Friday, November 27, 2015

9:39 PM
So first I will show you the email / calendar invite that I sent to my entire company last week. Then I will tell you why I sent that email, and then I will tell you how it went.

Here is the email:

Dear All,

I think that many of you feel as I do – which is that we have been working very hard, to the point that it has been impossible to fit in all the exercise that we would like to in order to be healthy, fit and less stressed. As such, my proposition to all of us is to earmark a few minutes each day to fit in a small, purposeful and effective dose of exercise.

The best form of this I have found is the 7 minute workout.

So please join me (in the hall, in your office, in your cube or remotely) at 10AM and 2PM every day for a 7 minute workout. Just download the app from itunes or equivalent, accept this invite, and let’s spend 14 minutes each day taking care of ourselves. I promise that adding this ~hour of working out to your week will make you feel happier and be more productive. No need to change clothes, etc – just pause work for 7 minutes and get it done.

Here’s to getting/staying fit,

Here is why I sent that email:

I sent that email because the distance from my office to the downstairs locker room to the out of doors to run or to the in of doors to do 20-30 minutes of yoga, etc. is quite (very, almost always it turns out) insurmountable.

I sent that email in acknowledgement of all the days that my gym bag has traveled to and from work with me without leaving the trunk of my car.

I did it because despite all my best intentions and goal setting and alarm setting and list making not enough of that working out thing that I love was happening during the work week.

And so I decided that the only way to make a workout happen was to close the gap between my desk and a workout and make the workout come to me. And of course, unless I wanted to be labelled as a total nut job for doing jumping jacks and squats on my own, I had to make working out at my desk a totally expected, natural and communal affair (as my standing desk has become). So motivated, I sent two recurring calendar invites to my colleagues, and the email above, encouraging them to join me in 7 minutes of working out, twice per day - in our work clothes and shoes, in our offices and cubes - i.e., within the confines of all of the barriers that were keeping me/us from exercising during the work day.

Here is what happened:

People literally went nuts. They were giddy. They loved the idea. They forwarded the invites to their spouses so they could join in too. They busted holes through the elbows of their work shirts doing push ups. They sweated. They laughed. They got a surge of adrenaline at 2PM when they otherwise would have been languishing and contemplating another cup of coffee and a cookie. They worked out. They got.it.done.

It was amazing to see and experience and I am infinitely grateful for the great people that I work with and the hall pass I just gave myself to do push ups on my desk and steps up on my chair. Now no one will think I am weird for doing it - they will either be joining me, or wishing they could. Pretty soon it won't be elbows busting out of shirts - it will be biceps.


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