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Anyone who knows me knows that one of my very favorite things to do is exercise. I genuinely love going to the gym. I think this is one of my finest qualities, and it’s also going to help me live a long and healthy life, so if you think I’m crazy, phooey on you.

When I’m in New York, one of my favorite workouts to do is Barry’s Bootcamp. This is an intense but insane combination of treadmill running and weightlifting. Here’s the basic scenario: Fifty people in a room with 25 treadmills and 25 spaces for weightlifting. Four 15 minute sessions: run-lift-run-lift or lift-run-lift-run. One crazy (but beautiful) instructor calling out the speed and incline for the “treaders,” the next exercise for the “floor,” encouragement, jokes, technique tips. No time to get bored.

This morning, during a particularly brutal hill run, I caught myself thinking that Barry’s is kind of like my work. One minute I’m sprinting up a hill, the next I’m doing bicep curls. One day I’m deep in analysis of data about consumers’ deodorant preferences, the next I’m having in-depth conversations with doctors about the importance of vaccinating kids. I’m never, ever bored. If I find one topic or project less stimulating than the rest, it’s over in a few weeks. If I’m having a bad run, in a few minutes it’s time to get off the treadmill.

A good friend is considering making the switch to an “in house” research job at a bank, working on an endless stream of projects about the same topic. I think I’ll bring her to Barry’s to remind her how much more fun it is to mix it up.

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