Health …

Bryan Smith, TMMBA Student (Class of 2010)

Once your are in the thick of the TMMBA program, you obviously have little time for a lot of things beyond the essentials required by full time work, study, and family time.   So, while there is never a good time for getting sick, you can really put yourself in a bind if you come down with something, get injured, or just aren’t up to a reasonable level of health.   This need to remain healthy extends to your family and your study team, as well:  my (peerless, awesome, cool) study team thought this was important enough to include in our team contract at the beginning of the program.  I have to admit that at the time I didn’t think I’d be able to do much more than the daily walking I already do — a little over 3.5 miles, part of my commute — but I figured it sounded reasonable, and of course I wanted to be reasonable with this new groups of strangers.

And so the first quarter began.  On top of the time demands that limited opportunities for exercise, I quickly found that sleep and diet were impacted, as well, and not usually in ways that reinforced health.  If you are up late, it’s easy to end up adding extra calories, for example; or, on the other side of things, sometimes I miss a meal.  When you are operating on half the sleep your body wants (or worse), it’s easy to see this is a problem …  So, yup … I gained some weight in those first months.

It came as little surprise, then, that when H1N1 took its first pass last spring, I came down with the flu at a terrible time.  I missed quite a few days of work as well as a couple of lectures, and when some of the courses only have 4 days of class sessions, that is a problem.  Finding yourself a week behind at work and school while you’re trying to recover from the flu … sucks.

The good news is that in response to recovering from that near-disaster — and by leveraging new organizational skills I’ve had to develop to handle all these full-time commitments — I’ve managed to carve out a little time to fulfill my original team charter to add some healthy habits to my now monstrous list of activities.  I now have some regularly scheduled time in my company’s small gym, including a weekly session with a terrific trainer (the phenomenal Grant Higa!) who puts me through some good workouts.  Unlike half-hearted efforts in the past, this has become a kind of insurance for the considerable time and energy I have sunk into the TMMBA program … steady gym time over the last 3 quarters is something I credit to the focus that the program has brought (or forced) into my life.  I really wonder if I could have survived that first month of crunches a year or two ago.

Of course, I should point out that my level of health and fitness is nothing compared to a lot of my classmates.  We have triathletes, personal trainers, runner, cyclists, yoga -ists (?) … the level of drive, focus, and talent in this program never ceases to impress me.  My (again, amazing!) team in particular has followed through on their health commitments through gym time, continuing healthy habits, thoughtful diet, or taking on tough health challenges with focus and determination.  Their example in particular has helped me attain better health than I had when I started the program, and on top of that, their support and the TMMBA focus have contributed to losing that first quarter poundage (and the then some) …

So, class of 2011 … eat your veggies, get all the rest you can, try to exercise (as alumnus Kalpesh recently recommended) … and good luck.