Traveling out of town on a health and fitness program can sometimes be challenging. There are so many distractions and being in unfamiliar territory makes it easy to procrastinate. Last week I had to hit the road for my real job at Edward Jones Investments. That’s right, Kevin doesn’t have me on the payroll, I’m a “Humboldt” volunteer who loves the Eye.
Thankfully my real boss, Bryan Plumley, is understanding about these things, in fact I probably wouldn’t have been able to do any of this if he wasn’t such a great boss (in reality he realizes that keeping me busy also keeps me out of his hair). He does however, insist that I attend the annual Regional Meeting for branch associates, and lucky me, they choose to hold them in beautiful Redding.
These meetings aren’t exactly what I call fun, so I was relieved when I found out that another local branch associate Sara Goodwin was attending the meeting too. She was a licensed personal trainer and told me not to worry because she had “it” (being me and my workout) all under control. Sara is nothing like Andy, she is tiny, blonde, and talks with her “inside” voice all the time (so I thought).
At this point I had zero thoughts of “why” because I fully expected a low key workout from such a quiet sweet girl. After day one of meetings about “thriving,” and other interesting subjects like banking services, proper account registration and communicating effectively with the Financial Advisors we needed to burn off some steam. As a result, the evening included a bit of “overindulgence.” By the end of the night we must have looked a bit like Girls Gone Wild as she had Tammy Visser (another tiny gal) and me racing up the stairs in heels. I must say it was fun to cause a bit of a commotion in the hotel. I felt like I was a 17-year-old girl again.
Before bed I was instructed to meet Sara at 5 a.m. in the hotel exercise room. After spending a fun night with her I was really looking forward to our workout. As I entered the room I noticed a giant sign on the door that read “Enter At Your Own Risk.” I chuckled and thought to myself, “Andy needs a sign like this for Boot Camp,” never giving a second thought to what was about to happen. Sara greeted me with a smile and said to jump up on the tread-mill for a 10 minute warm-up. Easy enough, I can do that!
Then she said to grab some weights and follow her at a fast pace outside of the hotel. OK, but right next to the “Enter at Your Own Risk” sign was another sign that said not to remove anything from the weight room. Before I can protest, Sara is out the door, so I grab some weights and follow her. The hotel clerk was watching every move we were making so I hung back a it to see if she was going to get busted. When she made it out without incident, I dashed out behind her with a little rush of adrenaline starting to surge through my veins. Then my troubles began.
Let’s set the stage. The hotel is pretty nice for Redding with a fountain, plush lawns and even pillars. We are right on one of the main roads and I am so thankful we are up early so the traffic is light. I am expecting to find a quiet place in the grass to pump a little iron Jane Fonda-style. A little public, but nothing that would draw attention. This is not what happens. She starts out by having us “Bear Walk” around the perimeter of the hotel. For those of you who don’t know what a Bear Walk is, it is when you walk on all fours (feet and hands). The “whys” start to build, but this time they are the result of both the intensity of the workout and the cars honking at us as they drive by. They must have been impressed by my increasingly hot body – hot as in sweaty).
In truth, I am sure we looked like total idiots but that only made the adrenaline surge even more, and made the workout even better. No wonder bears are so strong. Walking like they do is very hard. In fact, it was so hard that within minutes there was a trail of sweat on the cement behind me as I meandered around the facility. At least I could use it to find my way back if we got lost.
We make it back to the beginning, but the public humiliation has only started. Next come “Ninja Walks” (a blend of lunges and a namaste position) and Surrender Walks (when you hold weights above your head while you march around). By now traffic is beginning to pick up along with the quizzical looks and horn honks, but I barely notice them now. I have gone to my happy place, with a full endorphin rush on top of the adrenaline.
We finally get to the Jane Fonda stuff and after another 30 minutes of intense and public exercise we begin to cool down (more active rest). I return to my room, shower, dress and meet Sara and Tammy for the group breakfast. It turns out the commuters weren’t the only ones who noticed Sara and me that morning and we take a bit of ribbing about it. After a while however, the teasing turns into compliments about how impressed they are with our dedication. I am a bit embarrassed but happy to have inspired a few more people to consider getting healthy.
Debi Farber Bush is hot as in hot.