Thursday, September 27, 2012

Working Out on the Road

So I was away from home on business and I HATE being away from home because it always wreaks havoc with my workouts. 

You see, I CAN NOT work out in the morning. I have tried and tried to run in the morning  and I have crappy work outs and just hate it. Ok, I LOVE the quietness of the morning and running when things are cool and there is no one else out there except a couple other runners. But other than that, I HATE it. 

Ok, back to my business trip. Even though my knee isn’t 100% rehabbed yet, recent life events drive me to get back to running or crumble into deep depths of depression. I hate depression worse than running in the morning. So I started half-marathon training this week, the week I leave for a business trip. 

The problem with business trips is that, as previously established, I do not work out in the morning. Which only leaves after work to work out. However, my travel companions always want to go out to dinner soon after returning from work. Further, the dinner place is usually a sit-down that has big food. After drinks, dinner and conversation, we don’t get back from the hotel until late and we’re stuffed to the gills. No way I’m running after that. 

I could skip the dinner with the crew. But then you get tagged as “anti-social”. Besides, you miss the really important work ‘updates’ if you don’t go to those outings. And, trying local restaurants is a happy perk of business travel. Really, do I want to miss that? 

This week, I was traveling with our finance guy Chuck. I love traveling with Chuck. He’s a great travel companion. Thank goodness because the trips we’ve been on together usually involve a car ride lasting, at minimum, six hours! That’s a long time to be in a car with someone. 

But Chuck is easy going, plays old rock on the radio and sings to it sometimes. Carefree happy guy. Even after driving for seven hours with me in the car he’s still happy-go-lucky. Which proves he’s a good guy. Or on really good meds. Whatever. 

So as we left our meeting today I asked Chuck, “What’s the plan for dinner? Did you want to go early?” (I was hoping to get back to the hotel early and settle in for the night). 
He replied, “Well, I’d like to get a workout in first.” 


Now everyone who’s stayed in a hotel even once knows most hotel gyms are pitiful! You’re lucky if there is one treadmill and a stationary bike. So I worried we’d both be in the gym staring at one treadmill wondering which method of combat to use to decide who gets to use it. 

Hotel Gym Pictures, Images and Photos

I would just run outside except it was 101 degrees at 4pm and there were three wildfires in full force nearby making the air quality unhealthy. So I asked Chuck what kind of workout he wanted. “Do you need the treadmill?” 

“No. I’ll jump on the elliptical.” 


So I changed into my workout clothes as fast as possible and hoped no one else was in the gym. I’d be bummed if someone else was on the treadmill because I wasn’t about to bogart the elliptical from Chuck and if a treadmill wasn’t available I wasn’t going to get a workout. 

When I made it to the gym, Chuck was already on the elliptical. No one was on the treadmill. Sweet! But it was being maintenanced. Damn! But then I saw there was a second treadmill. Sweet!

So I jumped on the empty treadmill and I did a good warm up. Just as I started picking up speed, the maintenance guy walked up to me and said, “Um excuse me. I need to check this next. It’ll just take a few minutes.” 

“Is that one up and running?” I asked looking at the one he was just working on.

“No. Sorry. It needs some more work. But it’ll just take a few minutes for me to look at this machine.”

My mother told me not to judge a book by its cover and I should have listened. The maintenance guy looked fit like he worked out regularly. And because he maintenances workout machines I assumed he used them too. I thought he’d understand endorphin addicted athlete humor.

“You’re a brave man. Interrupting a person mid-workout. We get cranky when our endorphins are interrupted.”

“Yeah well, my kids get cranky when I get home late.”

Oops! My funny joke wasn’t so funny was it? 

So I jumped off the treadmill and said, “No problem. I’ll just run the stairs for a bit.”

“Thanks. It’ll only be about 10 minutes.”

I quickly realized the stairwells were not air conditioned! OMG! It was like a sauna in there! The gym was on the first floor. So I ran up the four flights of stairs then power walked through the top floor to the stair well on the other side of the building. At least the hallways were cool. I only managed two sweeps before I couldn’t take the heat any more. I hoped ten minutes had passed already and headed back to the gym to finish my date with the treadmill. 

I had a terrible thought on my way back to the gym; what if someone else came in while I was gone and jumped on the treadmill before me!? I’d have to wait longer! Chuck would be done with his work out before me too. OH! So help me, if someone bogarts my machine there will be hell to pay! ARGH!

I burst into the gym and there is a NEW GUY standing there! The maintenance guy was still bent over one of the machines working on it. I looked at the new guy. I looked at the machines. One was not being used and the maintenance guy was working on the other. Were they both down now??

I looked at the new guy again. He looked at me. 

“He won’t let me get on the machine.”


The new guy pointed at the maintenance guy, “He told me you were coming back and he wouldn’t let me get on the machine.”

I looked at the maintenance guy bent over a machine. He looked up, “Oh. You’re back.” He gestured to the other machine. “It’s ready to go. I told him not to get on it because you’d be right back.” 

“Oh thank you so much!” I said to the maintenance guy. I looked at the new guy, “Thank you. I only have 15 minutes left.”

I jumped on MY machine that the maintenance guy SAVED for me. Thanks to the maintenance guy, I had a great workout and road a great endorphin high for the rest of the night. 

I hope he got home on time and had a lovely night with his kids. 

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