1) I don't work a 9-5 job
2) More often than not, I'm traveling with work
3) I hate gyms
4) I don't live with mountains in my (immediate) back yard
These aren't excuses for physical exercise (in fact, there's a fair bit of time in my usual day where I'm moving, lifting, and walking a good distance) but they're challenges. I spent a lot of time last summer, when work is usually slow, walking around the local lake. Most people will walk once around it- approx 3.2 miles- and go home. I found myself walking for hours, sometimes 10-14 miles a day. I will admit that it's pretty much a flat walk... But it was better than nothing, right? The problem was that once I started traveling again, I didn't have access to that lake, and 12-16 hour work days don't give me much time to go to a hotel gym.
To remedy this, a friend and I came up with a plan. I have a habit of always asking for a 'room with a view' when I check into a hotel. I like the option of photographing skylines, should the mood strike. Tying into this habit, we decided that at least once a day during my stays, I would walk up to my room from the lobby. A genius plan: urban mountaineering. Last week, for example, I was on the 34th floor of the Marriott Copley in Boston. More often than not I'll also walk down the stairs to street level, then back up. One night during that stay I did 68 flights of stairs in under 12 minutes. Granted I practically ran down (it becomes rhythmic) but my climb back up was quick! Not bad for a 600' elevation gain.
My walk was pretty cold, but I was able to enjoy views of the sunset from the top of a hill, and also snack on an icicle... something I haven't done since I was very little and staying at my grandmother's house during winter storms. We'd break them off of the porch overhang and eat them. It was actually quite refreshing and lasted a good 20 minutes! The one I broke off was about 18" long.
I'm back on the road with work now (currently posting from JFK in NY waiting for my flight to Los Angeles) but am really buckling down for gear review and coming up with what's needed before April 2nd when I fly to Springer Mountain - specifically, fly to Atlanta then drive to Springer Mountain. It's amazing how quickly time flies.