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Balancing Yourself

Posted: August 23rd, 2008 at 2:17 pm

It has been a little over 5 years since I first began my quest to become a Computer Athlete. I started to develop the principles of a Computer Athlete out of necessity. I had to figure out a way to use a computer that was pain-free or find a job that didn’t require using a computer regularly.

Looking back on those years, I still remember the tremendous amount of time and energy I spent reading about ergonomics, reading reviews about keyboards, mouses, and other devices, being in pain, and worrying whether I would recover and how long it would take.

I want to share some of what I learned and my perspective in hopes that you will be able to directly benefit from it. Over time, as people ask questions, I will post interesting responses to the blog. So please leave comments, ask questions, or share some of what you learned.

Story

When I was on a leadership trip after college, I was in a group tasked with getting a group of ~15 people all on a narrow bar at the same time for 60 seconds. The challenge was that it was very difficult even for one person to balance himself on the bar for 60 seconds let alone 15 people trying to balance at the same time. I was selected as the leader of the team just by coincidence. Because I had no idea how we were going to accomplish this, my approach was to let people come up with ideas and try things and then we would evaluate those ideas as a team. Thinking that we were in a teamwork exercise, everyone focused on trying to work together to balance each other. For instance, two people would hold hands and try to counter-balance each other.

We failed! There was time pressure and we never figured out how to get everyone balanced at the same time. We later learned that the trick is to have everyone balance oneself and then when each person is individually balanced on the bar, the entire team will be balanced. There are still coordination and timing challenges to making this work for 60 seconds, but I won’t go into them.

This failure taught me something very important. Sometimes, the best way to accomplish a team goal is to simply focus on ourselves and our personal challenges. In relation to computer-related injury and health, I believe that individuals need to find out what exercise, equipment, sleep, nutrition, etc, they need to be happy and healthy. Also, we all need to take responsibility for the choices that we make and how they affect our health. Just as with sports, I think you can improve more quickly with coaching and guidance. To help solve the problem of computer related injury, I want to lead people and inspire them to figure out what they need to do in order to become a computer athlete and reach a state of pain-free computing.

I plan to share lessons learned, ideas, thoughts, and stories about how to overcome injury and challenges to becoming a computer athlete.

Please check back here and leave comments.

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