Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. Last week, it was a musty hotel room in Fort Lauderdale. I had arrived for a week-long work trip and, after stashing my food in the mini-bar, flipped on the TV. Surfing through channels, I hit the jackpot - FitTV. I don't get FitTV at my house, because I am too cheap, so getting to watch it was a real luxury. Since I wanted to hit the gym right away I did a little happy dance and started to change into my workout clothes.
But then a voice from the television froze me in my tracks and transported me 15 years back. It was Gilad. I rushed back to the TV and stood in wide-eyed wonder.
Oh, Gilad. I worked out with Gilad's show, Bodies in Motion, for what seemed like eons in my family's living room. He was on ESPN in the mornings and I loved his show. I was shocked to see that it was still on, but there he was - still slightly cheesy, still adorable, and still sporting spandex on the beach in Hawaii. I loved how he had his mom and dad working out with him, how he would invite the local sunbathers to join in, and his little health tips at the end of each episode. I harbored a secret wish to be one of his back-up exercise girls. I wasn't crazy about the idea of wearing black sneakers and a belted leotard, but there have been plenty of times when I have looked equally or more ridiculous. In this case, I would at least be getting paid.
Now, working out in a hotel gym for a week is never fun, but seeing Gilad energized me. He reminded me of my early days of getting interested in fitness and nutrition, before I learned about genetics and stretch marks and what happens to your butt after you turn 30.
Since I was out of town for a week, I decided to try something new. I called it my Top 10 Workout: 10 segments of alternating short 10-minute cardio bursts with high-intensity weight exercises. So, I started out running for 10 minutes, then did three alternating no-rest sets of biceps and triceps, then ran incline sprint intervals for 10 minutes, then two different bi/tri sets, then bike intervals, etc. It powered me through almost 90 minutes of cardio and resulted in an average heart rate of 150 beats per minute, which was my goal. By the end of the week I was wiped out. Feeling good, feeling strong, and feeling like I could still keep up with Gilad and his black sneakers. I decided this will definitely be my on-the-road routine from now on.
I'm back at home now, without FitTV. But, our reunion is still on my mind. When I arrived back at my "home base" gym and saw my familiar faces, I was glad for a return to normalcy for a few days before I head out on the road again this week. And as soon as I stash my food in the hotel fridge, you know I'll be scanning the channels for Gilad again.
Getting a good workout on the road can be tough, so you have to look for opportunities and inspiration wherever you can. In my case, a trip down memory lane reminded me that I am still on the same journey I was at 13 years old. And it's nice to know that Gilad is, too. Is it bad that I want to buy a Bodies in Motion t-shirt?