I don't think it takes much persuasion that it's easy to pack on a few el-bees when working abroad for extended periods of time. On my last trip I made vigorous and regular use out of the waterfront walking path but this soon felt like one of my few escapes was rather confining. Not cool! This go around I made a conscious effort to plot out a workout routine that incorporated things other than running. If anything, the increased summer temperatures have kept me inside past the hour of 9am.
First on my list is something that's not even pictured: a personal trainer. While home I decided to splurge and I bought four sessions with a trainer at my neighborhood gym. By coincidence she happens to work with a lot of people who travel for work and are looking for routines they can do in modest hotel gyms. Score! And so a solid partnership was born. She loaded me up with four different workouts, all of which use only one piece of equipment. Ladies and gentlemen, the unsung hero is item #1.
- A resistance band (and bonus "Fit-Stik" from Reebok). People, go to Marshall's or TJMaxx and buy yourself one or twenty of these. They take almost no space in a suitcase and you can get a legitimate workout in even if all you have is a doorknob to wrap the band around. Honestly, no gym equipment required.
- My workout clothes get a serious, um, workout. I wear them about two or three times before sending them to the laundry. Yes, it's kind of gross but so too are the laundry charges. This tank in particular works double time in combating laundry expenses. The top has a built-in sports bra to cut down on item counts in both suitcases and laundry bags. It also is made of a moisture-wicking material that works great when on (and sweating) but also works quite well when dripping dry. Literally, it drips dry when hanging on a closet door. I kind of disgusted myself when I realized why there was a puddle on my floor the other morning. But, I got one more use out of the top!
- Tennis shoes.
- Fit-Stik workout DVD. A bonus item in the $8 kit from Marshall's. Surprisingly, it's a tough 20 minute routine! Great for doing in your hotel room when time is short.
The other thing that has been tremendously helpful in keeping me sane and feeling pretty a-okay is my paid registration for the North Shore half marathon. In other words, I've sold myself to 13.1 miles. When life around me is crazy hectic and wildly unpredictable, I love having the half marathon training routine to bring some structure to my week.
Quick parting story. Last weekend I had a 9 mile run scheduled so I left my hotel at 6:45 am and headed out. I know South Mumbai rather well and figured that if I ran to the northern edge of South Mumbai I'd probably come close to my needed distance. Long story short, I took a fork in the road that led me past the "other side of the tracks" and through some very dense and, ahem, colorful neighborhoods.
Later that day, I asked my coworker Raju where exactly I had been on my run, mapping it out for him on Google Earth. He took a quick glance at my route and then looked at me. Something incredible happened next. Instead of getting the standard ambiguous Indian head bobble I got a full on back-and-forth nod, not an up-and-down. This shocked me! Where had I gone that he was so vehemently opposed?
Raju: No, no, no, Catherine. You have gone too far. Don't go there again. You went through the red light district.