March and April went by in a blur of airport lounges, powerpoint presentations, hotel key cards and mini toiletries. I am now back in London for a good two months before the next round of travelling kicks off again and I am still waking up a little disorientated. It’s been a huge learning curve and I’m still reeling from the impact of being whisked across time zones and learning to adjust on the go.
I suspect I was a little naive about the impact the schedule would make on my day to day, Mainly as there is no ‘day to day’ so to speak. Those that know me well, know that I am a big fan of structure and boundaries and clear routine. It makes me feel secure and confident and grounded. Nothing about the past month has been rooted in these principles. And that is both thrilling and unnerving.
I am a creature of habit. Obsessively, compulsively and to my core this character trait has both served me hugely (focus, tenacity, loyalty) and equally has nearly been my undoing. I have learned over the past 8 years or thereabouts to take this part of myself and channel it positively. Which is how every trait comes to be either positive or negative. It’s all in how its handled, what prism you put up to it.
The first thing to go was my running. I decided not to register for the current season of Run Dem Crew knowing that I was going to be out of the country for more Tuesdays than I was in it, and didn’t want to take up a much in demand space. While I was hoping to jump on a few casual runs and the Monday West sessions, the travel just wasn’t going to allow it. Mostly I miss the people, the amazing positivity and support, which when you don’t have your weekly dose, leaves a huge gap.
To be honest, I had decided to give up racing this year, to accommodate for my schedule, but I have found myself at the other extreme and now I’ve barely run at all. I have laced up a grand total of 4 times. That’s about once a month and I’m back to 10+ minute miles at a push with walking breaks. My confidence is shot too and the additional 10 pounds I have somehow found make lycra very very unappealing.
But if there’s one thing that I have learned in this brave new world of airmiles and conference calls, is that I can and must adjust to being flexible. That I can’t rely on the structure I set myself a year ago being applicable here in 2015. That I need to be softer with my self imposed boundaries and embrace a bit more uncertainty. That I need to learn to switch up faster and get a bit creative about my time when I am out of the country. Like make peace with the Dreadmill in the hotel gym. And take advantage of being jet-lagged and work out pre-breakfast (oh god… it’s unavoidable isn’t it?). And to pack enough socks. This was my big failing my last trip. NOT ENOUGH SOCKS
Now that I am back in London, one of my first priorities (after ALL the sleep) is to get out for a run. Even if it’s 20 minutes. And slow. With a walking break. The second is to get my new bike up and running. I have the quote, she’s in my sights and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of London in the Spring while I can.
After that I just want to soak up all that London has to offer. It’s a crazy old town, but having been away for close to 6 weeks of this year already, I can tell you absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.
In the meantime, any tips for travelling and keeping fit gratefully received!