PERREAULT Magazine OCT | NOV 2015 - Page 93

Finding the next disruptive idea is all the rage these days including in science.

While we typically think of disruptive ideas as earth shattering—something that breaks the mold and destroys old dogma, sometimes a disruptive idea can be quiet and personal yet still profound. My first experience with the disruptive power of exercise was one of the more quiet and personal examples.

This story begins when I was first hired as a new assistant professor of neural science at New York University. I could not wait to start building my new research lab focused on studying a key brain area important for long-term memory called the hippocampus. The atmosphere in my lab during those early years was like a great dinner party you never wanted to leave – always someone interesting to talk to and something fascinating to talk about. In stark contrast to my dinner party-like lab life, my social life was more like a deserted ghost town from a Clint Eastwood Western: bone dry. I had no friends outside the lab, I worked all the time, I ate way too much take-out and a few years into my new position, I found myself 20 pounds overweight.

I desperately needed a shift in my social life and the inspiration to make that change came

during a white water river rafting trip in central Peru where I realized that I was the weakest person on the entire trip. There were 16 year-olds that were stronger than me and 60 year-olds that were stronger than me. This was my exercise wake-up call. I knew I never wanted to feel like the weakest link on a trip like that ever again. So when I returned home, I marched straight to the nearest gym, signed up with a personal trainer and this time I actually stuck with a regular exercise program.

My fitness didn’t change overnight, but with time, I built a strong and regular exercise practice. And one thing that really fueled my motivation was a workout that I found at my gym that I just loved. This workout is called intenSati and was developed and taught by a fantastic exercise instructor named Patricia Moreno.


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