Life On A Bus!

LIFE ON A BUS! 

YAY! I got a job! What’s that you say? It means I will be traveling on a bus sometimes 8 – 10 hours a DAY to do it? Wow…

30 days on a bus… and… GO!!!
At times I am fortunate enough to be employed in my chosen profession (Show Biz! Insert Jazz Hands here!) as a performer. I have had all types of jobs; singing waitress, backup singer, dressing as a Ninja Turtle for a store’s grand opening, filming corporate training videos and doing off-broadway productions in NYC and regional productions all over the country. In my current job I am playing the part of a singing dancing NUN… yes you heard me right!

The amazing part about being a performer is when you actually get to PERFORM. It’s all the other stuff that’s hard, like actually GETTING the jobs, and when you DO get the jobs, they usually involve being away from home.

The hard part of this particular job is that we are on a bus everyday traveling, ALL day from destination to destination, theater to theater.

This is a picture of the last tour bus I was on, Big Blue!

Hoteling every night after the show, and up again in the morning to do it all again. HAPPY to have a job! But, I gotta tell you the bus/travel/hotel thing presents some challenges!

Sounds like a reality program; NUNS ON A BUS (we are the VAUDEVILLE type Nuns on a Bus, not the political ones!) : Who can stay on a bus with 11 people for 30 days, travel all across the country and not go crazy? Who will be banished at the next bus stop for singing show tunes FULL volume in an enclosed space? Tune in next time when our cast mates fight for the front seat! Ooooooo! What’s gonna happen next???

So in staying with the theme of this blog… HOW will I/we stay healthy on the road, mostly eating out, exercising in a different environment and city everyday, having a very finite amount of space on the bus and later in the hotel room? Not having a kitchen? HOW how HOW??! I’m ain’t lyin, I’m a little worried about it… Bus tours are notorious for adding pounds to the participating performers posteriors! I’m going to post while on this tour, encouraging myself to keep track, be accountable, and record our experiences.

Yes we are doing a musical all over the country, one night here, one night there, ALL over the US. The show is REALLY fun and the cast and crew are a GREAT bunch of people that includes Cindy Williams (of Lavern and Shirley fame) as our leading lady. My other cast mates include Bambi JonesStephanie Wahl and Christine Mild along with our understudies Gwendolyn Jones and Kim Chesser. For more information on the show and our schedule click Nunsense.com.

The show to me is a ‘known’, the unknown and scary part about this work trip for me will be trying to stay healthy while traveling. Especially with SO much time spent sitting on the bus. In everyday life short trips home to see family, or vacation, is a long weekend or week at the most. If my diet and exercise suffer a little during that time it’s easy to rectify when I get home. But THIS trip will be ALL of October, then a week off, back on the bus a few weeks, on a few weeks… then there’s the Holidays in the middle… you see how this is going? Life on a bus! Challenges!

On this trip my goals will be to exercise (tips for exercising while traveling) everyday. Eat as much fresh produce as I can, keep my calories in check, and NOT gain weight (even lose a little?)!

Oh yes… and ENJOY myself!!! Wahoo! Stay tuned!

Life On A Bus!

The actual time we WORK on this tour only takes up about 4 hours a night. If we also do a matinee, that’s 8 hours out of the day. The REST of our hours provide PLENTY of time to get into trouble!  I think a person’s success in staying healthy on the road is about keeping mentally focused on goals and not letting the novelty of being on such a long trip undermine them by letting food become a way of entertaining us at every stop. Finding OTHER ways to be engaged and entertained on the road: books, projects, watching films (after all WE are not DRIVING the bus!), learning something new, knitting – what ever! Things to keep us busy and mentally alive. Also making sure we don’t take in more calories than we burn (and the quality of those calories) should be our first concern. See my favorite video YOU CAN’T OUT EXERCISE A BAD DIET. More on eating while traveling in my next posts!

DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY YOURSELF THOUGH! I TRIED HOME MADE SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN IN GEORGIA AND CATFISH IN JACKSON MISSISSIPPI AND WOULDN’T TRADE MY TASTES OF THOSE!!!

Exercise is very important, it gives us muscle definition (I’ve noticed a great difference in my shape and my posture since I started to include non-equipment strength exercises into my routine). Stairs are easier to climb, it gives us stamina for our jobs and life, better sleep quality, and the calories you burn are not negligible, we just have to be realistic about what it can accomplish for us if we are not eating well and balanced. I think 1 hour of ‘formal’ exercise a day (divided between cardio, strength and stretching), should be sufficient for the average person and their goals.

In terms of getting sufficient exercise when traveling we have to assume that there might not be a gym in every hotel, or if there is they may be lacking, or busy at the time you have available to use it. SO we can make other arrangements JUST in case. I have several book marked workouts on my computer and Pandora is up and ready to provide uptempo music to get me going. None of these workouts require more room than the length of my body. Perfect for hoteling! Here are a few of the workouts I do in various rotations depending on how much time I have to and how I am feeling.

  • Jenn Fit (these are super great when the caffeine in my coffee REALLY gets me going!) you can do the circuit one time through or 3 times through depending on what  your schedule and energy is. She lists many routines but my favorites are LEGS ON FIRE CIRCUIT and MORNING WORKOUT CIRCUIT 
  • Cindy Whitmarsh (when I don’t want to think and get my work out DONE) She has a nice 30 min or 20 min cardio / strength routine
  • Joe Cordillo (seemingly simple but it will make you SWEAT) I bought some JCORE videos on a memory stick from Amazon, all the moves LOOK easy but guaranteed to make you sweat and strengthen in short 20 min segments you can do one or more a day, and he has people behind him doing different variations if you need to adjust the intensity level
  • There of course is always the option of taking a quick jog/walk outside, but not knowing where we are (side of that highway? Unknown neighborhood?) at times I like the option of having indoor workouts at the ready. Most hotel buildings also have a set of stair at either end and a few times up and down the stairs will get your heart racing!

After doing the sweat inducing portion of my workout I like to follow up with a few non – equipment strength moves – and some basic all over stretchers. I pick a few moves from some of my favorites listed below:

the plank/pilates – the 100’s/Russian Twists/chair dips/Bicycle Crunches/Hip & Hamstring strengtheners & Stretches/the bridge/butt booty workout/And something for the back: the Superman! or pilates – paddle/downward dog/the pigeon/child pose

Everything I’ve talked about today in terms of workout are VERY portable for traveling. Remember to drink alot of water!  Ok, I’ve had my coffee and I am ready to move! I will use this caffeine power for good, and get my workout done! Have a great day :)

 

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