Running in a fat suit

velocy_running_shoe So… went running today.  First time in a while.

Well, “running” is something of an exaggeration.  There was some loping, some speed walking, and some meandering.  Not much running after the first 100 yards or so.

At some point during the run I realized that I was running in a fat suit. Unlike Gwyneth Paltrow or Tyra Banks, however, I don’t get to take that suit off at the end of the day.

I’ve never been much of a runner, although when I left Marine Corps boot camp nearly a decade ago, I was able to run 3 miles in 21 minutes, and felt great doing it.  I remember spending the evening in San Diego after I graduated and going for a run just because it felt good.  It doesn’t feel so good anymore… 

So what happened? Life. Kids. Marriage. Work. School…

At Microsoft, work/life balance is strongly supported and promoted from the top to the bottom of management.  Managers are extremely supportive of families, hobbies, and whatever sparks your interest away from work.  They will pay for recreation league fees, reimburse tuition, allow for flexible schedules…

The problem, however, in working at Microsoft as a recovering workaholic is that you are in the same situation that would be faced by a recovering alcoholic employed by a College Fraternity.  Everyone at Microsoft is so passionate about their jobs and projects and careers that workaholism is rampant.  Many people work through lunch (or eat at their desks), conference calls with global teams can take place early in the morning or late at night to accommodate varied time zones, and there is always “one more thing” to finish before you go home for the day. We are available by e-mail, cell phones, email ON cell phones, instant messaging, over the cube, over the phone…

Some people manage to balance their health and passions with work. Jana (a PM on the Communities team) just finished the Big Sur Marathon.  Many Microsofties are in bands, perform plays, do stand-up…

So now it’s my turn.  I can’t run a marathon, but I can start somewhere.  I just signed up for the Wells Fargo 5K Torchlight Run at Seafair, which will be taking place on Saturday, July 28th at Qwest Field in downtown Seattle.

I have a fair amount of work to do to get in shape, but I am looking forward to it.  The weather has been beautiful in Seattle for the last few weeks, and I work next to a beautiful park.  How can I go wrong?  Wish me luck…


P.S. I’ll explain the numbers below in a few months.  Feel free to speculate in the comments 😉


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