Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Night and Day and my first challenge...

One of the beautiful things about the late night Atlanta (ATL) to Tel Aviv (TLV) flight is it always leaves from the exact same gate. This is a necessity based on the security requirements (you have to go through rescreening right before boarding). E17, it is always E17. Unfortunately this is the farthest gate you can go to in the airport from the main terminal. On past trips this has been a real challenge for me. The walking left me exhausted and required many stops. One of my worst memories is falling on my face in the E concourse because I was having such a bad day with my leg. Another bad memory is trying to get the help I needed from the gate agents related to stairs and other challenges.

Tonight was a totally different story. If I didn’t know better I would say the size of the terminal shrunk, but the reality is this is the dividends of all the hard work in the gym. Not only did I have the stamina to easily do the walking, but the improvement in my leg also removed many of my previous hurdles.

Once on the plane the difference became even more noticeable. I am incredibly blessed with my job, that all my travel helps me build large reserves of skymiles, which is how I pay for these trips. I was able to book a business class reward on the Boeing 777. The business seats are the “pods” with the lie flat seats. They are not built for large people and on my last trip I felt incredibly confined and uncomfortable. This time around the seats feel much larger and roomy. Obviously the seats are the same, and I am sitting in the same seat I did last time (14D) so the difference must be me!

This flight does present one challenge, the timing of the meals. I have NEVER understood how they plan this flight. The flight typically leaves between 10pm and 11pm Eastern, which is 5-6am in Tel Aviv. Neither time is conducive to a large meal. Yet that is exactly what they serve after take off, a 4 course meal. And then the next meal is not until about 2 hours before landing (10 plus hours into the flight).

The menu is also not the healthiest in the world. But I am bound and determined to follow the trainer’s advice, that eating nothing is worse than eating something bad. So I am considering this breakfast (since my goal is to get my body on TLV timing as fast as possible) and will be having beef tenderloin for breakfast *smile*. I am skipping the breads, the appetizers and the side dishes and just getting some protein in before I fall asleep. Dessert presents a whole lot of choices I would love, ice cream sundaes, cheesecake and all the toppings. But my plan is to stick to a couple pieces of cheese and a couple strawberries. I am bound and determined the champagne before take off will be my only “bad food” on the flight.

The next big milestone will be traversing Ben Gurion Airport in 12 hours. The place is huge and in the past I have always taken one of the electric carts, but I am bound and determined that this time I do this all on my own. No assists, no cheats. My hope and anticipation is that it will be just as easy as Atlanta, but I am slightly concerned about my leg after this long a flight. We’ll see how that goes.

Until then, time for some steak and a nap!!!!!

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