Can your job affect your running? UltraBoyRuns draws up his battleplan


This post is specifically about me and my job, your experience will (hopefully) vary and you can probably click away as this is hugely self indulgent. And so to my post …

Designing and running aren’t natural bedfellows and for me both are often like uphill battles.

As some of you will have seen my Twitter rant yesterday you’ll know it was a grim day but for those that didn’t it went something like this: Dear job, C-Bomb off you F-Bombing C-Bomb’ #DesignerNotArtworker and this led to wondering if running and designing were very compatible or was it simply that my job drives me bonkers because they really don’t listen to common sense?

Let me be very clear – I love designing. I love the intricacies of typography and the world building of ideas. I love the very technical aspects of producing great artwork and I adore illustrating complex ideas until they communicate smoothly and brilliantly. I even enjoy constructive feedback, collaboration and building things together that are ultimately more impressive than the thing you could do yourself. But my current job seems to think that by taking all those amazing elements out, (the bits were I offer thoughtful design, considered typography and interesting illustrative styles) that they will get a better product. It hurts my design soul that after 15 years of carefully crafting solutions to meet numerous clients/companies needs and often exceeding them that my current job is leaving me so bereft of enthusiasm.

And so to running
Last night (Monday), as I was fuming, I put on my running shorts and my 12kg of filled OMM rucksack and I went running. I ran on average 4.50 per kilometre over 9km – that’s the fastest I’ve gone since I started running again.

So running angry was good for pace?
Yes and no. The real issue was I felt the run in my glutes and hamstring – which was very bad – and today (Tuesday) I’m suffering more than I should be. But … I just wanted to flush away another rubbish day and I wanted to push my body to remind myself what it’s like to be good at something – because my current job makes me feel like I’m good for nothing. And even last night as I ran I could feel the tension in my muscles and yet I decided to keep going as fast as I could because I was so angry and now I’ve set myself back – that surely isn’t positive?

Comfort Eating?
Then there’s the fact that when work is going badly I usually eat ‘bad food’ and lots of it, this week has been no exception and that won’t help me stay in a size 32 inch waist trousers!

The strange thing is that things like stress and difficult situations I’m very good at handling, it brings out the best in me, when my back is against the wall I always come out fighting and I’m tenacious about it – the same has always been true of running. Here’s the thing though – my job isn’t stressful, it isn’t even difficult – it’s simply stupid, lacking in foresight, lacking in creativity and often rather obnoxious, self-important, political and bitchy and that’s something that I don’t appreciate or understand. This kind of multi-faceted fuckwittedness with people hiding under layers of management and email commentary is a dangerously layered mix and coming out fighting in this scenario just leaves you bruised.

The great thing is that having a crapper of a day can usually be sorted (for me) by a pleasant run, it clears the head, gets frustration out, however, my two hour commute home means that if I don’t #RunCommute then it can be hard to motivate myself out the door, especially when work has been belittling your professional skills and as my example above highlights that #RunAngry isn’t always the best option – especially when you’re still easing yourself back after injury with your recovery looking rather fragile.

I’ve clearly got my work/life balance wrong and that’s something only I can address and the best way to address is it is through a new job/career but this time when I move I’m going to need to be very careful in the role I choose because I’m 100% clear on what I want and don’t want.

So now I’m actioning my plan and I’m positive about it. I will get the result I’m looking for!

I’d be interested to hear about different peoples ‘bad day / bad job / crazy people’ scenarios and how you dealt with it. Did running help? Was your running affected? Am I’m just moaning and should just get on with it?

Happy running.

  1. I’ve worked with designers who feel exactly the same way as you about their creativity being beaten out of them to churn out repetitive artwork jobs. When I have a shit day I go and get angry at the gym with the weights or on the treadmill. Angry running might do you in a bit after but for me it totally helps to get all that frustration out. Have you considered getting another job? Life’s too short to hate where you are 80% of your time.

    • ultraboycreates said:

      I think the new job option is the way forwards – a shame as I really had hoped this was the right progressive move I was looking for. Seems my decision making is still rubbish even after 15 years of working 🙂

  2. Mark said:

    Just bumped into your blog, and have every sympathy with your thoughts about work. My Dad used to say that he only worked so he could do the important bits when he got home – which for him was ultra-long walks. I hope things get sorted out.

    • ultraboycreates said:

      Thank you very much, I’m sure it will get sorted, it just requires a bit of tenacity and a lot of elbow grease 🙂

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