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  1. #1
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    Stress management with biking, exercise and diet

    This posting is a bit unusual but it may do some good for someone under a lot of stress.

    I needed to attend a multiple day management meeting in Germany to decide the fate of some dear co-workers. This is the most stress I experienced for some years. Here is how I was coping with that:

    Biked every day for seven days, three hours prior to the trip.
    Left last Saturday AM.
    Lost a night of sleep while on Airplane.
    Arrived at hotel 9:00 AM Sunday.
    Hiked from the hotel for 4 hours and 16 miles.
    Had the first meeting starting at 5:00 PM Sunday until 11:00 PM.
    Slept until 3:00 AM due to jet lag.
    Next meeting Monday at 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM through lunch and dinner.
    Slept until 3:00 AM due to jet lag.
    Next meeting Tuesday at 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM through lunch and dinner.
    Slept until 3:00 AM due to jet lag.
    Traveled from 6:00 AM German time to 6:00 PM Chicago time. That is 18 hours in transit.
    Biked every day after that trip for three hours including today.
    The diet was vegetarian only with occasional fish. Plenty of good red wine.

    My co-workers at that meeting were in their 40's and dealt with the stress by smoking. I am 65 and do not want to do another one of these trips. However I survived. (barely, feel like s**t)

  2. #2
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    In times like that, I try to eat right, meditate in the morning and take a long walk in the evening.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    This posting is a bit unusual but it may do some good for someone under a lot of stress.

    I needed to attend a multiple day management meeting in Germany to decide the fate of some dear co-workers. This is the most stress I experienced for some years. Here is how I was coping with that:

    Biked every day for seven days, three hours prior to the trip.
    Left last Saturday AM.
    Lost a night of sleep while on Airplane.
    Arrived at hotel 9:00 AM Sunday.
    Hiked from the hotel for 4 hours and 16 miles.
    Had the first meeting starting at 5:00 PM Sunday until 11:00 PM.
    Slept until 3:00 AM due to jet lag.
    Next meeting Monday at 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM through lunch and dinner.
    Slept until 3:00 AM due to jet lag.
    Next meeting Tuesday at 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM through lunch and dinner.
    Slept until 3:00 AM due to jet lag.
    Traveled from 6:00 AM German time to 6:00 PM Chicago time. That is 18 hours in transit.
    Biked every day after that trip for three hours including today.
    The diet was vegetarian only with occasional fish. Plenty of good red wine.

    My co-workers at that meeting were in their 40's and dealt with the stress by smoking. I am 65 and do not want to do another one of these trips. However I survived. (barely, feel like s**t)
    No wonder foreign countries are surging in the economic world. We go negotiate from the US with no sleep, no food and a different clock.

  4. #4
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by card
    No wonder foreign countries are surging in the economic world. We go negotiate from the US with no sleep, no food and a different clock.
    Dang. I wonder if we'll ever catch up to the French or Italians. They get amazing productivity from their workers.

  5. #5
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    When you don't have time to meditate, meditate.
    George

  6. #6
    Happy Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    Dang. I wonder if we'll ever catch up to the French or Italians. They get amazing productivity from their workers.
    35.5 hrs work week, strong Euro, sloppy productivity, long life, healthy diet, WAY lower obeisity rate...........we go there to negotiate, they buy our t-bond, we borrow their money and can't afford to go there for vacation because the Euro is 2 to 1.

    You explain.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    My life has been stressful for a couple of years now (wasn't it supposed to get easier approaching the golden years?) and cycling is the most effective way for me to deal with it. The combination of exercise and the sense of "breaking free" help me cope.

  8. #8
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    What I find interesting about cyling is that not only does it help me cope with stressfull things I shouldn't be bothered by, it also helps me cope with stressful things I probably should be bothered by!

  9. #9
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Thanks, will, for inspiring me to eat healthy and hit the gym during my upcoming business trip. It's easy to fall into all sorts of bad habits on the road.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  10. #10
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    My students (10 and 11 years old) were leaving yesterday and I was getting the usual hugs and high fives and taking a relatively low stress job for granted. I can't imagine what others undergo in private sector "business" jobs. Will, you seem such a nice, healthy-minded guy to be mired in that world. (Apologies to successful, content, productive business people here and abroad.)
    Last edited by CrossChain; 05-19-07 at 09:31 AM.

  11. #11
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    Hi guys,
    I posted on the 50+ because you guys would commiserate. You have been there done that. Thank God for that.
    This weekend, My wife of 45 years marriage and I escaped to Wisconsin. We climbed some rocks in Devils State Park, enjoyed great dinner and wine in the HO-Chunk Casino, Biked a furious 50 miles on a Tandem and were very happy. We also discussed this trip and the consequences. My own situation is secure. It is my co-workers. However, you can only do what you can do.
    Next week we will get the fall out of that trip. Good or bad.
    A great German Philosopher (Kant) once said: It is amazing how little control you have over your life.
    I can attest to that. In the meantime, thanks for some good friends, even Internet friends.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie
    What I find interesting about cyling is that not only does it help me cope with stressfull things I shouldn't be bothered by, it also helps me cope with stressful things I probably should be bothered by!
    BP-This comment of yours is very good and awareness of it is good to a point.
    I have found that suppression of emotions do not get rid of these emotions but they work in my (I call it that) reptile brain where it really gets to work. The next thing is that I make mistakes I never do at normal times.
    When I say stress I mean this: Nausea, vision affected, tingling in fingers, ears popping.
    And this is from a guy who is very healthy and fit.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    My students (10 and 11 years old) were leaving yesterday and I was getting the usual hugs and high fives and taking a relatively low stress job for granted. I can't imagine what others undergo in private sector "business" jobs. Will, you seem such a nice, healthy-minded guy to be mired in that world. (Apologies to successful, content, productive business people here and abroad.)
    CC-
    You guys know about the Daimler Chrysler deal? The German Corporation cut bait and dumped Chrysler on an investment firm. The stress and uncertainty this causes one can only imagine.
    My company is in the same industry and in fact DCX is a major customer. The shareholders of my company did not realize a return on investment on par with (for instance) an investment grade bond. Therefore my company is reorganizing and I must deal with it or get the hell out of the way.
    That would be the easy way but not necessary a good way I can sleep with for years to come.
    Loyalties, obligations, IOU's!
    The German Philosopher J.W. Von Goethe said: Finding balance, that is where the art (or skill) is.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis
    Thanks, will, for inspiring me to eat healthy and hit the gym during my upcoming business trip. It's easy to fall into all sorts of bad habits on the road.
    Yes, that is why I did this post and bared my soul a little. Bad habits on the road will either make you ill or kill you. I have done this for many years all over the globe and not always the smart way. My saving grace was no drugs and no smoking and careful with the company you keep.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by card
    35.5 hrs work week, strong Euro, sloppy productivity, long life, healthy diet, WAY lower obeisity rate...........we go there to negotiate, they buy our t-bond, we borrow their money and can't afford to go there for vacation because the Euro is 2 to 1.

    You explain.
    We are observing more or less free flow of capital and minimum enlightened Government competing with socialist Government directed systems.
    Time will tell what works in the long run.
    I do observe that the USA has given up many core industries such as: Steel, Machine Tools, TV, Camera, many consumer goods, loosing Automotive, much of furniture, much of textile.

  16. #16
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Will-thank you so much for setting a terrific example for us all and for sharing your ingredients for how to better cope with stress. I have a couple of our of town business opportunities coming up and I've found it extremely difficult to stay on task (keep up the healthiest lifestyle) but your ideas are great reminders and tips for me.

    As someone who has been through several mergers and unmergers the last several years, I can greatly appreciate what your having to deal with. My company and departments have reorganized at least annually and have gone through workforce reductions each year the last 5 or 6 years-maybe even the past 10 years. It's been going on so long we've gotten almost too numb to it.

    Like you, I've been in position to determine various coworkers' roles and had to make some very, very tough selections and choices. I've been front and center in delivering the news-good and bad time and again. It's not fun. It's not what I signed up for 30+ years ago but it seems to be corporate America today. I have learned that our folks have greatly appreciated directness, honesty and hearing all the information I could offer and in a timely manner.

    I would totally agree that taking care of yourself physically and mentally is priority #1. Our company marched a number of "speakers" in front of us talking about personal success at one time or another over the past 10 years. I saw a recurring theme from each one of them around taking care of yourself physically. I don't know for sure, but that could have been one of the several triggers for getting me started in losing 50+ pounds and taking a little better care of myself.

    Hey-maybe that's a new career, or even a good hobby for some of us. Getting in front of groups talking about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and being successful.........Better yet maybe several of us need to team up and figure out how to leverage this somehow......

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Hey-maybe that's a new career, or even a good hobby for some of us. Getting in front of groups talking about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and being successful.........Better yet maybe several of us need to team up and figure out how to leverage this somehow......
    jppe-I read this post of yours a few times and thank you for your thoughtful words. I struggled with my thoughts if I should let it go with that.
    Perhaps there are people in a bind as I am and for them I have to say this:
    The above mentioned pressure cooker was too much for this guy. I now get the fall out from fellow employees and long distance attempts at micro management from Germany.
    The result was tingling in my fingers, pressure in my ears and a feeling of nausea.
    I said: To hell with that and went biking at noon. At top speed on a trail with a 30# steel bike for 50 miles.
    I came home to my wife and we had a beautiful evening. I was a little tired but a happy tired.

  18. #18
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by card
    35.5 hrs work week, strong Euro, sloppy productivity, long life, healthy diet, WAY lower obeisity rate...........we go there to negotiate, they buy our t-bond, we borrow their money and can't afford to go there for vacation because the Euro is 2 to 1.

    You explain.
    You got me there.

    I do remember in the 80's and early 90's we were being told that the country would soon be owned and operated by Japan, Inc. It never really quite happened.

    I do worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs to overseas. I'm not sure I'm ready to apporve of the job protectionism that is present in France, however.

    But we digress.

  19. #19
    Streetfire HopedaleHills's Avatar
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    Will,

    After 30 years in the high tech industry I as well have seen this all before. I have been outsourced/downsized/reorganized/workforce reduced so many times it's hard to count. I know what you are going through and wish you well in coming out the other end, as we always do. Right now I am faced with the ongoing idea that we move work to India and Singapore rather than add staff in the US. I hate it, it does not work well, we spend so much time and money managing the relationships and projects that the lower salaries are not really a savings, but time and time again I have to explain why we are replacing someone with a person in India rather than a US worker. About once a week the VP of Eng threatens to move my whole organization to Singapore because we cost too much, even though we are about 4 times more productive. I'm tired of it and am really looking forward to the day I don't have to deal with it anymore.

    Best wishes and hang in there..
    Tim
    Singing Do Wah Ditty, Ditty Dum Ditty Do

  20. #20
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Stress? It's more than stress. A good hour on the bike is equal to a tab of antidepressant. Seriously. I take me meds and I'm okay. I go for a good ride, and I'm more than okay.

    Exercise is nature's answer to a lot of life's ills. A ride a day makes you a bloody happy kitty cat ... even if you are a wee bit exhausted afterwards

    Richard

    hmm, interesting how the swearometer edits out the normal alternative to kitty cat (which was what was intended) but leaves in a genuine swear word
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  21. #21
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    I said: To hell with that and went biking at noon. At top speed on a trail with a 30# steel bike for 50 miles.
    I came home to my wife and we had a beautiful evening. I was a little tired but a happy tired.

    Outstanding!!!!!!!!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    You got me there.

    I do remember in the 80's and early 90's we were being told that the country would soon be owned and operated by Japan, Inc. It never really quite happened.

    I do worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs to overseas. I'm not sure I'm ready to apporve of the job protectionism that is present in France, however.

    But we digress.
    USA has some very bright people who know how to apply the capitalistic system. Warren Buffet for instance, and there are many more. These super stars make a lot of money and help power this country.
    There are many less achieving people who fall by the wayside and go into a shadow economy. Other countries deal with that through taxation and redistribution. That creates its own problems. Let us hope that the American economic experiment continues to work. It is not a sure thing. Those of us with children and grandchildren need to be vigilant.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
    Will,

    After 30 years in the high tech industry I as well have seen this all before. I have been outsourced/downsized/reorganized/workforce reduced so many times it's hard to count. I know what you are going through and wish you well in coming out the other end, as we always do. Right now I am faced with the ongoing idea that we move work to India and Singapore rather than add staff in the US. I hate it, it does not work well, we spend so much time and money managing the relationships and projects that the lower salaries are not really a savings, but time and time again I have to explain why we are replacing someone with a person in India rather than a US worker. About once a week the VP of Eng threatens to move my whole organization to Singapore because we cost too much, even though we are about 4 times more productive. I'm tired of it and am really looking forward to the day I don't have to deal with it anymore.

    Best wishes and hang in there..
    Your post reflects my sentiments.
    Here is food for thought. We managers are deep trained to do what we do. If we go against that deep training we may have unintended consequences. A manager in my company and a friend (in Germany) gave up and retired early for all the reasons mentioned. That eat away on him after retirement and he had a heart attach 6 months after he retired. I know him well, it was causation and not correlation.

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