Insanity: Our Summer Fitness Challenge

July 8, 2012

Over the course of the last nine months or so, I’ve come to the startling realization that I’m a workaholic. Probably not a revelation to my friends and family who put up with me, but somewhat of a surprise to me. You see, I’m a social media strategist, which is to say, I get paid to spend 10-12 hours a day managing and driving conversations on a variety of online communities using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.

I’ve always been a pretty active individual – playing basketball, running cross country, surfing, hiking and so forth, but over the past several years, as I’ve worked hard to progress in my career, I’ve gradually allowed my work to get in the way of those activities I used to enjoy. For example, when Chris and I lived in Tallahassee, I thought nothing of waking up an extra two hours early so that Chris and I could hit the gym or go running before getting started for the day. Now, the mere mention of waking up early makes me seethe with resentment as I now view sleep as the most precious of commodities.

It’s funny (in an ironic sort of way) that the very things I love most about my job – becoming a subject matter expert on a variety of industries & products, writing content, managing customer service and so on – are also the things that wear me out. I believe (and I think my coworkers would agree) that working in the realm of social media requires a special kind of individual – someone who thrives on chaos, being “on” 24/7, problem-solving on the fly, etc. Unfortunately, the “thrill” (or stress if you prefer) of those activities take its toll over time, and instead of being proactive and circumventing the effects of long hours behind a desk, I stopped exercising. And now, three years later, that cessation has left its mark – I sleep in on the weekends because during the week I can’t turn my brain off, the thought of throwing on my running shoes fills me with dread because a mere half-miler leaves me huffing and puffing, I feel tired all the time, and let’s not even talk about my dietary choices.

These three years of less than healthy decisions came to a head this past week when Chris and I headed to our family’s lake house for the 4th of July. One of my cousins, Adam, went through a bit of a tough break up last year, and decided to channel his feelings into getting in shape. 30 days later, he’d completed the first stage of a dramatic transformation, and by the time the family converged at the lake, he was the most fit I’ve ever seen him. While I won’t say it was his success that drove my decision to start treating my exercise program like a job (I’ve been agonizing about it for months), he did pique my interest in the Insanity program. So here I sit, as usual, in front of my glowing screen – determined to take one hour each morning to do something for myself, and because I thrive on turning chaos into order and pushing myself to my limits, I’ve decided on a program that I’ve heard lives up to its name. Bring on Insanity.

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