Many busy executives find that relieving the stress of a demanding job is critical for achieving and maintaining success.
For them, work is much more manageable through working out, whether that involves hopping on the bike, jumping in the pool or heading to the gym.
Gulfshore Business chatted with a chocolatier, a nonprofit multi-tasker, construction executive and focused engineer. And whether they are strapping on boxing gloves, furiously pedaling or pushing through a heart-rate ascending set of reps, one thing is certain: They bring the same intensity to their pre- and post-work regimens as they do their professions.
POSITION: owner, Olde Naples Chocolate for 13 years
ROUTINE: Rose bicycles 25 miles through Pelican Bay or Old Naples Monday and Wednesday, and 40-50 miles towards Fort Myers Beach or Ave Maria on Sunday and swims 90 minutes at the North Pool Tuesday and Friday. She also runs six miles on Thursday and between seven and 10 miles on Saturday with Gulf Coast Runners. She is training for September’s Ironman Worlds outside Brisbane, Australia (a 1.2- mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run), and all her workouts begin around 5:45 a.m.
RESULTS: It adds energy and focus to begin her day. “It’s amazing when you get up that early in the morning how much you can get accomplished,” she says. “You feel energized and I find my mind is clear to start work. I’ve got all my thoughts out, I’ve had time to think about different things, I’m wide awake and focused on work and raring to go.”
POSITION: business team leader, Parker Hannifin Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division
ROUTINE: Leads bike rides of 60 to 80 miles on Saturday and 45 to 60 miles on Sunday as part of the Naples Velo bicycle club. Crouse also grabs the mountain bike he keeps at work for lunchtime rides on 5.5 miles of challenging trails behind Parker Hannifin. The former triathlete had a knee operation eight years ago and turned to cycling and has fully embraced the Velo bike culture. He enjoys the difficulty of mountain rides that involve pedaling through sand but is most stimulated by the four-hour weekend rides during which he can drop six pounds as his heart rate reaches the 120 to 150 target while he cruises up to 24 miles per hour. Exploring routes from Naples to Sanibel, Marco or to Ave Maria and Fort Myers Beach usually concludes with cyclist gathering for a coffee or beer.
RESULTS: It’s the perfect antidote for a high stress job that requires frequent travel. “I use exercise to burn off some of that stress,” he says. “It’s serving two purposes: You’re getting your exercise and meeting good people. Cycling is the perfect vehicle. I can’t stress how much fun it is as well as the exercise.”
POSITION: vice president and part owner, DeAngelis Diamond Construction
ROUTINE: CrossFit, a high-intensity combination of weight lifting and body-weight movements that quickly raises one’s heart rate through short-duration energy bursts. Sain’s regimen three days a week after work and Saturday at “the box” (his name for the gym) includes pushups, pull-ups and Olympic weight lifting in what he terms a “competitive friendly environment.” He begins with a 500-meter row followed by 10 minutes of stretching and a 20-minute strength exercise. His activity ends with a workout of the day, which includes a 15-minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) that involves 50 double-under jump ropes, 25 pushups, 10 pull ups and 10 snatches of 135 pounds. All that effort has paid off in competitions, including the 2015 Thunderdome in June at Estero’s Germain Arena where he finished second among 500 participants.
RESULTS: It keeps his waistline trim, builds confidence for the next day and allows for a solid hour without looking at his phone.
“It also builds relationships outside of work. I can talk shop and have it not be about work. It allows me to come home and feel like I’m not dumping everything on my wife.”
POSITION: Executive director, Uncommon Friends Foundation; founder, Valerie’s House for Grieving Families
ROUTINE: Muay Thai, a martial art that combines boxing and kicking and a full-body workout that she does daily at Title Boxing Club in Naples, making the 45-minute drive after work from her Fort Myers offices to wrap her fingers and start going high impact on the heavy bag. Her routine includes three-minute drills of hooks, uppercuts, jabs and crosses as well as sidekicks and push kicks.
RESULTS: She enjoys working out stress, employing her entire body to punch and kick, all to get set for the next day of juggling nonprofit management.
“I think after coming out of a workout like that you feel like can do anything. You can come in after a day and feel defeated or disappointed or jumbled and then you walk in and are able to complete your workout and let it go. With me, it’s when I’m at my best when I’m done with that workout, I feel like I can handle what’s coming at me tomorrow.”