It all started with Albert Haynesworth. Albert Haynesworth, you see, is a NFL defensive tackle, a big man who used to play his football at the University of Tennessee and for the Tennessee Titans. A year ago, he left the Titans via free agency to play for the Washington Redskins. He was given a massive contract, and he had a mediocre year.

This year, he came back to camp, and the coach wanted him to prove that he was in shape. He failed.

So yesterday, we caught wind of a couple of folks who had tried the challenge themselves. Mike Golic of “Mike & Mike in the Morning” on ESPN tried it… but he’s a former NFL player. Some of the employees at The Virginian-Pilot tried it with varying degrees of success.

Frankly, this struck me as just my kind of stupid. And so I brought the stopwatch to work today. And invited all comers to join in the fun. And the smack talk.

From one David Ells:


And so the fun begins:

  • David Ells, 27 years young: Shuttle 1: 66 seconds, Shuttle 2: 83 seconds. #fail
  • Troy Foster, 34 years: Shuttle 1: 64 seconds, Shuttle 2: 68 seconds. #pass
  • Joe Donnelly, 37 years: Shuttle 1: 75 seconds, Shuttle 2: 77 seconds. #fail, but Joe could keep up this pace forever
  • Mike Rustici, 33 years: Shuttle 1: 70 seconds, Shuttle 2: 73 seconds. #pass. And let me tell you, I have respect for someone who does just the right amount.
  • Tim Martin, 35 years: Shuttle 1: 64 seconds, Shuttle 2: 69 seconds. #pass
  I came away for the experience with two conclusions.
  1. That Ells kid got what he deserved.
  2. This is exactly the kind of thing every single workplace needs more of.

Truthfully, Rustici Software is pretty good at doing fun stuff. We play disc golf, we have a ping pong table, our office environment is exceptionally casual. But we often fall into the same trap that so many offices do. One day simply can’t be distinguished from another.

Today is a day of work that I’ll remember. I’ll remember it because what we did was stupid (no, really, the heat index was over 100… the HR department is not happy.) I’ll remember it because it was different. I’ll remember it because we abused ourselves and each other.

Note to self: Do more of this kind of stuff. Give yourself and others a way to mark the days at work… not just wander through them. Work is way too big a part of our lives to plod through day after day.

Tim is the chief innovation and product officer with our parent company LTG, though he used to be CEO here at Rustici Software. If you’re looking for a plainspoken answer to a standards-based question, or to just play an inane game, Tim is your person.