How my health helped me to improve my testing (Part:1)

It is the 31st of December 2015 and like everybody else, I decided to do something about my weight. I weighed somewhere near 110 kgs at that time. Like so many others it turned out to be that I was just doing nothing. Until my son came to me and told me: Daddy why do always act so angry when I ask you something. In my belief, I did not do that and that is what I told him. But he was very persistent in it and showed me a little film he made of me telling him and his sister to clear up the room. But moved to tears and it also showed me that I was overweight, frustrated and not in the best shape I should be in.

At that time I worked at a client just doing my thing and you know those testers that are sitting quietly in meetings and just doing their job. Well, I was such a tester, just let me do my thing and do not bother me managerial questions or ask me to write reports because I don’t do that. I don’t like to do that, so do not bother me. I love my job and everything about my job. Ask people about me and what I love about my profession and they will tell I love to tell you about my job, I love to deliberate about risks and how you can test them and what I can do to help you improve your testing.  For most of my project colleagues tom = testing and testing = tom. So why was I feeling so unhappy and out-of-shape?

That I was not fit was made painfully clear to me by my son and his movies. He made movies of me when I was sleeping while we supposed to watch a movie together, movies of me working at home but not being focused, movies of us eating together and me not showing a happy face while trying to do so.

Well, there is one thing you should know about me, in my younger years before I was very passionate about cycling. I used to cycle anywhere all the time and although I started cycling together with my son it was not enough to get me back into shape. So I started to intensify my training from every other week to every week.  And I started to feel some improvement in my health but it wasn’t enough.  However, in my professional life, people started to notice a change. I was no longer the man sitting behind his desk just doing his job, I started wandering around, asking questions in meetings.

But still, it wasn’t enough for me I wanted to improve my own testing capabilities and I still was not in a mental state that fitted my new state. It felt like I needed to reinvent my self professionally like I do when I am for more than one year on a project.  But is it possible to reinvent your self?

I believe that it is possible but you need to take your self by the hand and don’t want to improve big time but improve in little steps and you need to make your self-aware that a lot of small steps are also one big step altogether.

So now we are one year later at the end of December 2016 and my new year’s resolution is to open up to everybody not be on the byline of any discussion but to actively participate in discussions what concerns me as a person or my profession.  But physically my weight was again moving towards 100+ kgs and I felt I was losing my battle. So I made a bold promise to myself I want to weigh at the end of the year around the 80kgs marker and if you reach that you can buy your self a new racing or mountain bike. In the meantime, one of my trusted colleagues and business partners was ahead of me and told me that if I really want to lose weight and get in shape I had to adjust my feeding habits,  move up in my cycling frequency and set a reachable goal.

So I set my reachable goal, I adjusted my feeding habits (I love sweets, so I banned them) and moved up my sports frequency from once every two weeks to once every week.  Again I started to feel a difference and I left the project of last year and was in between projects, teaching graduate students the art of testing. The students told me that I was very passionate about the craft and they hoped that one day they could speak to students with the same fire in their eyes as I had when I taught them.

So now mentally I was in a better state than a year before, proven by the fact that my sone came to hug me as a thank you for being there when he needed me. I could move people by telling stories and I could persuade people why one test approach would be more suitable than another for a project. But still, I was not a happy person. But I noticed whenever I was cycling or I had cycled I felt great. So instead of going by car to the project 5 times a week, I decided to cycle 3 times a week to the project.  Going by car cost me somewhere near 45 minutes and cycling costs me the same amount of time, so I had nothing to lose. In my humble opinion and I had a lot to gain.


And so it did: I regained my fitness, my health and the belief in myself that I have something to say and that my opinion is one that is important enough to be heard. At this moment I weigh 85 kgs and  it makes me feel good

— to be continued. —