Recently, I decided to take the plunge and build myself a treadmill desk. While I have had the idea for quite a while, I was inspired by a few colleagues to built one for myself. I’ve only recently been able to complete my desk as my family and I have been squeezed into a small 2 bedroom apartment, and there would not be enough room for such a setup. Now that I’ve finally built my desk, I thought it would be important to explain a couple things. First, my motivation behind it,. I’ll post my desk setup in another post.
I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I’ve never known a life without a significant amount of body fat protruding from some part of my body. For many years, I attributed it to a hereditary problem since the majority of my family was as large or larger than myself. My brother is an exception to that rule. (On a side note, my younger daughter also seems to be the exception).
There was a time in my life when I was fit and in shape, though still a bit overweight. This was a time where I made a conscious choice to stop watching TV all together (save for sporting events). At the time, I would keep up with many shows, as many of my friends still do, but I realized that I was living my life though the TV, and really not living a life at all. I decided that this was a true waste, and I should have my own adventures and experiences. My great escape from sedentary life was via the bicycle. I was living in Boulder, Colorado at the time, and working at IBM. I decided I should ride my bike to work. It was the beginning of summer. By July, I had lost 20 pounds, and it was really obvious I had lost weight. And I changed nothing but my resolve to exercise by changing my commute. This choice eventually changed my life and led me on a fantastic journey taking me from a tour of the Rocky mountains, to a short trip between Seattle and Portland, to 7 – 110 mile trips around my hometown, Tucson, Arizona. I was eventually fast enough to finish that last event (search for Mora) in less than 5 hours. Not bad for a fat guy. Back then, cycling, work and family was my life. It was good.
The other, more secret, reason I decided to take up cycling was that I was also a diabetic. I had been one since I was 13. I found out when I had to take a physical to join the high school football team. My journey as a diabetic was an odd one. At first, I was on insulin shots. I would have to do this to myself twice a day. I hated it, but I thought I had no choice. Over time, My dosed were reduced. Eventually I went on a pill that helped stimulate my pancreas into producing enough insulin. And, eventually I didn’t even need the pill. At this point I had finished college. I was still considered diabetic though. After several years of cycling, I had gone into a physical where my doctor basically said I was cured of diabetes. This was quite a relief. But I knew that I had to keep cycling in order for this “cure” to stick around. And I was ok with it because I loved (and still love) riding my bike.
Now, things are a tad different. My family has different demands on my time. My work is all encompassing since I decided to become self employed and try to build my own business. And, I am nearly 20 pounds heavier than my “racing weight”. I’ve come to the conclusion that the business I want to build is definitely worth the time investment, however, it can’t come as a detriment to my health. I don’t want to have a relapse as a diabetic. I want to be able to keep up with my kids as they have far too much energy. I want to stay healthy, and avoid the need for the overpriced and inefficient American healthcare system. In short, I need to work and keep my body moving at the same time. Sitting down all the time to write code is not a good way to stay in shape. And so, I decided that along the lines of making my commute work for me, and not against me by making it exercise time, the treadmill desk uses the same idea of making work time and exercise time overlap a bit more. I still want to get in some more bike time though.