Heavy travel can take its toll on consultants. While life on the road can lead to poor eating, sleeping and health habits, it doesn’t have to. Management Resources Group’s Energy Markets practice leader Michael Desabris has managed to balance his 11- year consulting career with a remarkably fit lifestyle.
Consulting: How did you become interested in outdoor sports?
Desabris: I grew up in northeast Connecticut, which is very rural. I taught kayaking in Connecticut. I used to race Motocross. I just kept with it. When my twin boys were 12, my wife encouraged me to go out and get bikes. Where we live, there are a lot of trails and farms. We can ride for a few hours and not go on the same trail twice. And we’ve continued doing a lot of things as a family. When we went to the Grand Canyon, we hiked from the top down to the bottom, stayed at a lodge at the bottom for a day, and then hiked back up.
Consulting: Does your family really prefer roughing it?
Desabris: During our family trips, we get to use my reward points to provide a change of pace. Out in Arizona, we did five days of hiking and camping, and then spent time at a nice resort with a lazy river and a nice spa.
Consulting: How do you balance your active lifestyle interests with the travel schedule of a consultant?
Desabris: It’s hard to stay in shape when you’re traveling and on the road all the time. Normally, Monday is a long travel day, and I don’t have time to work out. But Tuesday through Friday, I try to get up around 5:30 a.m. and exercise for an hour. I try to combine sports, swimming with bike riding or swimming and running.
Consulting: What advice do you have for consultants that say they don’t have time to be that active?
Desabris: I find that when I’m on the road, I can compartmentalize my time a little more than when I’m home. I can almost always find an hour to go jog. I’ve run next to the Great Lakes and through the streets of Amsterdam and Brazil.