In my “real” job I manage operations for a fairly large media company. I get paid to plan, anticipate and anticipate again… and make adjustments on the fly when things go sideways.
In a lot of ways, this influences my personal life too. My days are usually pretty scheduled, with windows of opportunity to move things around should something unexpected come up. Seriously, it’s pretty sick how much I think about potential scenarios and how I would shift things to accommodate. When something messes with my routine to the point where I can’t adjust and have to start skipping or delaying things, it can be really frustrating for me.
During the week, I will typically go to the gym over my lunch break to bang out some cardio and get it done for the day. When it became clear yesterday that I wasn’t going to get a lunch in, I shifted my plans. After work, I’d stop by the mobile store and pick up my iPhone that’s been out of commission for the past few days, then hit the gym with the after-work crowd. Good, I thought. I had a plan. I always feel better when I have a plan.
I ended my work day getting into a heated disagreement and was in a less than stellar mood by the time I set foot outside my office. All I wanted was my phone and a workout before settling in to watch the only two shows I make it a point to watch anymore (Law and Order SVU and Chicago Fire – judge away).
“Sorry, this isn’t connecting,” said the guy working the counter at the mobile store. He was trying to transfer all the data off the loaner phone to my replacement iPhone and the device wasn’t recognizing the old beat-up Android. Awesome, I thought. I had already been waiting for over an hour while he set-up the new phone and transferred my number. I watched my watch tick around another hour as he tried to figure out a way to make it work.
“You know what, it’s cool,” I said with a calm smile, not thrilled with the idea of having a wiped out phone but more tired of sitting there while he messed with it. I was convinced I could restore it myself and headed home to give it a shot.
It was already past seven when I set foot inside my little two-bedroom abode in the city, SVU would be starting in under an hour. I shook my head, frustrated.
I know, I know. It’s just a TV show and I could catch it on Hulu the next day. But it wasn’t really about that. I also had to factor in dinner somewhere and didn’t want to eat too late… and didn’t want to eat too close to a workout. (I told you, I strategize EVERYthing.)
I got dinner started as my laptop transferred all the missing data to my iPhone and came to grips with the fact that I was just going to miss my workout that day. After all, I was tired, still a little cranky and still dealing with a cold bug that will NOT let go of me. I’ll go hard tomorrow, I told myself. Make up some ground over the next couple of days.
About halfway through SVU, I started getting angry at myself. Mentally, I wasn’t okay with missing a session at the gym. I’ve been working so hard, I wanted to keep the momentum going, especially since I was headed out on a business trip in a few days. Bad food and drinks were inevitably in my future. I had to get it in.
I changed into my workout clothes in between SVU and Chicago Fire and curled up in my big chair ready to go. Jacket was on, gym bag was on the floor in front of me. I was out the door the second the show was over, which gave me exactly an hour before the gym closed.
I know what you may be thinking. If I was truly dedicated, I would have skipped the show and gone right then and there. But, hello, an hour filled with firemen? After the day I’d had, that was happening.
“Let’s get this done,” I said under my breath as I walked into the gym. Other late nighters were peppered among the cardio machines and I jumped on a bike to log some miles.
I caught a glimpse of my reflection in my iPhone screen that was propped sideways on the little shelf in front of me on the bike. It was just a reflection of my eyes staring back at me. I saw determination. With every drop of sweat that ran down my neck, the stress of the day melted away.
Was a 10pm workout ideal? No. Did I want to go out into the cold air at that time of night? No. Did I need to organize the chaos in my brain? Yes.
Order had been restored and I felt f’n awesome as I walked back out to my car in the chilly night air.
If you are really committed to something, you find a way. No matter what it is. Big or small. You make it happen.