To his delight, Clay decided to take a last-minute trip to Chicago—a trip that he had previously dismissed as an option due to the surgery on his knee. But his recent progress has him feeling confident about his ability to walk around “The Windy City,” and a large part of his confidence is credited to his first round of golf since the surgery (Clay’s last story segment), which left him feeling invigorated.
So does this mean a vacation from his conditioning too? The obstacles of an injury and the enabling excuse of “being on vacation” are daunting to overcome. But, if you have been following “Clay’s Story,” then it comes as no surprise that Brandon (Clay’s personal trainer) and Clay view this as just another little mogul. So, they simply created a plan for Clay to continue his conditioning while he was out-and-about in Chi-Town.
Brandon gives his clients fun and creative fitness programs to do whenever they have to travel, and when they are without the luxury of having an LA Fitness nearby. When Clay, and his wife Sharon, vacationed in Cabo San Lucas, Brandon designed a beach related exercise program for them. Having fun exercises like “sand squats and lunges,” and “single-leg tide balance”—an exercise done in the soft sand, where the waves push-up ankle-high water as you balance on one leg; the sand is then pulled from underneath your balancing foot as the tide rolls back into the ocean. These exercises not only provide great new workouts, but they also become another FUN part of your beach vacation!
Though Clay traveled over 2000 miles across the country, to get to Chicago from San Diego, he was able to feel right at home, and continue his workout program at the LA Fitness East Loop location—just a couple of blocks from his hotel! He worked out every day, including the morning before he flew back home. Each day Clay combined light cardio, resistance, and balance training for 40-45 minutes to sustain his conditioning. In addition, to his daily workouts, Clay estimates that he and Sharon walked a minimum of five miles each day as they perused the many wonderful shops and fabulous restaurants that the city has to offer.
“Standing still for a long time was actually the hardest on my knee,” said Clay. “Shopping and standing wore-it-out pretty quickly.” So Clay kept on the move, making the most out of his impromptu trip to Chicago from morning until…well, actually some days until morning again.
A highlight of Clay’s trip is the night that he and Sharon spent with friends at the Metropolitan Club. There they enjoyed a three-hour gourmet dinner complete with wine pairings and an incredible view of fireworks displayed over Lake Michigan. Though the Metropolitan Club shut-down at 1:00 a.m., Clay and friends were not about to let that shorten their evening, and so they continued up the block to Miller’s Pub where they resumed their merriment until it closed at 4:00 a.m.
Each conversation that I have with Clay is truly enjoyable and always entertaining. Knee surgery or not, he is living proof that you are only as old as you think you are, and that you should never settle for the status-quo. His trainer, Brandon, nicely sums-up a very motivating quality about Clay:
“He’s the kind of guy that reassures me my age won’t slow me down,” said Brandon. “If I want to keep snowboarding, for the rest of my life, seeing Clay assures me I can do it.”
You won’t to want to miss our next segment in Clay’s story! We find out if Clay’s hard-work is really paying-off when he gets an official update from his surgeon. There’s not much time left before Clay boards a plane heading to Lake Tahoe for his annual ski trip. Will he be on the slopes with his friends, or will his doctor sideline Clay, keeping him in the lodge for this year’s trip? Come back next Monday to find out!