SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Dear Lukas,
I know I’m a little … different … about this stuff, but there are few things more exciting about being away from home and going for a run in foreign territory.
There’s a lot less nervousness these days about being lost, with GPS technology and smart phones being what they are, so on-the-road runners can take to the foreign streets with glorious abandon.
‘This must be what Lewis and Clark felt like,’ I thought unironically last Saturday as I took off for a brisk jog near the RMU men’s hockey team hotel. (Told you I was a little different about this stuff.)
You see, I was on the road for the final weekend of 2018, tagging along with the Colonials as they played a pair of away games at American International College. This was a long trip in the context of my job, but since the players are still in their semester break, no sleeper bus was needed, so there was room for your Dad.
Delusions of pioneer grandeur aside, these runs always seem to fly by, since my brain is too busy reacting to new sights, sounds and feels to consider how long I’ve been out there or how tired my legs are getting. Variety is the spice of life, and that’s one cliché I don’t mind buying into in this case, since it’s long been a time-honored staple of the avid runner’s mentality.
Taking advantage of new surroundings is a fun fitness hack I’ve frequently taken advantage of when traveling for sports media work over the past four years. Even a run-of-the-mill, cramped hotel gym can trigger the novelty effect, but I find getting outside enhances it even more, simply because I have to keep my head on a swivel.
Two out of the three days in Massachusetts, I stayed snugly inside the Hampton Inn ‘fitness center.’ Hey, it’s still winter, even though last weekend was mild. Like I said, though, even a different look indoors can make putting in the work a little more fun.
You know what else is fun? Staying on The Plan even when you have every excuse not to. Crazy enough, working in athletics usually gives you plenty of opportunities to just sit around, whether on the bus or in your room.
If I’m being honest with myself, the joy of winning on the road is as much about telling laziness to get lost as it is about playing explorer. Call it a harmless quirk or a character flaw, but I often find it easier to stay active when there are plenty of reasons take a break.
It’s probably some in-born stubbornness at work, so you might be following in these footsteps someday. Judging from that mischievous look you give Mom and me when you’re doing something you shouldn’t, I think there’s a little defiant streak in that brain of yours.
You might as well enjoy the benefits of that trait. In fact, consider it a gift. You’re welcome!
DAILY STATS via Apple Watch
Calories burned (active): 803
Minutes exercised: 48
Hours stood: 14
Steps taken: 9,723
Activity: Four-mile run at 8:00/mile pace