I’m back in the saddle again. The holiday is over. After spending a week in the office getting my bearings, I’m on the road for my employer again. As a regional sales manager, frequent travel is just part of the job. I hate having to leave Sarah behind at home so much, and the travel can get pretty tedious, but I can’t complain too much. I like the job. It is pretty interesting, with a variety of scenery and situations every day, and I get to meet some real characters. Most of the time that’s a good thing! There are also a few technical challenges from time to time that make me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile, helping someone solve a problem. But even more importantly, I’m also very thankful just to have such a good job during scary economic times like these.

Oh, but the trouble this job causes me in achieving my fitness goals…

Snow in Cadillac, MI

How am I supposed to run in THAT?

Here I am in upstate Michigan, realizing that I’m going to have to be flexible. This is more of a challenge for me than it should be. My brain likes structure. I seem to be able to stick to things better when I have a regimented schedule. I made a plan, and I’m supposed to do my Baguazhang practice on Monday mornings. If I were at home, waking up at 5 am with my work clothes already ironed the previous night, this is what I would do. Instead, I found myself making excuses yesterday morning. I got in to my hotel around 11 pm on Sunday night due to flight delays, and had to be ready by 7:30 am the next morning. The fact that I had to iron my clothes that were rolled up in my suitcase, and that the hotel room was too small to do my practicing, made it really easy to blow the martial arts practice off. Plus I had to mentally prepare myself for the morning appointment. Lot’s of good excuses, right?

Well, I told myself that I’d make it up Monday evening. When I got to the hotel in the metropolis of Cadillac, MI, I discovered that their workout room consisted of three 1990’s era treadmills that had seen better days. The rooms here were rather small as well. I must admit, I came real close to just doing nothing. But I couldn’t blow off the exercise on the first night away from home. I would feel like such a wuss. So I improvised.

I got a bit of a cardio workout by finding the stairwell and walking up and down three flights of stairs for thirty minutes. I listened to a podcast as a distraction from boredom.

The people in the rooms adjacent to the stairwell were probably highly annoyed. The stairs were wooden, with carpet, just like in a house…not the reinforced concrete like you find in some hotels. So for thirty minutes…thud, thud up…thud, thud, down. The whole time I wondered if I’d be embarrassed if someone else used the stairs. I hoped they wouldn’t think I had worked up such a sweat just trying to get to the second floor!

After that, I went into the room and did a few exercises in front of the TV, watching CNN:
Three sets of 30 pushups (the last five on the last set probably don’t really qualify as real pushups.)
Three sets of 50 squats.
Three sets of 50 lunges.

Tonight, I’m in a different hotel in Ludington, with a decent treadmill. I guess I’ll get my Tuesday run in after all!

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