This week work took me to San Francisco which is a beautiful city.  As we worked on an opportunity for a large client, our schedule was difficult to say the least and finding time for training certainly wasn’t as easy as I had hoped.  Business travel is also an opportunity to socialize with co-workers a bit.  Since I telecommute most of the time, I don’t often have a chance to spend much time with my co-workers and these trips often provide the venue to get to know them.  As we dined in San Francisco’s Epic under the Bay Bridge I found myself torn.

There was a time (the time when I weighed 210 and couldn’t run past the corner at my house) when I would be one of the first to indulge in the delicacies of fine cocktails, martinis, wine and of course after-dinner drinks and I won’t talk about the over-indulgence in food.  The team has been working hard on this proposal and we haven’t seen each other in some time and after a long day there was a clear need to unwind.  Martini orders started flying around, wine, better wine, more wine, appetizers, salads, entrees, deserts and after dinner drinks ensued…the atmosphere was jovial and all I could think about was my bike work-out that loomed when I got back to the hotel.Bay_Bridge

It really is a tough balance in that I truly enjoy the company of my co-workers and I learn much from them in and outside of work.  I know plenty of people out there that couldn’t be paid to have a drink with the people they work with but I really do enjoy the work and the people.  Willpower was key to that evening and it was hard for two reasons.

The willpower to avoid drinking, limit myself to a steak salad and avoid the sweets was hard but the impending workout helped.  I’ve tried before to drink and then go work out, and I promise you that it’s not an experience that I care to repeat so in a sense the threat of misery should I choose to indulge was enough motivation to keep the temptations aways.

What was harder than willpower however were some of the comments.  People were having fun at dinner and used to know me as one who would partake easily in the excess.  As such, there were several comments about it, some of which not exactly flattering circling around the fact that I wasn’t as much fun anymore.  More than not drinking (which I enjoy) or eating (which I love), the comments that perhaps my more disciplined attitude now somehow made me less attractive in social settings were a bit hard to take I admit.   I haven’t been in that situation before and it was new to me.  While I was able to plan and prepare myself to eat right, limit drinking and train, I just hadn’t planned for this and it took me by surprise.

The night ended close to midnight and my doubts subsided when I was on the bike and felt good enough to enjoy the workout and not suffer too much.  After a short but solid 5 hours of sleep, I woke up at 6:15 for a 6:30 run with one of the individuals who chose to partake in the festivities the night before.  Though I was very impressed that he joined me for a run, I also enjoyed a bit of a revenge as he clearly was recovering from the alcohol he had the past night and struggled a few times on the run.

Though travel is hard on the body and makes it very difficult to maintain a proper training schedule I have to say that San Francisco makes it much easier.  With well equipped hotels and healthy food stores everywhere it’s difficult to truly have an excuse not to train and eat healthy.  The mild weather made my morning run along The Embarcadero very enjoyable Tuesday morning.  I certainly understand why so many professional triathletes choose the Bay Area as their home.

One thought on “Willpower

  • Wow!! Your post hit the bullseye with me today. I just returned from a yet another business trip and was considering my progress, or more accurately, the lack thereof, on my training goals. It is so easy to succumb to the temptations of trading an enjoyable evening of overindulgence with rarely-seen colleagues for the planned workout. I can empathize completely! At times, our resolve is stronger – maybe the short term goal is closer… or we are able to manage our time a little better to get our training workout in before the socializing ensues. This past trip was not as successful, but your comments helped me put it in perspective and understand why it can be so hard to be as disciplined as we have to be to achieve the end goal. Thank you for sharing the thoughts many of us have when in similar situations – I think the comments from our colleagues are merely a reflection of their disappointment in themselves that they do not have the same resolve or maybe their goal just isn’t as important to them. In any case – I believe we can all be just as much fun (well, almost) and stick with our commitment to ourselves.

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