Training Lessons Learned From Traveling the Worst Airline Ever

Preface: As you could probably surmise from the title, this post is a bit different than my normal content.  To warn you, it's a bit of a rant, but if you stick with it, there is a message at the end.  Plus, it's my blog, so I can kind of do what I want. :)

As some of you may know, this past weekend was kind of a big deal. Lindsay and I were traveling to the midwest on Friday morning so that my parents could meet hers, and we had our wedding shower on Saturday night.  It was going to be a great weekend where we'd get a ton of family time. Or, so we thought....

Little did we know, by Saturday night our weekend seemed more like an episode of Seinfeld than real life. 

I'm pretty sure I lived the airport equivalent to this episode.

I'm pretty sure I lived the airport equivalent to this episode.

To set the scene, Lindsay and I were going to take a flight at 9 AM on Friday out of Boston to Chicago.  Thursday evening, she received a call at midnight saying our flight had been cancelled, but that we had been rebooked at the same time and same flight.  While I had already passed out after drinking my usual 1/2 bottle of beer, there was little we could do that late anyway, and we figured something had simply screwed up their system.

Low and behold, we were actually rebooked for a flight at 9 AM on Saturday morning.  Annoying?  Yes.  But, we figured we could still make it work since no other flight out of Boston had been cancelled. Somehow American Airlines (the antagonist in this story), still wanted us to pay $25 to check a bag and have us wait on standby all day.'s annoying, but we had bigger fish to fry.

Well, after waiting on standby for 6 hours, and having crew members pass us on the waiting list, we decided it simply wasn't our day.  To their credit, American did manage to book us on a 6 AM flight the next day instead of 9 AM. 

"Early flights are hardly ever cancelled or delayed" they said..

"You'll get there in plenty of time," they said..

I wouldn't have been surprised if this had occurred when we landed.

I wouldn't have been surprised if this had occurred when we landed.

Fast forward to the next morning and we seemed set to go and pulled away from the gate on time.  However, after sitting on the runway for 30 minutes, we were told there was a "battery discharge" issue, and would need to return to the gate and get off the plane.  After waiting for 2 hours, we were told the flight wouldn't take off until noon.  The irony was completed right after that announcement, as we watched our original 9 AM flight take off without any delays.

After waiting on standby (and failing) on another flight, we did get tickets for a 1:55 Saturday flight out of Boston.  For once we were lucky, as that noon flight was cancelled shortly after and we were one of the only passengers from our original flight that day (with whom we made many friends) to fly out.  

So, after 13 hours of waiting in Logan over two days, we did finally make it out to Chicago.  Our weekend after that was terrific, and we had a great time at our wedding shower that ended up being postponed to Sunday afternoon. But, the big story of the entire weekend was our travel.

Yes, that sucked the big one.  But, I was somewhat willing to accept that these types of debacles usually come with the territory.  I had been pretty fortunate in traveling during the past, as I've always been able to avoid big snowstorms and massive delays (until this past weekend).  

The most frustrating part, however, was not the travel....but American Airlines' customer service.  At no point in the two days was there any talk of an apology, a free voucher or compensation, or even free cookies!  Nothing.  Nada. Zippo.  Instead, the apathetic, flippant,  and powerless nature of American Airlines' customer service was simply infuriating.

And if you're thinking we just should have complained and raised more of a stink, I assure you...frustrations were expressed.

Thus, here is where we get to the crux of this post with three simple words: Give a crap.  

Seriously.  The 13 hours we spent at Logan airport on Friday and Saturday would have been much more tolerable had we known that at least someone at American Airlines was truly apologizing for the cancelled and delayed flights.  Instead, they were simply "punching the clock," and as a result were as helpful as a poison ivy napkin after eating ribs.

As I thought more about it, I realized that "giving a crap" applies to much more than just airplanes and customer's about training.  Let me explain.

I know that working out and training really aren't everyone's "thang."  You know what?  That's totally OK!

(In fact, it's probably a good thing that there aren't many more people like me out there.)

All I care about is that when someone is training, that it's their favorite activity at that moment.  There is nothing worse than seeing a client of mine, or just random person in the gym, going through the motions and not caring.  Why?  Because there's a pretty strong correlation with how careful attention you pay to the details of a deadlift or a squat, and your success with strength and/or fat loss.  The more you care, the more you'll find success.  

Don't care that your squatting on your toes, your knees are caving in, and you look like you're performing a dry heave?  I doubt you'll find success.

Take pride in everything you do, especially when it's something as important as your health.  Not only does it set the tone for your workout, but for everything else as well.