Hey guys! I hope this post finds you living well wherever you’re reading from! I’m writing from a new hotel tonight in a new city and new province…such is the pace and intensity of life on the road! We’ve passed through the province of Quebec after a meaningful screening in Montreal and a fun walking tour a meal on a windy day in Quebec City. After about 11 hours of driving over two days, we’ve finally arrived in St. John, New Brunswick. We’re enjoying the night off in Pat’s hotel and taking her up on her offer of sleeping in the hotel rather than the RV tonight with the cold, blustery wind and long day behind us. I thought I’d share some of the “lessons” I’ve learned from the road, both fitness-focused and life-wise on this now almost two month trip.
- Smile Often.
It’s so easy to let being on the road for long hours, not finding downtown parking with an RV, and the late nights and early mornings get to you, but the truth is, if you smile (cheesy or normal!), it usually helps in the moment. I mean, how hard is it to stay down or angry when you’re smiling? Super hard. And for the most part, this trip has been more smiles than not. The people we’ve been able to meet, the stories we’ve heard (and started recording; we don’t want to forget why we’re doing what we’re doing!), the places we’ve visited and the sites we’ve seen have elicited many smiles. So my encouragement to you today is to smile and see what happens to the rest of your day and attitude.
- Get Creative.
Santana Planks, Mountain Climbers, and Jump Lunges
When it comes to keeping fit while traveling, it’s a must that you get creative with the how’s and where’s of movement! Above is a quick example…we were ready to take off from the hotel in Montreal but it turned out Mikey decided to work a little longer than expected. So instead of getting impatient and frustrated with not getting on the road and knowing that I didn’t want to change and head back into the gym, I found a great 6 minute workout online and started moving outside in the sun! I finished the 6 minutes so I pulled up another workout online in the RV and kept moving. Before I knew it, I’d completed another (fuller) workout and was ready to begin the long drive. There are certainly ways around staying still and not being active, you just need to get creative.
- Take Downtime for Yourself.
Okay – you caught me – this is totally a fake sleeping-on-a-rock photo. But I took it to remind myself (and you readers!) to find ways to take time out for yourself both on the road and at home. Although I’m an extravert and generally recharge by doing things with others, I’m reminded of the need to get away and take time for myself. This manifests itself in several ways: by slipping out for a run, making sure I get good rest and adequate sleep, by knowing myself and when to sometimes say “no” rather than always engage and always go. I heard from some Young Life workers that they often see their kids suffering from “FOMO,” or “fear of missing out,” and I realized at that moment how much I suffer from it too! I always want to be in the action, involved in every conversation, and knowing what’s going on, sometimes to my detriment. Knowing when to say “no,” stay in, or do my own thing is important not only to me but to those I’m living and traveling with too!
- Remember Your Priorities.
This is a big one for me. It’s easy(ier) to keep your priorities straight when you’re at home and life is routine, but when you’re on the road and each day looks different, it’s hard to stay consistent with the things that matter. For me personally, some of those priorities include taking time to read my Bible and stay connected to Christ through the Word; running/working out when possible; making connections with family with the occasional phone call home (by the way, a VERY Happy belated Mother’s Day, madre! I love you so much!)and touching base with friends through email and Facebook; making time for people that matter on this tour. With routine out the window, it’s important for me to be flexible and go with the flow. Some days that looks like running at the hotel gym when the weather’s stormy after a 6 hour drive (I did this yesterday as soon as we arrived in St. John – 6 miles on the treadmill!) while other days it looks like waking up early before the day gets busy to sneak out and enjoy a sunrise workout. Some days that looks like reading in the car while we’re traveling and other days I’m simply praying for friends and family when we’re out of internet service. And even when I’m tired or not feeling well (I’ve been fighting a cold for and cough for about a week now), I always try to remind myself that only people count – it’s almost always worth it to take time to be with people along the way.
- Enjoy the Moments (and the good food!)
Sure, I’m trying to keep healthy and fit. True, I don’t have a scale to “keep myself in check.” But the truth is, I feel healthier than I have in a while simply because I’m living life, focusing on others, and enjoying the moments as they come. It’s been great to not have access to a scale (and I’m one who usually keeps one around); watching how much I eat has been key to helping me enjoy delicious foods while at the same time not over-indulging. Portion-sizes are important for this, but there are also times when you don’t worry about simply enjoy the food set before you to the fullest! None of my runs have felt forced or out of guilt, but because they stand alone as other moments for me to enjoy, and in the process help me to feel more balanced and fit, which is always a good thing! So whether it’s a beer after a screening with new friends or a goat cheese tartine with grilled vegetables on it; a sleep-in morning or an early wake-up and hard run, I’m enjoying the moments, and I hope you find moments to enjoy in your daily life too!
Some questions to ponder & thoughts to comment about:
- Any good examples of times a smile has helped? Ways you’ve been creative about working out?
- Do you ever experience “FOMO,” or is this not really an issue for you?
- How you do recharge? With people? A good book? Physical activity?
- Can you share any tips for balancing your priorities? What’s worked in the past for you, either while traveling or at home?
Thanks for visiting today! Keep enjoying your moments, working out hard and reaping the rewards of your healthy choices, and making time for people in your life – while you enjoy dessert too, of course! Be blessed and live in God’s grace today,