Please fire me. When I agreed to spend two weeks travelling with a “high-power businessman” as his “personal interpreter” during “global strategy meetings about environmental issues” (he seems like he should be in advertising), I did not know that would include going to dinners with him and him alone and spending 35 minutes reading and translating his entire menu every single night. Good thing I went to school for 22 years and got my PhD.

Great question from X230

After 20+ years of business travel I think I’ve mastered the art of staying fit on the road.  

  1. Plan to train.  My running shoes are the first thing I pack and I bring gear for every night I’m going to be gone.  I’m disappointed if I get back home with clean clothes.
  2. Set the expectation with your coworkers that you’re going to train every day.  My colleagues know that I’m always training for a race, I’m going to go to the gym every night and they no longer have any expectation that I will be joining them in the bar.  They know that I’m not happy about client dinners that take longer than 2 hours. 
  3. Don’t work out, train.  Everyone tells themselves they’re going to work out, but few actually do.  Working out sounds optional. Training for a race on the other hand, commands respect.  Colleagues will try to talk you into skipping a work out but are more likely to encourage and compliment you for sticking with a race training plan.
  4. Have a non-negotiable goal before you go to the gym.  Before you step into the gym you should know what you’re going to accomplish.  My non-negotiable goal is always to train at least an hour and to sweat.
  5. Alcohol is the enemy of training.  Drinks are a great social lubricant for get togethers with clients and employees, but they eliminate motivation.  Stick with club soda and a twist of lime - most people will assume it’s a gin and tonic and not hassle you about not drinking.
  6. No excuses.  Don’t stay at hotels with crappy gyms or else be willing to pay a few bucks for a day pass to a real gym.   Yes, you can work out after eating, just don’t stuff yourself.  Yes, you can sleep after working out, just take a shower and give yourself 30 minutes to relax first.  These are habits just like anything else - I now have a hard time sleeping if I haven’t worked out in the evening.
  7. Try not to eat like shit. I’m good, not great at this one.  Fortunately I travel enough that eating out on an expense report isn’t a big deal any more.  I’d much prefer to get something quick for dinner at Subway than order a giant steak, etc.   And I usually bring plenty of protein bars so I’m not tempted by the mini-fridge in the middle of the night.

It’s absolutely possible to train and race effectively for marathons (I’ve run 25) and triathlons (including Iron distance - I’ve done 6) while traveling for business 3-4 days every week.   Speaking of which, tonight I ran 6.5 miles in an hour at the LifeTime Fitness in Allen, TX. and it was the best part of my day.

Sixty Percent Of Business Travellers Do Not See Hotel Brand Standards Being Met

According to a recent study of business travelers by Deloitte, the majority of business travelers surveyed feel experiences at hotels operating under the same brand name differ depending on location, with six in 10 (60 percent) noting that facilities and service quality vary widely.

The study goes on to also conclude that a generation gap may define hotel preferences and that travelers prioritize amenities and efficiencies.

READ FULL report from Deloitte >>

photo credit: Some rights reserved by citizenM hotels

Sometimes Being the Stay-Behind-Parent Really Sucks

So, I’ve been the solo parent for the past 12 days, working on birthday party planning for the twins, doing all the scut work required for the day-to-day maintenance of kids (cooking meals, making snacks for them to take to school for recess, getting them to school, picking them up from school, etc.), and dealing with OlderTwin’s recent illness. 

DynaPapa breezes back from his trip bearing gifts, so, of course, the kids see him as the exciting parent. 

To his credit, DynaPapa makes a point of telling the kids what an awesome thing I did by being the stay-behind-parent and handling everything in his absence. So, for those of you who travel, be sure to remember to do likewise. It’s up to you to help your kids understand and acknowledge what the stay-behind-parent did in your absence. It’s not nearly as glamorous as returning with gifts but it’s equally as important as the work you did on your business trip.