No Pain, No Gain: The VAR Guy Does Boot Camp
Please don’t touch The VAR Guy. It’s not that he doesn’t like to be touched, he’s just sore from thinking he’s a tough guy.
And he blames Avaya.
Here’s the backstory: The VAR Guy checked in to the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas for the 2102 Avaya U.S./Gov Sales Leadership and Partner Conference with high hopes of getting in a good run or two during his stay. Unfortunately, his jam-packed schedule conflicted with the hours the fitness center at the hotel was open, so his only choice was to run outside (dark, dangerous and cold at 5 a.m. – check the weather report) or pace his hotel room (which he did one morning).
But while perusing the general schedule, our resident blogger noticed a session titled “The Daily Grind,” which started each morning at 5:30 and for which exercise attire was recommended. (It was also mandatory for Avaya sales folks and optional for the rest of us.) That, it seemed, was the perfect solution to The VAR Guy’s exercise dilemma.
What The VAR Guy didn’t know but was made clear to him the second he stepped into the Veronese Ballroom was The Daily Grind was no step aerobics or easy calisthenics class. Heck no. This was a boot camp-style exercise regimen led by current and former Navy SEALS, who took every opportunity to show us all what flabby, out-of-shape plebes we were. The first indication that this was gonna hurt was the instruction by the leader: “If you’re going to throw up, do it in your towel or be considerate enough to go to the back of the room.”
For the next 60 minutes, we were treated like recruits, forced to do extreme calisthenics that included an insane amount of pushups, bear crawls and other exercises that taxed The VAR Guy’s muscles and his patience. When others messed up, we were told to “Drop and give me 20.” If this was a teamwork-building exercise, it failed miserably.
The VAR Guy made it through the session, albeit barely. By the end, he couldn’t feel his arms. And lifting anything was out of question. He limped back to his hotel room and took a long, cold shower (it’s better for loosening muscles) and slowly, delicately made his way down to the plenary sessions.
Two days later, our resident blogger still feels like he’s been in a car accident. But time has made him a little more reflective on the experience: The leader made a point of telling us we have to respect ourselves and be the best we can be before we can earn the respect of others. (He also said we made a choice to be there, which made The VAR Guy gnash his teeth to think he actually signed up for the abuse.)
But he had a point: As much as those 60 minutes physically decimated The VAR Guy, two days later he wears his pain as a badge of honor. Without having to answer to anyone but himself, he made it. And that just may be what people mean when they say, “No pain, no gain.”