Category Archives: Projects

The Burn of a New Workout Program

Workoutrageous V4 begins tomorrow.  We have 17 participants!  For a lot of them, working out twice a day is no biggie.  They’ve always had a good regimen and all they have to do is post their workouts.  I would argue that they will have a more challenging time with this game.  When you build a habit and someone asks you to change it slightly, it can be hard to adjust your routine… I expect to see several good workouts get dismissed because of our strict logging rules.

For others, this is a chance to dive into a new workout program with the support of friends and a fun competition.  They’ve got two great motivations – get in shape and get a win.  I’ve been off a serious workout program for the past six months, and I’m ecstatic to jump back in.  It’s been my longest break in over 15 years!

Over the past few days, I’ve had a chance to measure my strength and monitor my cardiovascular conditioning.  I was at my peak an year ago while training for the Melbourne Marathon (which surprisingly had a positive impact on my weight training as well).  I’m nowhere close to feeling like I did back then.  However, it doesn’t take a very long time to recover muscle mass.  My conditioning should return as well in due time.

I’ve decided to focus on shorter runs and a decent weight training routine.  I don’t feel ready for another Boston Qualifier this year, and if I push my luck I may end up injured again like last year.  I’ve decided to include leg training as part of my workouts which hasn’t been part of my plan for many years.  Training my hamstrings, quads, and glutes has never been enjoyable.  While it took me a large amount of time to build my upper body, my lower body has always responded to workouts abnormally well.  This imbalance doesn’t include my calves… which would have been nice.

While I’m not a professional body builder, I’ve always taken a body builder’s attitude towards weight training.  It’s not just about strength; it’s about selecting what parts of the body need training to achieve your “look”.  While genes determine much of your physical build, there is tremendous potential to work within those limitations.  For me, the benefits are endless. .  The “look” makes me feel healthy and more confident.  Others may not notice it, but I’m sure that they can feel my pride when I have it.

It’s kind of like the “Magnum” in Zoolander…

3rd Week Struggles

As a consultant, one of my challenges was always rolling onto a project and quickly learning enough to make a huge impact.  I expected to have a more normal pace of learning as a full time employee, but it’s been difficult to get away from the “consultant” mentality especially when surrounded by a group of elite consultants.  Unfortunately, I’m struggling with adjusting to the new job and understanding a complex system that is in the final stages of design.

So far, like the consultants, I’ve been focusing on the current project.  With my new role, that is a huge mistake.  At a consulting company, the overall informational sessions and training are usually optional.  I’m realizing that company meetings at the Foundation (which may have nothing to do with the current project) are a critical building block for my career and for the value I can bring to this team.  They are not optional.  I need to switch from concentrating on short-term deliverables to understanding the big picture by attending these larger Foundation meetings.  The people I meet there are the ones who will ultimately use our work.  Until I can truly understand what they want, I won’t be able to represent their unique perspectives with the consultants on our team.  My unique value-add needs to be my understanding of the Foundation, and my ability to rock the boat when I feel that a design decision conflicts with what our people need.

Our people… it’s interesting that I chose that wording.  Maybe it’s a step in the right direction to realize that I represent a different group now.  However, I cannot forget that everyone is driving towards the same goal and balkanizing the team would be detrimental.

In other news, Workoutrageous has about 8 people signed up right now.  I’m not sure if I was expecting more or less, but I’m disappointed at how “numbers-driven” I am.  Whether there are 8 people or 800 people, my goal for this first competition should be the user experience.  My mentor mentioned I should focus on quality and not quantity.  I may not have a great attitude about this competition yet, but I’m lucky to have a good mentor.

Workoutrageous Unleashed upon Unsuspecting Public!

Workoutrageous Title Image

I can’t believe it! I’ve actually completed a personal project! It’s been in Beta for so long… 99% complete for almost forever. Now it’s going to get it’s first big test!

I built most of workoutrageous by handcoding. What I thought would be incredibly difficult took me 20% of my time. The other 90% was spent working on bugs with the integration of Phorum, a great open source forum software package. That adds up to 110%… and that’s how much I feel I gave this little gem.

The 90% problem was my fault though. Once again, I suffered from hubris after my brilliant 20% and did not look for free developer help on the Phorum forum. When I finally did, I got the response to my questions within 30-40 minutes. God bless you Maurice Makaay!