In December 2011 I relocated my office and data center into a construction trailer. In addition I had to relocate all my desktop users to several different temporary locations. The mental and physical strain of that poised me for another heart attack.
That experience inspired me to get healthy and fit. After losing 35 pounds through juicing and eventually Paleo, I needed to get strong. That is when I discovered CrossFit.
Many of you have heard some or all of that tale, but this week (May 10th) was the culmination of Part II – Moving Back into the Building.
There was still a great deal of stress associated with the planning and logistics, but physically and mentally I was ready. Friday we dismantled the data center and carried every server and appliance over 300 feet to the new room. As I placed a 50 pound server under each arm, and began the walk down the hill, I thought “100m Farmer’s Carry” and I just did it. Then I went back, grabbed another piece of gear and did it again. Within four hours we had more than 20 servers back on line. At the end of the day, my systems integrators were done and were on their way. But I had more to do.
On Saturday morning I arrived at the trailer with the task of moving all of my office, files, furniture, supplies, etc. from the trailer to the new building. Today, I was on my own. A team of One. To add to the challenge, this was my twentieth straight day at work, without a day off.
I was able to toss some items into my truck and at least back up part way through the parking lot, reducing the trek by at least half. But most stuff got carried by hand. Dozens of trips, with loads varying in size, shape and weight.
By noon, I had to finally take on the heaviest single item, my color laser printer, which weighs 90 pounds. Ninety pounds on a barbell is now a piece of cake as a deadlift, but an irregular piece of electronic equipment, with no easy center of gravity is a bit of a challenge. I moved it halfway to the new location on the tailgate of my truck and then I had to carry it the final 150 feet. I managed with little more than discomfort from hard angled plastic edges pressing into my flesh.
A while later I discovered the user manual for the printer and I was amused to see the illustration I posted above, where the manufacturer recommends three people are required to carry the unit. I don’t know whether that illustration is a reflection of our culture’s physical decline, or our legal system’s propensity for CYA.
Why am I risking boring my readers with this story? Well my job is a desk jockey occupation, where people grow their butts as big as their guts. It is mentally stressful yet physically sedentary. This move provided me with the opportunity to test the viability of my CrossFit experience in a real-world setting. Constantly varied, functional movements at varying intensity, with endurance.
To a person who does physically demanding work every day, this may mean very little. But to a desk jockey who couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs eighteen months ago, it is cause for celebration. Lift Heavy! Lift Often!