I want it. I need it. I look forward to it. When I go out of town—for work or for pleasure—I go find a yoga studio. When I’m traveling for work, yoga’s my treat at the end of the day. I spend the entire meeting looking forward to getting cosy with my mat. I've been known to pay a $35 cab fee each way to get to a $20 drop-in class out of sheer yoga desperation.*
Immediately after confirming travel reservations I go surfing for a class. I find the best studio nearest my hotel. I look up directions, both walking and driving. I find a cab phone number. In the way that some people plan cool restaurants to visit, I plan my yoga classes.
Now I’ve been doing this yoga thing long enough to know what my body needs in order to have a decent class. (Decent means I’m not swaying with fatigue or dealing with a hunger headache.) And, yes, one of those things I know that I need is food. Duh, right?
Though it’s not usually a problem to feed myself when I’m at home, work meetings make the simple task of eating so complicated. It screws with my routine.
It begins with breakfast. Bacon breafast burritos. Cereal with 2% milk. Big sugary muffins. Sausage. And fruit. Thankfully there’s always fruit. So that’s what I eat. I look like a pig piling my plate—and I do mean piling—with the cut pineapple and melon, but since it’s all I get to eat, I’m not bashful.
Mid morning snacktime? If I’m lucky they have nuts. Nuts are helpful. But too often hotels serve parfait-type things, and I’m not eating one of those unless I made it myself. You’ll find this is a theme with me. I have to know what’s my food. I once thought that everyone was like this. But I really don’t put anything in my mouth that I don’t know exactly what’s in there. In restaurants I order things simple, bare. A potato that I dress myself. Green beans. A roll. Chips. Salsa. I eat simply because I trust exactly no one. Same goes for meeting food.
Lunch is always a party. Today’s menu: pasta with smoked tomato and cream sauce (uh-uh), chicken caesar salad (nope), barbecued chicken (yeah right), [way over-] roasted root vegetables (bingo?). Not quite bingo. I couldn’t tell what each vegetable was. I picked out the potatoes, but left the weird smooshy bits. Lunch: a couple pieces of potato, a slice of bread, and a square of brownie. I was getting desperate for calories.
The throbbing hunger headache set in around 3PM. And here I am at a clinical event designed to teach 110 drug reps more about health and diabetes. My blood sugars were definitely in the toilet. (I can’t be certain though, ‘cause when it came time to test them like diabetics do—an empathy exercise—I opted out. Voluntarily stick myself with a needle? Are you out of your Vulcan mind?)
So yoga? Could I treat myself to an evening class today? No. I absolutely could not. I came back to my hotel room, ordered room service—black bean burger and hummus plate, if you were dying to know—came thisclose to licking the bowl that held steamed broccoli, and now I’m waiting for the headache to depart. Please. Soon.
I so look forward to finding a class. To hitting my mat. Especially on this trip. In visiting Minneapolis I have the chance to visit a CorePower studio, and I've been wanting to do that for a long time. So when it can’t reasonably happen tonight? When I'm not sure about tomorrow either? When work or food or work and food get in the way? (Did I mention I also had a 6PM conference call this evening?) Well, it doesn’t piss me off so much as it makes me sad. Yeah, there are times that I feel guilty for not making it to the mat, but when I don’t go to class—by choice or circumstance—I miss it. I’m bummed.
And thanks to this day of hunger and time zone fatigue I’m damn near close to crying. Again.
*Why not just practice in my room, right? Well, sometimes I do. I'm the little thing in the airport with a mat slung across her back. But when my company makes me share a room, I don't dig into a personal practice. There's just something not quite right with flowing through sun salutations and some strange woman walks in. It gets in the way of yoga giving me what I need. So I leave the premises for a class.