This is the second update tracking our progress as my wife and I prepare for our first Tough Mudder event, a Tough Mudder Half at Mesa, Arizona in April.
In the first update I noted that while researching the various obstacles we will encounter during the event, it became clear that upper body strength, and the ability to pull yourself across or up obstacles, will be key. Accordingly, a key area of focus for us has been improving upper body strength. As we trained at out local gym and on a parcourse at a local park, we easily met our training objectives.
This last week presented a challenge as we visited family in Illinois. Anyone that travels regularly knows that maintaining a workout regimen can be a challenge when on the road. If traveling on business, and staying in a hotel, you can generally count on having access to a gym. While the breadth of equipment is often pretty narrow, my experience is you can at least get in a run on treadmill and use some dumbbells.
The options narrow if you’re traveling for pleasure, staying with family and don’t have access to a gym … even a gym light on equipment. The options are narrowed even further if it’s too cold – as it was in Illinois (really cold) over the last week – or too hot and getting in a run, which is free, outdoors.
Our solution? Seek out a local gym which offered daily or weekly passes. Our first stop was the local YMCA which was just around the corner, walking distance, from my mother-in-law’s house.
On the first morning we got up at 5:30 and ran over to the YMCA. Unfortunately, they don’t offer daily or weekly passes; the facilities are only available to members.
Later that morning, following a review of gyms on Yelp, we visited a local gym in the neighboring town, seven miles away. Pay dirt! We spoke to the owner, Meridith – who shared her own inspiring story (formally weighed ~ 370 lbs. as I recall, is now down to 175 lbs. and had purchased the gym early last year when the former owner decided to move west) – and she offered deals at either $7/daily or $20/weekly. Of course being brilliant mathematicians we chose the $20 deal even though we would only be using the gym on three mornings. (That $2 savings is going directly to the Emergency Fund, my friends!)
Don’t let the exterior fool you, the gym possesses all the equipment (e.g. free weights, machine weights, dumbbells, treadmills, squat racks, rowing machines, mats, recumbent bikes, dip bars, pull-up bars, etc.) needed to get a complete and total workout.
Three days and $40 later the wife and I are on track to meet the Tough Mudder Half challenge in April, thanks to Meridith and access to the fantastic facility she owns/manages.
Stay savvy and stay fit, my friends and don’t let travel be an impediment to getting in your daily workout!