This a quick story how sysadmin started running. I hope it will inspire you to do something with your body, mind and people around you. Yes, because once you’ll start feeling better, others around you will start feeling better as well.

Just a little over 6 months ago…

That was November – rainy, windy and cold November. I was exhausted after months of pushing forward the work load. Our team was going through fundamental changes, and the last months towards November were nerve wracking, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. At least, not at this very time.

I am a productive person, yet despite giving the best and most out of myself, it simply wasn’t enough.

Even doing what I like and enjoying it can deplete all sources of energy when it’s too intense. Well, it hit me that very autumn. By that I mean sometimes 12 hours of sleep wasn’t enough to get rested, despite normally I don’t need more than 7.

I hated the feeling when my focus reinforced by multiple mugs of coffee simply wasn’t enough. Do you know that feeling when you can do all what you can and by the end of the day, you couldn’t accomplish the goals, yet your brain tells you that the following day is going to be the same? I believe I would have left the job if it wasn’t something I wouldn’t seriously love.

I could keep doing the same and hope for either different results (which is madness) or wait till it would end. My decision was to try something different, which after months became something much more than I expected.

When there’s no clue, talk to a friend

I discussed that with my Father, as I simply couldn’t stand my insufficient energy. He said something like “You have to break this through, go and exercise” and so I did. Like never before.

Yes, before all that I was that guy who works in IT department and doesn’t really move much; I didn’t see it as the issue.

I needed to do something away from the cubicle as I was spending most of the time either in the office or at home, so running seemed like a perfect choice.

One evening I put on my old track suit and old sneakers and went out for like a half an hour. It was dark and cold. I wasn’t actually running at the time, it was some kind of quick walk/slow jogging. Yet it exhausted me physically, I came back home all sweaty – like a horse after the western.

From later perspective, I wasn’t that much surprised of the “results”, as for the person who didn’t exercise for over a decade, it was quite a challenge.

I believe I can RUN!

The following day I felt different – less tired, more positive, happier – just because. That must have been the running day before. And it’s been getting better ever since.

Soon afterwards I’ve started using an app on my mobile phone with preset programmes for running. It was a great idea as this app has been monitoring my progress since then, prompting to stay at the right pace, plus it’s been monitoring my every single exercise.

Have you ever played RPG games? I spent years playing them, despite the plot I was always excited about the character I played – seeing how it was evolving and getting better with every level. I could now translate the same into my running – monitoring my distance, speed, heart rate etc. over the time. It’s so cool.

I can literally challenge myself.

So has the energy been the only benefit of running? Absolutely not!

During one run I burn (according to the app) approx 700kcal, so I’ve lost weight. 8 Kg by now. While I didn’t complain about my body, I enjoy it now more. I just look better.

By having more energy, I could actually do more after work. I started blogging on regular basis now (that’s why if you’ve been following me lately you can notice 2 areas I’ve been writing about – IT/Deployment and Motivation/Productivity). I don’t blog as much as I intend to, but… 1 > 0, if you know what I mean. And I’ve passed 1st out of 3 Server 2012 exams, a month ago.

At the end of this I will share with you my biggest achievement – I’ve started waking up early to do my exercise. Despite, never ever waking up early, until now. I used to be that guy who was abusing Snooze function on my alarm, till it was too late.

I don’t have a feeling that my days are wasted anymore

Now for the difference, I can wake up early, have a shower, breakfast and coffee before I leave home for work. Or even make the bed. And I don’t have a feeling that my days are wasted anymore, since I can accomplish so many things in the morning. Do you know how incredible feeling it is to start the day that way? To sit at my desk and be 100% ready and positive for the day? If you haven’t, then you have to try. And the view of crowds yelling at baristas before 9 am for a coffee? Priceless, from the perspective.

I started running when I was 28. I wish I knew how great it was years ago.

If you aren’t exercise yet, please do me favour and try it, for yourself. You can even go for a fast paced walk, tonight. good sleep guaranteed! Take your other half or… a hamster to keep you company.

If you do, drop me a line and tell me your story, I’m so curious how it went!

Main photo by  Riccardo Annandale.