Travel Workout

The best laid plans of fitness are often completely derailed by travel plans.  You have your routine at home, whether it is a trip to the gym after work every evening, a run every morning, or time set aside each day in your home gym; when you travel, you are not following your daily routine of work, play, or work-out.  Often times this is due to equipment.  Someone used to going to the gym or using at home equipment are not sure what to do without their machines and weights.  Sometimes you stay at a hotel with a good fitness center.  Sometimes you stay at a hotel with a very bare bones fitness center.  Sometimes you stay at a hotel with absolutely no fitness center, or you are staying with friends/family.  Whatever the situation, there are a few solutions.

First, survey the area.  If you have a fitness center at the hotel, great, check it out, it may suit your needs.

If you are interested in cardio, they may have a treadmill, or you can look up possible routes near where you are staying.  I have a friend who goes to Sci-Fi conventions and sure enough, every morning as I am just rolling out of bed and onto the con floor, he is walking in in his shorts from his morning run (I prefer to workout at night).

Another option is to see if their are gyms nearby where you are staying (that is within commutable distance, whether that is walking, public transportation, or if you have a car) that offer free trials.  Even if you only get a day or two during a week long trip, it is better than nothing at all.

Finally, the no-fail option, is to have a travel routine that requires no equipment, or only equipment that you can easily fit into carry-on luggage.  This can work as your entire workout routine for the trip, or as a supplement to whatever else you are able to find.  Here is a list of some of my favorites (with links for more information):

  • Lunges – Works Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings – No equipment necessary
  • Squats – Works Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings – No equipment necessary
  • Calf Raises – Works Calves – No equipment necessary (also try toes turned out, toes turned in, and single leg)
  • Standing Hip/Leg Abductions – Works Upper Glutes, Outer Thighs – No equipment necessary
  • Resistance Band Bicep Curls – Works Biceps – Resistance Bands
  • Resistance Band Upright Row – Works Delts, Biceps, Traps – Resistance Bands
  • Hand Grip – Works Hands – Hand Grip
  • Plank – Works Core (seriously) – No equipment necessary
  • Donkey Kicks – Works Glutes, Hip Flexors, Lower Back, – No equipment necessary
  • Laying Leg Abductions and Other Laying Leg Exercises – Works – No equipment necessary
  • Laying Resistance Press with Butt Lift – Works Pectoral, Triceps, Glutes – Resistance Bands (I cannot find this with the butt lift, but it is an added bonus that adds  the glute element.  Just plant your feet so you are in a standard sit-up position, press down on them so that your butt lifts in the air, with all the weight on your feet and shoulders.  Hold that while doing the exercises, or press up and down with each rep.)

There are many more, including your standard jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, ecc.; and a simple search for “travel workout” can lend numerous results for you to tailor your own routine.  It may not be as intense as your regular workout, but it will help maintain your fitness and schedule in the interim.

100 Days – Playground

I debated posting today’s 100 Days video…especially since it might make this week my first three-post week., but I really liked the focus on exercises that could be done with little to no equipment (I saw a couple moves I might have to steal), as well as the mention of doing moderate exercise regularly.  Note that the moderate regular exercise will give you the health benefits, but if you are trying to gain strength, gain definition, or lose weight (though weight is lost in the kitchen, but burning more calories through exercise helps, both through the instant burn of cardio and the increased metabolic rate resulting from an increase of muscle), more workout is necessary.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Knight?

Time to Learn

     A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master:
“If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen?”
The Zen Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.”
The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then?”
Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.”
“But, if I really, really work at it.  How long then?” asked the student.
“Thirty years,” replied the Master.
“But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student.  “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer.  Why do you say that?”
Replied the Master, “When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.”

I wish I could give a source for this story.  I first read it in a book many years ago, when I first began training as a Jedi, but I have seen it many places, and in many variations.  People have commonly applied it to Martial Arts as well, asking, “How long until I earn my black belt?”  Whatever the discipline, whatever the goal, the message is the same.

Too often, students on the Jedi Path fall prey to this mindset.  They want so much to be the knights they know of fiction, that they are more focused on the title than actually being what that title represents.  Some people attempt to put time limits on the time a student must be a student, in order to control this.  One person I knew applied decades; ten years as a student before becoming a knight, ten years as a knight before becoming a master.  Others have begun to apply hours, but these measurements of time only add to the problem.

People now-a-days want instant gratification.  Six months and you are a knight.  Train two Padawans in the next year and you are a Master.  Really?

Your basic college education takes four years, even an associates degree is two.  The Jedi are supposed to be knowledgeable and well trained, at the very LEAST I would say the time it takes to become a Jedi Knight should equal a Masters degree, let alone be shorter than an associates.  If you go back to the fiction, students spent on average 10-13 years training in just basic Jedi skills before even being considered for a Padawan; and the Temple had this training down to a science.

Regardless of what time you apply to it though, now the student has a time frame to work against, and whether you stress that these limits are a minimum or not…they will look to that time limit for their progression, not to their training.  And, if they are not given their desired title after that time limit, they will focus on the why for the wrong reason.

Within the fiction, from what we know, there is a set amount of time that most students study in a class format at the Temple, however once they are taken as a Padawan, it seems the only measure, is when the master feels they are ready.  Obi-Wan Kenobi was knighted during the events of Episode I, at the age of 25.  Anakin Skywalker was knighted sometime between Episode II-III, somewhere between the ages of 20-23.  If we had a list of all the Jedi Knights that existed, I am sure we would find a great range of ages in which they were knighted.

The honor of being a Jedi Knight is not something that can be measured by any amount of time, but in what a student has learned and achieved.  Give the student goals in study and practice rather than giving them arbitrary dates that may or may not be enough.  When the student fully embraces and lives the path, then they are a Jedi Knight.

100 Days

A couple of YouTube personalities I follow (you may have heard of the one, John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars) are going to spend 100 days, starting on January 1st, to make “lasting, meaningful, healthy changes in their lives.”  It looks really interesting.  In this intro video, John mentions meeting with a dietitian, a trainer, and a psychologist, as well as doing meditation, obstacle courses, rock climbing, ecc.  I might post a few videos if I find them really helpful, but otherwise it might be good to follow and watch (no, I am in no way affiliated, I just think it looks really helpful and interesting) for inspiration and information.