Monday, October 21, 2013
My coaching session today asked what major fitness goal I am working toward right now. This is a great question because I am going through a period of serious change at the moment - granted, my life was full of change before just trying to stick to a routine when the content of each day varied. However, I was able to form a routine during that by committing to wake up early each morning and work out back in the trailer. I did well with that. I'm in my maintenance weight range and feel physically fit due to my cardio and strength efforts. I worked my way up to at least 45 minutes of high impact cardio at least 3 days per week, 60 minutes of a combination cardio/strength routine 3 days per week, and 25 minutes of vinyasa yoga to start with each morning 6 days each week.
Well as the weather has been getting colder and the layers of clothes I've had to pile on gets thicker and thicker, I started to do my yoga routine less and less, maybe 3-4 days each week. It just wasn't good to stretch muscles like that first thing in the morning when it was about 40 degrees out. So I would wake up and just get into my work out routine instead and skip yoga. Well these last few weeks brought temps right at freezing and I just didn't have the right clothes with me to get out there each morning - that and my willpower just does in the fave of that kind of cold! I've spent the past three years living in South Florida where the winters consisted of two weeks with temps approaching freezing and maybe getting there 2 or 3 of those days. Otherwise, I was used to much MUCH warmer temps for the rest of the year. I didn't even start breaking a sweat until the high 80s! But, I still layered on clothes and would head out to get my workout on during the afternoons or I would workout longer or harder on a warmer day in order to make up for a missed cold day. Well the temps this morning finally hit a new low - barely 20 degrees out there. That's a -6.6 degrees Celsius for those unfamiliar with farenheit. I just couldn't get out there. Luckily I was able to do my yoga inside the truck with a bit more spins and twists than typically called for to be able to accommodate the smaller space. I also will have time this afternoon to get my cardio workout in, so that's also good. But this whole discussion helps me to get into explaining the challenges that I will be facing here shortly.
Listing these out and talking through them will hopefully help me to see some solutions, or at a minimum, set some goals I can aspire to.
Here's the background: my husband and I will be working directly for Harley Davidson motorcycles starting this week through to February hauling a ton of their motorcycles on a tour around the United States. We will arrive in a city at a convention center on Wednesday and will have until Thursday evening to unload the bikes from our truck and the actual show booth off of another truck, and then we assemble the whole booth inside the convention center before the start of the show on Friday. Each morning of the show we will need to vacuum the booth, give the bikes a quick clean, and refill the literature racks. The rest of the day will be ours that we will need to fit a lot of personal stuff into, like catching a cab to go grocery shopping and to get our laundry done, pre-cooking my healthy meals for the week and working on my school work - plus getting a workout in somehow some way (I'm exhausted just thinking about all of that)! We do this on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then on Sunday afternoon and Monday day, we break down the booth and reload everything on the trucks. Then the rest of Monday afternoon, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning we spend driving to the next city and show to start it all over again.
So that explains some of the time constraints I'm under - combine that with the cold weather and you can see that working out in the mornings will be challenging. Now let me explain the challenges to doing my actual workouts - the physical space. My husband is worried about me breaking through the floor of the cab of the truck if I do anything more than yoga, Pilates or basic weight lifting in there. So that leaves the trailer or the great outdoors for doing cardio. While I know people jog in cities across the country all the time, I worry - I don't want to be the one to find the dead body alongside the path/road/bridge and I certainly don't want to be the dead body that the next jogger coming along finds! Plus I really am not a runner. I can only think of a handful of things I hate more than jogging and to give you an idea of that level of hate - being burned alive is probably at the same level of desires for me as going out for a run. Ok, so we've established that the trailer is my only real consideration for cardio space. Well, when we have all the bikes loaded on the truck, we are full from nose to tail, high to low. But my husband did manage to save me some space by building a plywood deck over the last two bikes loaded on. This gave me an 8' x 8' space to work with. That's a pretty great space to work with - I've certainly worked with less during our time on the road. The challenge comes in when you consider that I am working out on a platform. I'm 5'4" and I have about 6'6" of height space to work with. This means that I can do jumping jacks if I spread my legs out wide and go with somewhat lazy arms and I can do imaginary jump roping as long as I don't try to jump too high. So, no plyometrics and no moves like squats that incorporate chest presses. I've been composing a list of exercises that can get my heart rate up, but take space into account - like burpees, mountain climbers, plank jacks, alternating lunge kicks, high knees, butt kicks, etc...
Ok so that sums up the time and physical space challenges. Now on to trying to map out some goals taking these things into consideration. I'm thinking that trying to map a routine for each day will be the best approach, so I'll start by doing that and then try to come up with some considerations if things change or turn out to be impossible to achieve. I'll start with our first full driving day.
Tuesday: Up at 5am and do homework until Steve gets up, then do yoga inside the truck. Drive for however long we will that day (continuing with my homework) and then doing a cardio routine once we get stopped for the night. We'll need to break down my platform tonight so that it won't be in the way when we start to unload. I'll need to be done before 7:30 eastern so that I have enough time to get ready before class starts at 8pm eastern time. (I won't have class on Tuesdays until the next semester starts in the first week of January.)
Wednesday: Wake up at 5am and do homework until Steve wakes up and then do my yoga routine. Work on my homework until we arrive at the convention center. I'm not exactly sure of what the physical involvement will be when it comes to setting up the booth, so to start, I think I will try to do a Pilates or simple strength workout inside the truck once we arrive at the center and start the waiting process to get unloaded. If possible, once done for the night, get another 20-30 minutes of cardio in. I need to come up with some ideas for this.
Thursday: Up at 5am doing homework until Steve gets up. Not sure how early we can get into the convention center, so if it's not until like 8am then try to get a yoga session in before we go. Not sure of how much physical effort will be expended on this day, so I'll need to consider that when figuring out what sort of workout to do this day. The trailer should be empty by the end of the day, so I should be able to get a cardio workout in here. If the day runs long, then I should probably count this day as my off day (I take one off day each week).
Friday: Up at 5am and do homework until Steve gets up, then do yoga, if possible, before we go in to the convention center to tidy up the booth. After that we should be able to get our personal stuff done and I should be able to get a workout in the trailer in. I'm thinking a mix of cardio/strength here. After that it's homework for the rest of the day.
Saturday: Up at 5am and do homework until Steve gets up, then do yoga, if possible, before we go in to the convention center to tidy up the booth. After that I should be able to get a workout in. I'm thinking easier cardio, though; like walking around the convention center or the city that we are in. If not, then cardio in the trailer. I'll need to try to make sure my homework is done today, so that I can help with the break down of the booth tomorrow without that added stress.
Sunday: up at 5am if need to work on homework. If not, then sleep in until Steve gets up! Try to do yoga before heading into the convention center to tidy up the booth. I'm not sure what physical effort will need to be expended this afternoon when breaking down the booth, so I'm thinking that some light cardio inside the trailer will work for today.
Monday: if needed, up at 5 am working on homework until Steve gets up. Then we head to the convention center to get loaded. Not sure of the physical expenditure in breaking down today, so I'll need to figure this day out as we go. But, I may be able to get a strength/cardio routine in in the trailer before we load. If not, then I should be able to do a Pilates or simple strength routine inside the truck while we wait to load. Then finish out the day helping to load all the bikes into the truck, being sure to be done by 7:45 eastern time, so I can get ready for class at 8pm. I'll have a break from school between the first week of December and the first week of January (between semesters). So that will be nice.
Wow, I think I just shed some stress by thinking through all of that! I know that this can all change, but having goals established makes me feel much better. Now I have a routine to try to follow and I can make small adjustments as needed. I'm glad that Spark Coach asked that I blog about this today. I needed the push to really look at the challenges that I'll be facing soon and come up with a plan to work through those challenges. I risked just floundering through my routine and possibly messing up all the work I've put in over the past 5 months. Now I have a pretty clear direction to go in, which should keep me on track. My next effort will be defining the actual exercises I'll do during the periods I identified above.