I recall a bleak warning from my Manager during my first week of starting work with people2people. “You think you’re fit now, wait until you start putting on the p2p pounds!”. I was always quite slim and no matter how much food I put away, rarely would it show. Within a year, that particular prophecy had become true and I had tipped the scales with an extra 10 kgs! During this year, I had maintained a gym routine which focused more on heaving lifting and light cardio and clearly this didn’t really curb the rounded abdomen, but rather nurtured it.
More recently, following a trip to the Big Apple and as you would expect, there was an abundance of large portions of saturated fat, coupled with a penchant for frequent servings of pork belly and rice. I also fell into the rhythm of avoiding the gym and perfecting the ‘lift from the plate to the mouth’ as a bicep curl substitute. So, something clearly had to be done.
So I was talked into an impulsive purchase of a bicycle over the course of a recent weekend and along with three friends, we have since cycled throughout Sydney, to the gym and back (which is salt in the wound for weary legs), nearly ridden to work (which is a work in progress) and made it halfway along the M4 bike track at night, before bailing and waiting for a more appropriate time of day.
At the gym, we have followed the recent Olympics for inspiration and begun hill sprints, a wide array of body exercises, become very familiar with kettle bells and medicine balls, and learnt how to land a Muay Thai kick without ending up flat on the canvas. Aside from delving into my personal fitness habits, the main benefit (besides better cardiovascular health) has been the impact on my work, relationships and general daily attitude. The result of this has been the spring in my step on the way to work, a less hunched posture whilst staring at my computer screen, increased energy in my ‘phone calls, meetings and interactions with my colleagues.
So much so, that I did convince one of them to join me in a trial of Spartan training (he lasted 20 minutes before the head spins began). Regardless, his feedback was positive, with a renewed ambition to ‘get the habit going’, which is always the first and hardest step to take. This physical exercise has translated into my everyday work activities and commitments.
The days and weeks seem to go by much quicker, I have had improved sleep patterns after very busy working days and I have had a desire for more nutritious food. Ultimately, I am recommending exercise and fitness as an integral part of a work/life balance, in particular, to those of you who are sitting in offices and getting way too comfortable with the ‘chocolate bar bicep curl’.