are talking about their examples of ‘Dad Bod’ – then I am all in.

I think my sister in law put it best “This is just an excuse for Frat Boys to party on the weekends”

Happy Father’s Day and I will see you on the road!!

Snow Leopard Pants – a must have for the fashion forward Road Warrior

By  now I am sure you are wondering “Has Andrew lost his mind?”

No, I am not switching my focus from fitness on the road to fashion (Dear God how bad would I be at that!?!?) but I do have to tell you about the saga that has become ‘The Snow Leopard Pants’.

A few weeks ago while in Reagan International Airport, I saw pretty much the most hideous pants I have ever seen.  They were so bad that I was among SEVERAL travelers who felt it necessary to take a picture of said pants.  All I could comment about them was:

SNL3

Little did I know how true that statement was.  You see, as soon as I posted them to my Instagram (road_warrior_fit) my wife went on a crusade to find a pair.  She canvassed social media looking anyone who knew where you could acquire these pants.  It took one of her friends a whopping 5 minutes to find them, and in my size too.  Evidently there is an app for that.  So I am now the proud owner of my very own snow leopard pants!!

Well since this all played out on social media, what followed the acquisition of these pants was a public outcry for the debut of the pants.  People did not want to just see them, they wanted to see them on me and in public.  Well there was only one way I was going to let that happen

DATE NIGHT!!!!!

If I was going to be seen in public with these pants on, it was going to be right by her side.  So a date was set for the debut of the Snow Leopard Pants, sushi and Pitch Perfect 2 was on the agenda.

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Now as I mentioned, it takes a special kind of confidence to wear pants like these.  The kind of confidence that only comes by becoming part of the joke.  So I went into costume planning mode.  Please notice the choice of the word costume.  This was not an outfit, this was a costume.  So I grabbed my Star Wars shoes (yes, I actually do own a pair), the Jersey Shore sunglasses and the one size too small Chewbacca t-shirt from my son.  If was going out in those pants, it was going to be epic.

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I thought I would be the laughing stock of my town but it turned out that if you laugh first, others tend to laugh with you instead of at you.

And my wife and I had a blast…….. because of the pants.

We were actively scanning for those who were noticing us (Ok, me.  Ok, my pants) AND THERE WERE PLENTY!!

The #SnowLeopardPants hash tag was born.

People were actively looking to join us out and about to see the pants in person.

I was getting stopped by folks to talk about the pants.  The local high schoolers actually liked them, took pictures with them and tweeted them out.  The legend of the #SnowLeopardPants was born.

SNL2

The best part was my wife and I did not stop laughing the entire night.  It was the most fun we have had in a very long time……and we have fun together.  For that reason alone, I highly recommend snow leopard pants for all Road Warriors.  I keep myself in shape for nights like this.  I wasn’t conscious of any body issue (and I have a few) or anything else except the ridiculous outfit and the attention it was getting.  It was a therapeutic night for us both.

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It was a great reminder to slow down and notice what is around you.  I work hard when I am on the road so I can ease up a bit when I am home but if I hadn’t of slowed down and pulled my head out of my iPhone that evening at DCA, we would not have had such a wonderful evening and the legend of the #SnowLeopardPants would have never been born.

Since that night, as I run into people around town, the topic of the #SnowLeopardPants continues to come up.  People loved seeing the saga unfold on social media.  Evidently we were a trending topic among the 40-something parental set of North Texas.  The other bonus was that anyone who actually clicked on the link to see the pants from Neiman Marcus have continued to see them come up in their Google and Facebook ads because evidently Neiman Marcus pays a lot for Facebook ads.  If you would like to experience the gift that keeps on giving or to purchase your own Snow Leopard Pants, just click below and watch fun start.

So work hard but slow down and enjoy the world around you and maybe you will see me on the road.  I’ll be the one in the Snow Leopard Pants.

Pressing the Reset Button

Do you ever get to the point where you feel you just need to press the reset button on life?  I do and I am there right now.

One of the dangers we all face as RoadWarriors is the anonymity we have.  If your travels are like mine, you end up in a different city every night, seeing different people along the way.  For me this means being alone in a sea of people.  Constantly making acquaintances but never really developing relationships is one potential pitfall of the RoadWarrior life.  We were designed for connection not seclusion.

It is amazing how social you can be without making any real connection with anyone. 

This is not a good place for me mentally and it reflects in my choices.  It becomes easy to stop being disciplined about diet (“Sure, I’ll have the fries with that”).  It becomes easy to skip a work out (“One missed workout is not going to kill me”).  It becomes easy to have that extra glass of wine (“I’m not driving anywhere”).  It becomes easy to sink away.

Put that cycle on repeat and then ‘suddenly’ you have a set of choices that have become habits that are hard to break.  That’s when it is time to hit the reset button.  No one ever said you had to wait for either New Year’s Day or the start of Lent to evaluate and change some things in your life after all.

Here is what my reset button looks like.  It is spending the next 30-days being hyper focused on ensuring that my daily actions reflect the lifestyle I am preaching and desire.  So for the month of April (no this is not an April Fools’ joke) I am going to be eating clean, working out daily, increasing my average sleep time, abstaining from alcohol and sharing the journey with all of you.  I know myself well enough to realize that I need to fill my time alone with healthy activities otherwise it is all too easy to fill it with those that degrade my health.  Scarily enough, I consider blogging on the healthy list and I also know I need the accountability that making something public creates.

So I am choosing to bring you along for the journey by blogging daily on how the journey is progressing.  I’ll be tweeting meal choices and the work out of the day.  I will share with you where the wins were, where the stumbling blocks arose, the pitfalls you should avoid if you choose to follow along and (hopefully) the results in mental and physical health.

Will I feel better?  I can’t imagine any other outcome.

Will I reinforce good habits?  I better, that is the whole point of this exercise.

Will I end up over sharing?  You can almost certainly bet on it.

So let’s get this trip started and I am looking forward to seeing you on the road.