Taking on a New Challenge

Six months ago, I made a choice to get in as good a shape as I could get in.  I decided to try out P90X.

But let’s rewind a few months…

It’s January 1, 2009.  I had been talking with co-workers about going to the gym.  I hadn’t made an effort before this and was only sporadically running.  I was not a super fit person, but in general, I was not concerned about being able to get into shape if I needed to.  I have always watched what I eat, even if I did overindulge a little bit here and there.

So I started going to the gym (again).  I was going every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I was essentially doing the same exercises using the machines provided.  So I would bench, do some squats, and do a lot of arm and chest exercises.  After it was all done, I would stretch some and head on home.

After a few months of this, I was not really seeing any changes.  Sure, I was a little stronger.  My bench was almost over 200 pounds (I have never been very good at bench pressing) and I was definitely crushing the leg press machine, usually pressing over 400 pounds.  In all honesty, this is what I miss the most about not going to the gym.  Sure “Legs and Back” is a great workout, but I miss the thrill of getting up that much weight.

Over the summer, I went back home for various summer events.  There I was talking to a friend of my brother and when he was offered dessert, he declined saying that he was watching what he was eating.  He then got into the new program he was trying out.  Turns out he was doing P90X.  After a few conversations about this, I was still skeptical.

How is this any different than just going to the gym and doing different workouts?

But when I finally decided to try it out after doing some research, I found that it is much different.  Now, I think that someone can be fit and get into super good shape without P90X, but where I was, I did not have the knowledge or drive to do so.  This program put me on the right path, held me responsible for pushing play every day, and allowed me to wake up every day and get started on my workout without having to worry about taking the walk to the gym.

So here I am, six months after I started round 1, and I am two weeks from finishing round 2.  I’ve learned a lot more about what goes into my body, which is probably the most important thing that I’ve learned on this journey.  I have also learned that in order to have the type of fitness that I want, I have to work at it.  I also learned the power of yoga.  That is actually the most surprising thing to me, the fact that I love yoga.  I can’t wait for Thursdays (my yoga days).  Although the hour and a half can seem long, the way that I feel after it is all done makes it all worth it.

So I’ve now decided to become a Beachbody Coach and help others with their health and fitness.  I hope that this blog will help in that goal.

When Life Gives You Lemons

You make Lemonade.   (Hulu link)Lemon_Splash

Erik Proulx was a senior copywriter, and lost his job.  Instead of counting himself out and sacrificing time with his family to take a job in San Francisco, he made Lemonade, literally.

This film is about what can be done when life gives you lemons.  16 people from various ad agencies were laid off and their stories are told here.

It’s a must watch, especially in these trying economic times.

No lemons were hurt until the making of this film.

Managing by Context

There was a great slideshow about how Netflix deals with the management of their company.  Lots of good stuff including a question that should be asked of a supervisor every so often in order to get a sense of where you stand and what you need to do; “If I told you I were leaving, how hard would you work to change my mind to stay?”

One slide really struck a chord with me:

Managers: When you are tempted to “control” your people, ask yourself what context you could set instead

Are you articulate and inspiring enough about goals and strategies?

I tend to try to be an efficient person.  Being efficient doesn’t always lend itself to laying out good context for the people that I supervise.  I make the mistake of assuming that they understand what we are doing and why we are doing it and then blame them for not getting the job done.

I tend to be someone who wants those I supervise to take an idea and run with it, but this is one area in which I could use some work as I tend to want to know everything that happens.  This is one skill that I would like to hone.  It may not even be how I manage that needs to change, just the context that I put directions:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders.  Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” ~Antoine De Saint-Exupery, Author of The Little Prince