Watts: A Journey of 210,000 miles

Hello and welcome to the Watts blog (it will get a better name soon, I promise)! I’m Paige and I am new to blogging, so bear with me as I explore and discover what I want this blog to be for Watts. I thought I would use this maiden-voyage-post to tell you a little bit about who I am, and how Watts came to be.intro pic

For those of you who are new to Watts, or have not yet met me at the LiftLab, this is me. Hi.

Oh, this is also my boyfriend, Dan, and his our his dog, Gus. We moved to Indianapolis from Boston in September of last year for Dan to start working with his best friend, Dan (yes, also Dan), at the LiftLab. Now if you’ve never been to the LiftLab and you love fitness (or exercising, strength training, crossfit, or just generally improving your health) go check it out. It’s amazing. The people are top notch, the coaches are out of this world – like they really know their stuff – and everyone I know who trains there has seen amazing progress since they started training there (myself included).

So back to Watts. After graduating from Purdue in August of 2013, I moved to Boston and started working for IBM. Now if you ever want to go work for one of the largest companies that ever existed, ever, IBM is a great choice. With over 450,000 employees worldwide, IBM employs more people than the majority of cities in the US. However, when you are working for such a big company, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle, and for 3 months after starting work, I sat in my apartment, staring at my computer, waiting for an email telling me I had finally gotten staffed on my first project.

The day finally arrived and with a surprise, too. I was going to be staffed on a project… in San Francisco. Being a consultant can sound really glamorous to a single senior in college: fly to a client, stay in hotels, travel the world, get to work on different projects all over the country… sounds great, right? Well I still think so. But at this point I was no longer single and Boston and San Francisco were really far apart (they still are, just FYI, roughly 2,704 miles each way by plane to be exact). So I started flying from Boston to San Fran every Monday, and back to Boston on Thursdays every week. And this continued until September, when we moved to Indianapolis. I took a week off to move, and then resumed the travel to San Fran from Indy every week until exactly 7 days ago when I resigned from IBM. I flew 209,775 miles (on just United, this does not even include the few flights I took on American or JetBlue) in 1 year and 3 weeks to this one project.

So like I mentioned before, travel sounds exciting, and the thrill of adventure is invigorating, and for about 8 weeks, it was. But then the 8-14 hours of travel each way started to get old, and the movies on the planes that ran for a month at a time got old, and airport food got old, and staying alone in a hotel got old…you get the idea. It just really started to wear on me. I was feeling bad for leaving Dan and Gus in Boston (where they moved so we could be together), and I was lonely in California, because you can only spend so much time with your coworkers after working 8-12 hour days. And on top of that, the work wasn’t really interesting to me either.

Here’s what I learned while leading this bi-coastal life:

1) Routine is essential, especially for a business traveler. This can be routine for so many things: packing, what to do when you get to the airport, daily schedule, weekly schedule, etc. When you don’t have a routine, you eat pizza every day for week, forget your socks, miss a deadline, buy your 8th toothbrush in 8 weeks, almost miss a flight… the list goes on and on.

2) Changing time zones every 3-4 days can be really rough on your body (especially with it’s a 3 hour difference). Here’s how I coped: I stayed on eastern time 24/7. I San Fran, I woke up at 4:30am to go to the gym and was in bed by 9pm at the latest. This was probably the best decision I could have possibly made. It ensured that I had time to train every day and that I wasn’t sleeping the days away when I was home.

3) If you don’tΒ  plan exercise into your day ahead of time you won’t do it. If you say you “might go to the gym after work” and you’re a consultant, you won’t go. When working at a client site, something always comes up. That’s why the life of a consultant is so different work-wise. When you only have 4 days at a client site, they want as much face-time as possible. Yes, you get to work from home on Fridays (in most cases), but they will always wonder…. were you really working? That’s why 10 hour days are the norm and 12 isn’t a huge stretch either. And honestly, after working 7-7 you’re hungry and exercise quickly falls to the bottom of that priority list.

4) When you invest energy and time into taking care of your body, you will get it back. Let me nerd out here for a second: one of the defining principles of the universe is the conservation of energy. You can’t create it or destroy it, it is always somewhere – it just moves around and changes forms – light, heat, sound, etc. Well I found that when I trained, I was energized. If I went to the gym and really focused on crushing a workout, I would be beat right after that workout. But then, for the rest of the day, I would be so much more alert, aware, focused, and energized in all of the things I needed to do. It was like all of the energy that I poured into training that day was coming back out and I was so much more productive, because I had the energy to be productive and efficient. So to summarize: put energy into exercise, get energy out.

5) I wanted fitness and exercise to be my job. When traveling, I found that my favorite part of the day was when I was in the gym, or talking to people about training or nutrition, or just being active in general. I could not wait to leave work and go to bed because that meant that I got to train when I woke up. I was excited, and energetic and I realized that the passion that I lacked in my daily work – which made it just that – lots of work, was missing, but I had it for training.

Watts 72 dpi cmykCoupling this love for fitness with my obsession with music and the joy I had found in indoor cycling classes, Watts was born. I loved the name “Watts” because watts are units of power and back to point 4 above, this whole idea of investing energy and power in yourself and feeling powerful and energized because you did has really stuck with me because I lived it.

I want everyone who comes to Watts to walk out feeling:
1) Exhausted: Because, come on, you just cranked out an hour long cycling session.
But more importantly:
2) Energized: You just crushed a crazy tough workout! You can burn 1000+ calories in one indoor cycling session if the intensity is high. Climb some hills? Sprint on some flat roads? Do some jumps? That shit’s hard! And you did it! And the music was great, and there were cool lights, and you got hella sweaty, and you did it and it was awesome.Β  You can do anything. You are powerful.

So if you’re still with me, wow. Thanks for hanging in there, because this one was a doozy. I’m so excited for Watts to open next month, and I hope you are too. I have a lot of hopes and dreams for Watts, but I also want to know what you think. Please, if you would be so kind, check out this survey. I want to know what you want out of class, and also, when you want classes. All responses would be greatly appreciated.

Click here for the survey!

Thanks for reading and remember…

Be powerful today.
Paige

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