Pointer to article:
No. No. NO! Don’t turn my office into a gym. Keep my gym a gym, my office an office, and my home a home. For my mental hygiene, let me keep each environment entirely separate from the others. I work out in my gym. I work-work in my office. I don’t work in my home—except for the office space in my basement where I do my freelance writing.
I actually enjoy going to the gym. Egidia and I do so most days of the week, and it’s a welcome break from the pressures of our jobs, and also the pressures of our home (we have teenage children, bills to pay, etc.). We’ve been doing it continuously for the past 3 years, and it’s now an established, much-needed, eagerly anticipated habit. When I’m on the treadmill, I am quite deliberately working to melt all the stress from that day into a pool that can be washed down the drain by the gym staff. Putting a treadmill and other gym equipment in my home, or in my office, defeats that whole purpose. Having to interact in the gym with people (such as co-workers, offspring, etc.) from those other environments would simply add stress—not subtract it—from the lactic load on my poor battered nervous system.
Working my body calms me down—bottom line—and centers my spirit somewhere inside my torso. Also, it gives me a chance to compare my body with other people’s. Yeah, snigger and take that statement any way you wish, but I measure my progress toward the desired form by the extent to which my current shape matches those around me with the best biceps, triceps, abs, delts, etc. No, I’m not becoming a preening narcissist. My core payoff from working out is the calming, the easier breathing, and the other internal-focused benefits. But working out gives me a feeling of efficacy in the sense that I actually can—by applying the intensity and work ethic that people have long known defines Jim Kobielus—sculpt my body to something I can be prouder of. No, it hasn’t made me taller, broadened my shoulders, regrown hair on my head, or given me a handsomer face. But I’ve brought my 5-foot-6 body down to my optimal weight—140 lbs.—and kept it there. As my 46-year-old self moves ever further into old-man territory, I can at least look at my aging body with some degree of self-satisfaction. I’m not the pudge I was.
Everything in its right place. My office provides me with plenty of what this article calls “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” (NEAT) to keep my weight under control. What they call NEAT I call work. Or rather, work performed continuously and restlessly with Jim Kobielus style intensity. The same intensity that has been programmed into my very existence by the roll of the genes and my particular life experiences.
I like working. And working my body. And working on keeping those worlds from invading the inner sanctum of my home life.
I like sitting down at work, looking, dressing, and behaving like a professional. Don’t bring running tracks and weightlifting equipment and hockey sticks into my office. I don’t want to have to dodge you or your flying pucks when I’m trying to discuss work.