Healthiest On-Call Week

At work, every engineer has a pager. Every few weeks, depending on the team, an engineer is on-call and needs to respond quickly in case something breaks in the team’s products.

The week ending today was, fortunately, very quiet. There were only a few events, and none of them were at night. Additionally, I think this was the healthiest on-call week I’ve had so far.

In the past, I didn’t exercise at all when on-call. It feels like I can’t run or bike as easily, because I have to carry my backpack everywhere. I definitely can’t go hiking, because I need to stay within cell phone range. And (maybe that’s just me) I was worried about not hearing the pager if I left it by the pool side at the gym.

A while ago, I remembered that my office building had a gym. This week, I decided to go to that gym and use the exercise bikes and elliptical machines there. If my pager went off… no problem, I’d just head up to my office, where I had left my laptop. In fact, I had my desktop there too, so I’d even be in a better position to work than if I were at home.

And it felt great. I went to that gym on six days, for an hour each. I think I’ll continue to do that, at least for this next week, when I’m secondary and still need to wear my pager and take my backpack everywhere.

I’ve also started to like the elliptical machines. I started running again a few weeks ago, after not having run since… last July? I was happily surprised that I could still easily run over 4 miles. Unfortunately, I might have ramped up my distance and speed too quickly, and my right knee got inflamed. The elliptical gives me a similar feeling as running, but with much less impact.

About Mathias

Software development engineer. Principal developer of DrJava. Recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Rice University.
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