Alright!… We’re jammin’!!!
Learning the Art of Vaca…
I’m back in the Lou, Baby!
After a week of vaca in Barbados, I was worried it would be hard to get back into the 3:00am groove. But the transition from laying out in sunny paradise to shouting orders under the Vetta sky lights was actually a pretty seamless one. And it was absolutely amazing to see all my smiling peeps at class again this week.
So… ‘How was Barbados??’
First of all, I couldn’t have asked for better weather. Sunny, high of about 80 degrees every day, some intermittent cloud cover to keep things from getting too hot. Clear ocean waters that reflected sea foam green along the coast before transitioning into a dark ocean blue as the waters deepened. All the while, gentle waves were rolling in. White sandy beaches glittered with flecks of pink stretched as far as the eye could see.
My hotel room at Bugainvillea (right next door to Sandals) was pretty choice as well. Complete with kitchenette and a bathroom that I’m plotting to reproduce at my own house. If you’ve never experienced a waterfall showerhead… this is the way showers were always intended to be taken.
King sized bed with plenty of space for impromptu bodyweight workouts. And I was on the first floor of the resort complex with a private backdoor patio that overlooks the swim up bar, resort restaurant and within throwing distance of that white sandy beach.
There was a soft breeze that was just enough to keep the palm trees swaying and keep the beach goers cool and comfortable (comparable to about 3 or 4 rabbits on the Big @ss Fan at Vetta).
It was, by every stretch of the imagination, the embodiment of paradise. Any screen saver you’ve ever seen with the faceless beach bum swaying in a hammock while sipping a pina colada… that was this place.
And for the first three days, I was stressed AF. Lol.
Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t in an all-out panic mode or anything. And there were certainly interspersed moments of peace and serenity.
But I think vacationing is a lot like lifting weights or playing a guitar. If you don’t have any experience with it, you’ll probably feel a little uncomfortable at first.
Maybe that assessment is off-base… But, as I identify with the go-getter, entrepreneur-on-fire personality type, I found it difficult to fully disconnect.
It reminded me of my experience during my massage that I described in a blog post a couple months back. For someone who likes to pretend that he’s the master of his mind, I seem to have no idea where the OFF switch is.
Other people seemed content to lay on the beach for hours on end. I’d get restless and have to get up and walk the beach, jump in the ocean, read a book, write in my journal, wonder what I ‘should’ be doing…
Should I get another drink, where should I go to eat tonight, should I take a selfie, what are my plans for when I get back, should I use this time to put together a game plan, outline some video ideas, solidify a marketing plan, send a text, start a beach bootcamp, learn to play cricket, review my goals for the year, adopt a sand crab as a pet, strut my stuff in my Speedo, hijack a jet ski… Or should I…
Just flippin’ RELAX!
Relax??… You might have well have asked me to pull a rabbit out of my hat.
My mind continued to whirl a mile a minute. And I’d become increasingly anxious that I was spending too much of my vacation being anxious. Lol.
Eventually I did find my groove though.
[Back from an ocean swim… and flexing for the camera…]
After a string of meals that would have been absolutely chastised in a Would You Eat It Wednesday video, I finally made my way to a grocery store, in a desperate attempt to discover a vegetable.
After my first home made veggie and egg stir fry with a side of organic bacon, I started to settle in and take ownership of my trip a little more.
If you’ve eaten healthy long enough, you can only eat so many brown food items before your body begins to revolt.
I’m always confused why people find KFC ads appealing. For just $5 you can get 5 different kinds of brown!… Spare me!
Fittingly, while I was there, I was reading a book, called Own the Day. Which is exactly what I needed to do.
Who cares what you should be doing. Vacation is the time to just do you and own it.
So the last couple of days I did a better job of ‘owning’ my vacation. But I’ll probably need more reps in the future to fully master the art of the vaca. 😉
My time in Barbados definitely served it’s intended purpose. I came back a little more chillaxed, a little more clear, a little more tan, and with a little more love on my handles. Lol.
All that said, there have been some prevailing FAQ’s from this week that I’ll try and address here.
Did I workout in Barbados?
You bet your flying fish I did!
I worked out at the hotel gym one day, but every other day I was doing bodyweight workouts in my room with the back patio door open and music blasting from Beats Pill XL.
[Hotel room workout selfie…]
Bodyweight gems in my arsenal included but were not limited to: pushups, burpees, high knees, hover holds, back widows, superman lat pulls, bodyweight side lateral raises, armchair tricep extensions, end table bodyweight bicep curls, couch tricep dips, single leg pistol squats and levitation squats, angels of death, handstand pushups, Bulgarian split squats with foot elevated on the bed, frog bridge holds, low plank squat thrusts and an arsenal of other core moves for good measure…
The world truly is your gym when you know how to get creative and use your surroundings.
Was there any good food?
Yes, the fresh marlin was my favorite dish on the trip. And the flying fish (which is apparently a Barabados staple) was quite good as well.
Did you eat bad stuff? Be specific!
Alright, you want a confession??… Here it is:
Forgive me Bootcampers, for I have sinned: Hashbrowns, pastries, cereal (for sure the first time I’ve had conventional cereal in years!), French toast, pecan pie, ice cream cones (yes, plural), Yoplait yogurt, french fries, fried fish, fried plantain, and a piece of cookies and cream cheesecake.
Drinks included pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris, Banks beer (the local brew), vodka, and Bailey’s.
So yea, I OVER-indulged. But I have to plead ignorance here. Bear in mind, I was trying to figure out “How-To” vacation. I hypothesized that THIS was the way… Throw caution to the wind, right?
It’s no wonder I was experiencing symptoms of hyperactivity and restlessness. With all those carbs, sugars, and inflammatory oils spiking my blood sugar and hijacking my brain, who wouldn’t feel a little wonky and weird?
It’s amazing what some healthy fats and veggies can do to change your outlook. Those on the standard American diet will look at my daily menu and think I’m the weird one. “What do you mean you don’t eat bread??…”
But three days of testing out some of the average American staples for myself has me re-convinced… It’s ok to be weird! And when it comes to nutrition (whether in America or in Barbados)… it’s optimal!
What were the highlights?
I spent most of my time bumming on the beach and at the resort.
And despite booking the hotel for its picturesque swim up bar (my previous perception of the pinnacle of luxury), I only bellied up there once! (With such a gorgeous beach only 20 paces away… I couldn’t bring myself to actually set up camp at the bar. ‘Spring Break 2005 CJ’ definitely would’ve enjoyed it more.)
I guess the highlight would have to be the fish fry event that the whole island seems to gather for every Friday at Oistens. The dinner was underwhelming, but the atmosphere, the live music, the countless vendors, the diversity of people and cultures… this felt like the true spirit of Barbados.
Would you go again?
Yes! Barbados is gorgeous and definitely worth another visit. I don’t think I’d go solo again though. A trip like this should be shared with a friend or a special someone.
Also, eating out alone feels weird to me…
After you clarify to the witress, that yes, I’d like a table for “Just One”… Things become a little more awkward…
Me: “So… how’s your dinner CJ?”
Me: “Delicious, CJ! Are you enjoying your cocktail, CJ?”
Me: “Why yes, CJ, it’s delightful.”
Waitress: “Would you like to see the dessert menu, Sir?”
Me: “We’d love to!”
Waitress: “Ummmm… ‘We??’”
Will you be taking more days off in the future?
Yes, I intend to. While I’d like to take a couple week-long excursions per year, I think I may also start taking a day or two off each month just to break things up for me and to keep things interesting for all of you.
Derek got rave reviews and I couldn’t have been happier with the way he was able to take over for me. And based on my talks with him, it sounded like you all made him feel very welcome too, which I was extremely grateful to hear.
Derek not only took care of my business, he took care of my chickens, cleaned my house, redecorated the living room, and had a gift basket waiting for me when I returned. I was absolutely blown away!
Special thanks to Derek for taking over Bootcamp like a BOSS and making me feel comfortable with taking some personal time in the future.
Special thanks to all of you for making him feel welcome and for encouraging me to take a little time off the clock for a vaca… even if I need some more practice to get it right. 😉
Love you bunches!
P.S.– Need a mental vaca and want to transport to Barbados for 2 minutes??… I shot this video to magically transport you there: https://vimeo.com/267482761
Mark your calendars for 5/19/2018!!
That’s right!… We’re going back to the Battlegrounds!
Our crew had such a blast in the last one, that there was no hesitation in signing up for the next one.
You gotta get in on this!
AND… If you register early, you get a discount! (Discount code: LETSBATTLE)
Don’t miss out!
Here’s what to do (step-by-step instructions):
Go here: http://thebattlegrounds.com/events/
Click Sign Up Now!
Click Sign Up Online Now
Click Register Now
Choose Afternoon Waves 12-3pm
Fill out the form… (CHOOSE Distance: 5k) (CHOOSE Team: Battle-Tested Bootcampers)
Before you finish checking out, use DISCOUNT CODE: LETSBATTLE to get $10 OFF!
Hoping to get a big team together for this one, dominate the course, create some new stories, and party like a rockstar at the finish line!
Discount code may only be good through the end of October… so don’t wait… sign up now and schedule your life around this event. 😉
CJ’s Book of the Week:
“Own the Day” by Aubrey Marcus
“Skedge” for 5/7/18-5/12/18
Manchester (Class Times: Mon-Fri @ 5:30/7:00/8:30am & Satuday @ 7am)
Monday: Core (CJ)
Tuesday: Lower (CJ)
Wednesday: Upper (CJ)
Thursday: Core (CJ)
Friday: Lower (CJ)
Saturday: Upper (CJ)
Owner, Operator, & “CeejEO”
St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp