One lap around the parking lot to warm up, and I was glazed in the layer of anticipatory sweat that an Alaskan gets when he’s visiting Tucson and has been awake just long enough to eat an energy bar, drink water and drive to the local CrossFit. First up at the 6:30 a.m. workout? Run a mile. Then rowing, then other stuff to fill 30 minutes.
I don’t mind running. The previous week I ran two miles worth of 800s, but it was 54 degrees and overcast in Ketchikan, Alaska. At 6 a.m. it’s 70.
But that’s sort of the point. Best-case scenario: stuff is lifted, carried, hauled or jumped over causing little muscle tears that will heal stronger and bigger than before, #swole. This is usually done in a familiar location, but when you take your desire for fitness on the road, all of a sudden you’re gasping for air that feels like hot breath, not the cool refreshing ocean.
You finish the mile run ahead of your bother, which is good, but after the wall climbers you collapse with such vigor that you wake up a baby sleeping in a car seat in the corner…which is bad.
Then you go back outside for 2000 meters of rowing. It’s getting hotter. Mean hot. Baked Alaskan hot. But you stay with it. It’s not your gym, but these are your people. You met them before you were fully awake and now you’re sweating with them as the clock slowly, almost defiantly, makes its way to 30:00.
You don’t care what the rest score, or where you place – as long as it’s faster than whomever you came with, in my case, my brother.
When it’s done, it sucked, but it’s over. You get the gym shirt to wear like a badge of voluntary misery and talk to your new friends. Yeah, you could have pretended you couldn’t find a place to work out, or say vacations are for relaxing and no one would have cared, but you made it work.
Besides, the post-workout meal opportunities out in The World are so much better than that of The Island, and after the beating you endured, nothing is off limits.