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The Best Laid Plans…

The extent of my "heavy lifting" over a fun fall weekend!

The extent of my “heavy lifting” over a fun fall weekend!

As you loyal readers know, I’ve been posting new material for Motivation Mondays since this blog started back in July 2011.  While I didn’t plan to push this week’s post to land on Tear-It-Up Tuesday, sometimes you just have to take a deep breath, realize there are only so many hours in a day and accept the way things work out. The bottom line is we can probably all do a better job at NOT beating ourselves up when we don’t cross out every single item on our to-do list every single day of the week.

That being said, I’ve finally “forgiven” myself for not getting to the fitness center during my business trip to Los Angeles. I did pack my workout wear, but when I factored in a five-hour flight, three-hour time difference and production call time of 3 am, I had to choose between getting the rest I needed to do my job well or sacrificing the few zzzz’s I could get for a workout. At the end of the day, the project went well, my boss and the clients were happy and by not running myself into the ground, I also warded off some serious cold germs provided by my fellow passengers during the flight home.

When I returned, it was just in time to enjoy a fun fall Saturday with a dear gal pal and her family and then round off the weekend spending quality time with Mom and Dad. Could I have banged out a post when I got back to the city on Sunday? Probably. Would it have been coherent? Probably not. Obviously if I had a work deadline, I would have sucked it up and got things done. However, when things that are supposed to be fun start stressing you out,  it’s time to step back and ask yourself: “Is the world going to spin off its axis if this doesn’t get done for another 24 hours?”

So, instead of fretting over writing, I used the time to get organized, rest and recover. You know what? I had extra energy to kick off my Motivation Monday with a Physique57 class and then attack the computer. Now I’m ready to take on whatever the week ahead throws at me – physically and mentally.

Let’s face it, most of us have too much on our plates on any given day of the week. When crunch time gets extra crunchy, we sometimes have to make choices to make a whole laundry list of “stuff” a little easier to carry. Maybe your favorite group exercise class falls on the same night your child needs help studying for a spelling test or the only night you and your spouse or best friend have time to catch up on a long-overdue date or phone call. Make the choices that work for you in that moment and remember tomorrow’s coming…with a whole new set of opportunities to help us have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

A Change of Scenery

California skies from Ocean and Colorado in Santa Monica

I’m definitely going to lobby for more business trips on the West Coast!

While the shoot I worked on last week involved many hours of pre-production long before I ever boarded my JetBlue flight to Los Angeles and involved a detailed run-of-show, I somehow managed to feel more rested at the end of the three-day jaunt than I have in recent memory.

I think there were two things responsible for the energy boost:

  1. Thanks to the time change, I had to stay in California for a minimum of two nights. So, instead of rushing to the airport as soon as the shoot wrapped and hoping I’d make my flight, I had time to decompress after the work was done.
  2. The time change also worked to my advantage when it came to kicking off my day with a morning workout! I admit, early morning workouts here at home in New York really aren’t  my thing. However, in California, I woke up without an alarm somewhere between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. So, I put that energy to good use in the hotel’s fitness center. Here are the down and dirty workouts that kept me energized on Pacific Time:

Happily started my mornings in the Shore Hotel’s fitness center

Day one – After the 5-hour flight:

  • 30 minutes elliptical
  • 15 minutes recumbent bike
  • Squat Tabata (4 minutes)
  • Push-up Tabata (4  minutes)
  • Stretching: 7-8 minutes
  • Total time: 60 minutes.

Day two – Pre-shoot jump-start:

  • 30 minutes elliptical
  • Four back-t0-back Tabatas:  squats, planks, crunches & push-ups (16 minutes)
  • Stretching: 5 minutes
  • Total time: 51 minutes

Day three – Pre-flight

  • 25 minutes recumbent bike (not my first choice, as I knew I’d be sitting on the plane for another 5 hours, but the ellipticals were taken)
  • Plank Tabata (4 minutes)
  • Push-up Tabata (4 minutes)
  • “Crazy Eights” for shoulders: 8 reps of lateral raises, 8 reps of front raises and 8 reps of overhead presses. No rest between each exercise and no rest before moving on to next muscle group.
  • Single-leg bicep curls: 12 reps each leg. No rest between switching legs or moving on to next exercise.
  • Single-leg overhead triceps presses: 12 reps each leg.
  • Repeated Crazy Eights through triceps overhead presses for three sets total.
  • In an effort to feel as loose as possible before the flight, I spent a full 10 minutes stretching to wrap things up.
  • Total time: 55 minutes

Post-work fun with Molly & Jessica at The Lobster in Santa Monica

In the end, probably the best part of the trip was being able to find a balance between work and play by catching up with my dear Northwestern gal pals Molly and Jessica. We had a fabulous dinner catching up over Prosecco and seafood after my shoot was finished. Making new friends with my videographer Jake and his crew was the final bonus.

So, what did I learn from this LA experience? Even when you’re working, it’s important to find some time for yourself. Whether you’re making new friends, catching up with old ones or breaking a sweat and taking in some new scenery, no matter where you are in the world, it’s important to take some time for yourself so you can have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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