Luke and I recently had the opportunity to attend an industry event in Chicago. We decided to take the Amtrak train into the city. Without having to worry about driving and paying attention to the road we could study, talk, strategize, and sight see.
One of the things we talked about was how we were going to get good quality workouts in while we were there. We have been supporting each other’s health goals for quite a few months now, however, our paths were separate. This was the first time we would be able to support each other live and in person.
With hours of free time on the train to talk things out (and make progress on other goals) we made a plan to move the needle forward on our health and fitness. We decided to make the point of not giving in to temptation and convenience for the ease of deviating from our diet plans. Conferences in all industries generally provide some meals and snacks. A breakfast of some sort, usually pastries, muffins, juice, and yogurt. Then, a box lunch with chips and a sandwich. Finally, there is usually a reception at the end of the day with drinks and more snacks. The sugars, carbs, and processed foods are what we are generally trying to avoid.
We were going to eat healthily and do whatever it took to make it happen. So, we decided that was that we were not going to give in. We had each other for inspiration and encouragement and we made the decision together.
We were still moving along on the train when we shifted the discussion from diet to exercise. We wanted to workout both days we were in Chicago. We stayed at the SpringHill suites right in the mix of downtown. They had a fitness center that was perfect for our needs. Once we knew they had the facility we decided to get the workout in as soon as we arrived. It was number 1 on our agenda. We were going to do some cardio and weight training. We then decided that we were going to get up early on our last day to run in the city. Our hotel was close enough to navy pier that we could get in a good run by going from our hotel to the end of the pier and back.
So our plan was set. When we arrived in the city we took a cab to the hotel, checked in, then changed into our workout gear. We went right up to the fitness room. We decided to run for 30 minutes on the treadmills and then lift chest and triceps. Everything went great and we felt great. We then went to the room to clean up and head out to dinner.
We went to the Chicago location of the Lagunitas brewery. While it would have been very easy to over indulge in the taproom we both knew we had to get up early to pound the pavement. We already made the commitment on the train and we had an accountability partner. So, we only had 1 pint apiece. It was enough to enjoy the atmosphere and be impressed by the size and scale of the brewery and at the same time not too much that it keeps us from getting up early and failing to achieve our goals.
On day 2 we were both up by 6 am. We got ourselves ready and were out the lobby doors before 6:30. It was about 1.5 miles to navy pier, a nice route for an out and back. We took off down the sidewalk to our destination. I usually don’t have many opportunities to run in a big city. I did have another trip earlier this year that I could run in a new place (check it out here), but it is not usual for me. The first thing I noticed when I started running was the lack of cars. I had never experienced Chicago or any city for that matter, so devoid of activity. It was so empty I could have run right down the middle of the streets with no problems. I didn’t, but I thought about giving it try.
The morning run was a little foggy and a little chilly, but it felt great. We stayed true to our commitments and got it done. Keeping the promise and achieving our goals for the trip felt nearly as good as the exercise. I proved to myself again that if I, or anyone else, really has the desire to stick to your health and fitness goals it can be done anywhere. It may be extra effort but making the decision, and following through on that decision helps to build you up as a person. It makes you better and we all want to be better.