It’s when I’m travelling that I’m forced to find new or creative ways to train or get a workout in. To me, My training is more than x days x times a week. For me, training is an everyday thing. It’s something I need to accomplish on a daily basis. I’ve got to not just MOVE, and but to move with purpose; with a specific intent and goal. Sometimes that goal is immediate. It could be for the sake of the number of reps of reps, or technical movements I must master Other times, moving could just mean jumping around or going through an extensive warmup.
During the times where I’m in a new gym or a new training environment, I always embrace the solitude and often more lonely nature of my training. In new environments, I have to deal with unfamiliar surroundings, new faces, different equipment (or lack of), even the smells and different sounds of the gym. Sometimes all I’ve got is a Cybex stack and a treadmill. Other times, I’ve got Olympic platforms, jiujitsu mats, a boxing ring, even astroturf! Occasionally all I’ve got is 400 square feet of a friend or relative’s basement.
It goes without saying that I can always count on the best piece of equipment to be there - that’s myself.
I knew that you knew I was getting there - bodyweight. More specifically, my own bodyweight. And there’s the average 8 lbs of matter stuck between my ears, which is the most important piece of this travelling gym. Yes my brain! It’s my mind, my imagination, individual creativity and spirit that often times gives me the BEST workouts. And I need that solace in unfamiliar environments in order to really incorporate both mind, body, and spirit. What happens? My workouts BLAST AWAY...and they are almost always my best and most soul searching sessions.
Yes, it’s easy to search for a workout to do on the internet, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that, especially when you’re away from your preferred squat rack or training partners. I’ve even done it online workouts and had great, fulfilling sessions. But There always comes a moment where I’m happy to be away from familiar things, and I’m happy to be by myself. That’s when my imagination gets running.
A new exercise.
One more set.
A change in the angle of my movement.
Sometimes it’s trying to do something I’ve never done before. Like reverse somersaults… into a 10 second handstand… until I nail it. By the end of my workout, I’ve managed to change or raised the bar in my training.
The above was just an example (it literally took me 30 minutes after my workout to get it right!) of how my mind gets creative and adapts to the constraints and differences of where I am (environmentally?). I didn’t need any equipment for the exercise, just some space. The gym I was in had plenty of equipment, most of which I’d used and thrown around earlier in my workout. I probably wouldn’t have come up with the specific goal of trying to do it back home either. With the extra time I had in my travel, somehow the creative and inspirational juices flowed… and I just decided that I wanted to do reverse somersault handstands!
Was it I exhausting after my workout? Yes. Was it sport specific for me. No. Was it fun? Yes. Did I work a new part of my strength and coordination? Yes. Did I accomplish my goal? Yes. Did I move,, was I creative, did I persist, did I succeed? Yes to all. Do all of those things make me a better person? It’s only my opinion, but I would say so. Even more importantly for anyone, could I take this tiny accomplishment in fitness and apply it to other areas of my life? Absolutely.
I wouldn’t have that little spark without the “me time” I get whenever I travel. Moments of solitude do great wonders for my physical training, my mind, and ultimately has positive benefits in all areas in my life.