Gini Dietrich ExerciseBy Gini Dietrich

Earlier this week, I had a meltdown around 4 p.m. I started to cry uncontrollably, for no apparent reason.

For those of you who know me personally, you know that’s completely atypical. I’m like a guy when it comes to emotions…I just don’t show them.


I’m overly tired or overly stressed.

This summer has been a crazy one. Summer is typically really slow so we close on Friday afternoons and use the time to catch up on the things we want to do here at Spin Sucks that we don’t have time to do during the rest of the year.

Not this year.

A Nice Problem to Have…But Still a Problem

This year has been insane, which is both good and bad.

You know, a nice problem to have, but still a problem.

There have been no Friday afternoon closings, no hundred mile bike rides, no working on my tan.

I much prefer that to the alternative, but it’s been stressful.

And I had a meltdown.

So I stopped what I was doing and went for a bike ride.

A really hard bike ride…I rode in my VO2 Max heart rate zone for a good 50 minutes.

And then I sat back down at my desk, completely refreshed and ready to finish the work that I owed a client.

How Executives Stay in Shape

If, like we are wont to do (particularly in the U.S.), I had just sat here until it was quitting time, I wouldn’t have finished my work and I’d probably still be crying.

That’s why I was interested to read, What 12 Powerful Tech Execs Do to Stay in Shape.

They looked at everyone from Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook to Mark Cuban and Alexa von Tobel.

What they found in common with all of these tech executives is they make time to exercise at least twice a week, while most are highly competitive, both inside and outside of the office.

von Tobel, the founder and CEO of LearnVest, told Business Insider:

I’m healthier, I’m happier, I sleep better. And all of that is important. When my life is better, my company is better.

I do my exercise in the morning, and often I’ll take someone from my team. The person I’m meeting with can pick the class, whether it’s a spin or barre class, or going for a power walk. It’s hard to run and talk—I haven’t mastered that yet.

Just the other day, I had a call with Aly Saxe and I asked her if we could have a walking meeting.

I walked while on the phone and I found I was much more engaged with her. There weren’t any distractions, such as email or text messages flying across my computer screen. The only thing I had to worry about was looking both ways before crossing the street.

You Have to Make the Time for Exercise

People often ask me how I make time to exercise and I typically respond with, “It’s the same thing as brushing your teeth. You just do it.”

There are plenty of days (like today), that I have to do something other than exercise at 5 a.m. (like write a blog post), but I always make up for it.

Sometimes it’s forced because I’m going to have a meltdown, which isn’t good for anyone, but more often than not, it’s an appointment I’ve made with myself that I do not skip.

It’s on my calendar so nothing gets booked at the same time.

Today? Today I have meetings from 7:00-11:00 and then I have a break until 1:00. I will be riding from 11:00-12:00 and then I will be back at my desk, ready to take on the rest of my meetings and be highly productive (though I’m going to work ridiculously fast so I can go back to reading The Girl in the Spider’s Web).

It’s hard to make the time. It’s hard to keep a routine. But when you do it, not only are you fit and you sleep better and you feel better, you do a much better job at work.

image: Riding a rented bike that is way too big for me 150 miles in the Rocky Mountains.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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