Last week I was in La Belle Province running a workshop and was hoping to try to hop back onto the fitness wagon. I’ve been travelling a lot lately for work and haven’t always had the opportunity/timing/inclination/energy to work out. I’ve added a few pounds to my mid-section and really need to shake it off. I’m not ready to go pants shopping again! On top of that I’ll be competing in the World’s Masters Heavy Events Championships in June in Iceland and need to keep prepping for the 2 day competition.
Normally when I travel, I’ll scope out my hotel options ahead and ensure I get a place that meets my standards. My needs really aren’t outrageous, but I need 2 things: a great breakfast and a decent gym. By great breakfast, I mean eggs cooked when I order them, not sometime before I crawled out of bed and by decent gym, I’d like a working treadmill and some weights. Dumbbells or some kind of weight machine is acceptable. Since I’ve been travelling the last 3 out of 4 weeks, I ran out of time to scope out the hotel, and left the details to a colleague I’ve never travelled with and recommendations from a client who recommended the hotel solely for price. In my colleague’s defense, I didn’t tell him about my “high” standards.
This week I’m travelling with a vegetarian who doesn’t drink much, so I figured I’d get the opportunity to eat healthy and not be tempted by all the things that impact my waistline. He also likes to work out. Perfect, I thought! A good influence! All the stars were aligned. Oh, but wait!
I brought my bathing suit, in case they had a pool. I peeked in the pool area on day 1 and saw it was full of local children having a swimming lesson. Seems like laps were an unlikely scenario. I entered the nearby gym and turned on the light. Hmm…no lights at 6:00…perhaps it wasn’t used much? Well, I thought, they have 2 treadmills, that’s good…if my colleague and I are both in the gym, we can both run. On closer inspection, I realized the room was really half-sized, and just had a wall of mirrors, and one treadmill.
The weight machine was missing parts, but had a weird bar attached to pulleys.
The weight bench sat alone, and the dumbbells were nowhere to be seen.
The treadmill was super noisy, and once it got up to half-speed the tread started slipping. Fearing injury, I stopped the treadmill and got off.
The elliptical was also loudly squeaky and needed some serious maintenance.
Within a few minutes of my arrival, my colleague joined me. We did some back squats with the weird bar, but it was challenging as the pulleys were very mobile and would flip 180 degrees at random. Eventually we gave up and went for a run, where there were no sidewalks and lots of cars. Turns out, I haven’t had a real run in a while, so had to give up pretty quickly when I realized my lungs were going to explode. My colleague kindly ran back with me, possibly fearing he’d have to call 911, delivered me back to the hotel then left to finish his run.
I showered, checked email, and went out for poutine.
Day 2, I was inspired by a friend’s burpee challenge and did some in my room. The room has an excess of furniture, but I managed to squeeze some burpees between the beds. Then I realized I could yoga. I signed up for a year of yoga online and started working through it. (Because online yoga is somewhat affordable). Considering how tight my hamstrings have been from flying, it was actually hugely beneficial…until I had to spread out in multiple directions. Done. Just like that. I swear, this hotel doesn’t want me to get healthy!
Luckily I’ve got friends who are looking out for me and in no time at all, after posting my woes on Facebook, had several recommendations for hotel / bodyweight workouts. Looks like I’ve still got options! Now, I just have to stay off the poutine!
Sandi is a feminist in the throes of what some would call her mid-life crisis, having gone from exercising only her mind to lifting weights and throwing heavy objects. Her natural curiosity and need to know everything serves her well in a career in research as well as all things health, science and well…life really.
3 thoughts on “Fit and Far From Home… (Guest Post)”
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I highly recommend checking out local gyms wherever you go. Most will have a day/guest pass for a modest fee. If you belong to a chain gym, your membership should get you into one of their facilities while you are visiting. It’s worth checking into before leaving home. I feel your pain with hotel gyms and pools. Ugh!
Thank you for your useful article.
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