The Data Warrior

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Archive for the tag “Fitness”

TGIF – Are you part of the problem or the solution?

Yes, it is Friday and like many, you may be really looking forward to the weekend.

Relaxing with family and friends.

Eating some good food. Drinking some adult beverages.<wink, wink>

Watching some TV or a movie.

Maybe a little exercise perhaps? (50 pushups out to do it)

Ahh…the good life.

Then comes Sunday evening.

The black cloud of doom forms. <insert ominous music here>


Tomorrow is Monday.

Monday = Back to WORK

Why do so many people (at least in the USA) dread going back to work on Monday? Well there are tons of reasons  for sure but one may be that we are feeling burned out or overworked.

Below is a great infographic from that gives us real stats on what is happening in the work place in the US of A.

We should all be appalled at these numbers and what they say about us as nation. As I stated before, this is a hot button for me.

My question to you is:

Are you part of the problem?

If you are an employer or manager, do you explicitly or implicitly encourage (and condone) this behavior?

If you are an employee, do you allow yourself to be treated this way?

Read the numbers and ponder your role in all this.

If it is not you, great! You can help others by your example.

If it is you, well….

Stay tuned. I will be posting some followups on this in a few days.

Let the campaign to bring back the 40 hour work week begin!

Enjoy your weekend.

Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week Infographic

Learn a Little Chi Gung with my KScope Morning Chi Gung Video

A little background…

Last year for the ODTUG Kscope conference, then-president Mike Riley asked me if there was something from my martial arts training that I could offer to Kscope attendees that would enhance their conference experience.

I proposed doing some Chi Gung moving mediation exercises in the morning, something I had started teaching at summer martial arts camps about 20 years ago.

The ODTUG Board accepted the proposal and the rest, as they say, is history.

We introduced Morning Chi Gung at Kscope11 in Long Beach, California with great success and reviews.

We did it again for Kscope12 at the beautiful JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas, with another great turn out. I lead sessions every day, Sunday through Thursday at 7 AM. (It went so well a few folks even joined me on Friday morning after the conference for one more session.)

This year we also added organized running groups and a running meet-up sign up board to encourage attendees to network in a new way.

Fitness activities are fast becoming a ODTUG tradition, so we plan to do them again at Kscope13 in New Orleans.

As far as I know, ODTUG is the first, and maybe only, Oracle user event to offer organized fitness activities for attendees. It may be the only technology conference doing so.

Pretty cool. Hopefully we will inspire other events to add similar activities.

Morning Chi Gung at Kscope12

My morning Chi Gung group

Chi Gung – The Video

Several of the attendees this year wanted to be sure they could continue to practice the meditations after the conference was over. So they asked if I had any videos of the routines available. There are a few clips from KScope11 but none with audio instructions.

Thanks to Lori (ODTUG Social Media Maven) and her digital video camera, we have a brand new instructional video to share with everyone. Now I had to work around having a microphone with a short cord attached to my jacket, but the audio is really good so you will have no problem hearing my instructions and descriptions of the various exercises.

The video is now live online on the ODTUG YouTube Channel over here.

In the video you will see me give detailed instructions and explanations of several Chi Gung “still stance” breathing meditations. I lead the group in doing Upward-Downward, Inward-Outward, Raised Hands Stance, Tai Chi Ball, Four Forms, and the Warrior Energy Form. Each of these moving meditative sets can be done individually or in the series as demonstrated, depending on your available time and fitness level.

So if you were in my classes, I hope you find the video useful to help you continue your practice.

If you weren’t there, I hope the video will inspire you to start a new practice.

Either way I hope you will all join me at KScope13 next year in New Orleans.

Until then…Peace


P.S. If you have not done so already, please consider subscribing to this blog, or follow me on Twitter @KentGraziano

Work is Killing You and 10 Ways to Stop It From Happening!

This has been a hot button for me for some time – if we don’t find a way to fit exercise, fitness, and some healthy eating into our sedentary lives (like we in IT tend have), we will not live as long as we hope. And life will not be as enjoyable as it could be.

This article really speaks to this all-to-common issue:

Every morning, you awaken to a new day and you launch into your familiar routines as you hustle to meet your daily obligations.

Ideally, your work excites you, energizes you, and brings joy to your life. If your work brings you more stress and fatigue than joy then now is the time to make some changes. You can introduce a renewed vigor into your work and upgrade your attitude.

You know that taking care of yourself should be your number one priority. Yet you often let your health and fitness levels fall by the wayside if you are consistently working 50 or more hours a week.

As a society, at what point did we take the wrong turn by focusing on work place productivity and relentless goal setting at the expense of our happiness and well-being?

Productivity does not have to be measured solely by the number of hours logged at work. Happiness will not be attainable when consistently working 50 hours a week. Furthermore, our choice, as a culture, to sacrifice fitness or physical play for other goals has had an impact on every part of our lives, including our fitness level and our overall happiness at work and outside of work.

The article goes on to detail 10 things you can do – today – to become more fit and healthy (and it is not just joining a health club). Check it out at  Work is Killing You and 10 Ways to Stop It From Happening! | Work Happy Now.

Get up and get moving! (after you read the article that is…)

If you want to get notified when I post articles like this, don’t forget to hit the Follow button at the top of the column to the right.

– Kent

P.S. If you are attending this years KScope conference next month in San Antonio, you can work on your fitness level by joining me each morning for some calming and energizing Chi Gung. We will meet on the lawn each morning at 7 AM.

Alert would-be Oracle Warriors: Chi Gung in San Antonio

As many of you now by now I will be presenting several sessions at the ODTUG annual conference, KScope, this coming June in San Antonio, Texas.

What you may not know is that I will also be conducting 30-minute Chi Gung sessions in the morning before the events of the day start as part of the KScope12 Fun Factor activities.

Why you may ask?

In short, because even geeks need to exercise to live long (and prosper).

Plus this type of moving meditation is just what the doctor ordered to help you de-stress and (mentally) get away from your daily IT routine. (I have written a bit more on this here and here)

So as some motivation for you to join me doing Chi Gung (in the cool part of the day!) check out this video of a guy Exercising Around the World.

If you like that video and a really motivated, check out his web site at NerdFitness.

At KScope11 in Long Beach, we did it everyday and had at least 20 people each morning. It was a lot of fun.

Here are a few of the comments I received about the sessions:

“Kent organized the Chi Gung class at this years ODTUG KScope 2011 event, which was very enjoyable. A very relaxing way to start the day. Kent explained the exercises very clear, which made it easier to follow for first time practitioners.” 

“Kent proivided Chi Gung sessions to supplement an IT conference. It was a great way to set us up for the day and it was great fun. Ken was patient and yet educational, repeating the main concepts each day for new people. I attended for 5 consecutive days and would have loved to have done more” 

No previous martial arts or meditation experience required!

Let’s join the revolution and become fit and healthy Oracle Nerds and Geeks!

Tell me in the comments how you are becoming a fitter, healthier Oracle geek.

Then meet me in San Antonio for some moving meditation, relaxation, and fun.


10 Commandments of Health

Being a modern day Data Warrior is hard work!

It’s amazing how hard it is to sit all day, looking at a computer monitor, talking on con calls, communicating via IM and email, keeping up on trends with a little online video training, or sitting in conference rooms collecting requirements.

To be effective and focused, both your mind  and your body must be strong. That is as true today for modern IT workers as it was in the past for warriors of ancient Sparta.

In 1928, the U.S. Congress hired a doctor, Dr. George W Calver, to try to keep them healthy so they could effectively do their jobs for the country.

Dr. Calver came up with his 10 Commandments for Health and posted them all over the U.S. Capital to remind the congressman of how to stay in good health.

Here they are for you:

  • Eat wisely
  • Drink Plentifully (water)
  • Eliminate Thoroughly
  • Bathe Cleanly
  • Exercise Rationally
  • Accept Inevitables (i.e., don’t worry)
  • Play Enthusiastically
  • Relax Completely
  • Sleep Sufficiently
  • Check up Occasionally

His final piece of advice: “Give 5% of your time to keeping well. You won’t have to give 100% getting over being sick.”

Great advice for any age (or career). For more check out the January AARP Bulletin.

Take care. Stay healthy.


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