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Online business – stayin’ alive

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday October 11, 2006 )

Stayin alive.. not the Bee Gees song, nor the concept of keeping your business alive. I mean keeping yourself physically alive whilst making your mark on the online business world – a world so enticing and intense that it tends to have our asses glued to the seat for umpteen hours a day.

I’m no health freak, in fact I used to refer to myself as the “toxic avenger”. Whatever stopped moving first when I opened the fridge was fair game. The idea of exercise was fine for those who had time. Sleep was for girly-men.

I haven’t always flown a desk, in fact, I used to do a fair amount of laboring work years ago. Professional fishing, oyster farming, nursery hand, hospitality, factory hand. At one stage I was quite fit for someone who was and remains a chain smoker :). I was probably lucky that I did attain some level of fitness, but it also led me to feel a little bullet proof.

When I started working online full time from home in 2001; my chair was the place you’d alway find me, at times it was my bed and I often joked about life being so much easier if I could also convert it into a commode.

That was fine for a while, 12 – 16 hour days, 7 days a week – no problem. For a while. Exercise was confined to light house duties and some yard work on the weekends; plus a bit more when I headed outback once a month (which ceased late last year). It really wasn’t enough – a bit of daily exercise was certainly needed. But I just couldn’t “find the time”.

About 12 – 18 months ago, I started to really notice a few whacky things going on with my body. Numbness in the extremities, chest pains, all sorts of weird stuff. Did I go to a doctor? Nope, haven’t been to one for nearly a decade. I just kept going; steadily feeling worse but feeling a little powerless to do what I knew needed to be done. I also started putting on more weight; and that’s something I really, really hate :). I’m 37 only years old.

So I guess you think I’m about to say that I had a heart attack or a stroke? Nope; ironically the change was somewhat instigated by my father requiring open heart surgery back in June. The difference between my Dad and I is that he has been looking after himself. The heart problem was a condition from childhood, but it was his fitness that allowed him to pull through the operation with flying colors and be back at work within a couple of months.

I travelled to be with him through his hospital ordeal and stayed in some apartments at the bottom of a rather long hill relatively close by. I was suddenly walking again, to and from the hospital a few times a day and really feeling it. My legs just felt like they had no power, they would be burning at the end of the walks.

Towards the end of my visit, I already felt improvements. When I came back home, I decided to keep up the walking – just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week through undulating terrain at a fairly brisk pace. Aside from the vision of my father with a massive wound where the surgeon cut his rib cage open, the dozen tubes hanging out from him post-op, the monitors measuring his life beat by beat being fresh in my mind, I just felt disgusted in myself at how much effort walking to the hospital to visit him was. I could certainly see myself being in that hospital bed at an age decades earlier than my dad.

The improvement over just a few months of walking has been remarkable. No more numbness, no more chest pains, losing weight and a better frame of mind. Just 30 minutes a day.

The moral of the story is this – if your online business is getting to the stage where you are spot-welded to your chair for the bulk of your waking life for months and months on end; it’s something you should seriously consider changing just a little. Even if you’re only in your late 20’s or early 30’s; I hate to break it to you; but you’re not immortal :).

If you fear taking 30 minutes out each day to get totally away from the computer to do some exercise in case you miss something happening online, take the risk – otherwise you may miss a lot more, permanently.

I still put in a good 12 hours a day I guess and will continue to do so for a few years to come. I need to do this to reach my personal goals; but I sincerely think that with my 30 minutes a day exercise, I now have a very good chance of actually living well past achieving my goals so I can properly enjoy the fruits of my labor :).

And no, I haven’t stopped chain-smoking.. ick. But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time :).


2 comments for Online business – stayin’ alive
  1. Great Tips. I have now scheduled time to leave the house and walk the subdivion. I also try to get out and network offline twice a week and sometimes its not even work related just to keep it fresh.

    Comment by kimberly Kay — October 11, 2006 @ 10:50 pm

  2. Hi Kimberly – I must admit I fall down on the second part of what you do i.e., networking offline on unrelated stuff. A chat with the next door neighbor across the fence line is about as close as I get :)

    Comment by Michael Bloch — October 12, 2006 @ 3:33 am

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