Get Fit Or Be Hacking

Technology often involves a lot of intense brain work behind a desk or computer. I’ve learned over the years how important it is to move your body to relieve it from all that stress and strain. And so it was interesting to me when my friend Rob said he wanted to do a fundraiser for CSNYC at a CrossFit gym.

The event Rob envisioned is now happening. It’s called “Get Fit or Be Hacking” and is taking place on May 2nd from 2pm – 8pm at CrossFit South Brooklyn in Gowanus. Participants will compete in teams of four to complete various coding and fitness challenges. Each four person team will also raise money for CSNYC via CrowdRise in the weeks leading up to the event. Awards will be given out for the most creative fundraising approach and most money raised as well as in the fitness, coding, and overall categories based on team performance May 2nd.

One of the coding challenges will be in JavaScript. Another challenge will be in a “pick ‘em” scripting language (e.g., Python, Ruby). Rob assures me that there will be no “barbell stuff” during the fitness portion. The workouts will be accessible to any developer who works out regularly. Perhaps best of all there’s an after-party planned at Three’s Brewing. They serve tasty beer and the Gotham Gal and I are investors in it.

If you’re a software developer who also likes to work out, this event is for you. More info can be found on the CrowdRise page here; if you’d like to donate to CSNYC by supporting one of the competing teams, that’s also where to go. More information on the event overall is available from CrossFit South Brooklyn.

This should be a great event.

#hacking philanthropy

Comments (Archived):

  1. pointsnfigures

    Hugely important to have a fit body and mind. I started doing Iyengar Yoga last year and like it. Have tried to bring meditation in. I used to be really active, but now just bike and lift weights. It’s mission critical for a startup that the more stressful situations get, there is a no judgement outlet for that stress. Working out can be that outlet.Now that the weather seems to be turning nicer, it’s just nice to leave my phone at home and go for a walk a long the lake in Chicago. The image of the fat, nerdy, hacker is a thing of the past I hope. (just nerdy hacker)

    1. awaldstein

      $2T wellness market is indicative for certain that fitness and personal empowerment are hardly a niche.When BluePrint innovated and made ingredients the front panel of all of their packaging what–6 or more years ago–the tide had turned. For the better.

      1. LE

        In all honesty Arnold lots of that wellness stuff is marketing bullshit or placebo. [1] (Note: “lots” != “all”). Besides the “white men” are always getting this shit wrong and changing their minds anyway. One day “egg whites” now it’s “maybe it doesn’t matter like we thought it did”. “Aspirin a day” then “let’s think about that again”. The only absolutes are “death, taxes, and cigarettes are bad for you in many ways..”[1] That is not to say that the “party in someone’s brain” is not of any value of course it is.

        1. awaldstein

          What is wellness stuff?The Wellness Market boring a life it is to believe in only death and taxes my friend. I’ll take a host of life defining passions to guide me without scientific proof any day.

          1. LE

            How boring a life it is to believe in only death and taxes my friend.Very funny.Who is talking about a boring life? Sounds a bit judgmental to me. As if you are saying that I don’t get pleasure out of anything or don’t care about health. Of course I do. My resting heart rate, at work, at my desk is typically under 49bpm. Sometimes down in the low/mid 40’s. [1] My body mass is such that I can do 18 pullups. With my feet out. (Note: That is before I pulled a muscle now I only do 8 while healing…) And yes I eat “whole wheat pasta” and generally and definitely check ingredients. But I am not fanatical and I recognize this stuff for what it is. Yesterday I sat for hours solving a computer problem. And I enjoyed it. As I have done before. Tremendous pleasure. And I won’t even get into the business things that I do that provide more pleasure than they do money.I’ll take a host of life defining passions to guide me without scientific proof any day.That is exactly my point. And why I said “That is not to say that the “party in someone’s brain” is not of any value of course it is.”[1] My resting heart rate is lower than my age …Add: I exercise about 1 hour per day every day.

          2. LE

            You are right if you think I was bragging. I actually cracked the frame over time [1] with usage of my treadmill and had to buy another one. Which reminds me it was covered under a lifetime warranty and I have to contact Lifefit or Proform or whoever made it because they will probably scrap on site and pay me something and haul it away.[1] I used to run outside but now run on the treadmill. Only 30 minutes per day. But ever single day. For a long long time.

        2. JLM

          .You forgot the gold standard of wellness — SUNSCREEN.There is only one thing you can really count on in life — SUNSCREEN.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            It took me a long time to get my wives and my girlfriends to stop baking in the fucking sun. Sun exposure ages you. Reason I won’t buy another convertible. You will rarely catch me on a beach but when you do it’s under an umbrella.

          2. ShanaC

            been wearing sunscreen since my early teens. I seriously still look lik a young college student. My ten reunion for high school was recently, and I do occasionally run into people I went to high school with. I look way way younger.It is at the point I’ve thought about pulling pranks with it, and I’ve been convinced never to dye out the grey in my hair because of fears of never being taken seriously as I get older (i’ve had people still try to randomly pinch my cheeks, not realizing how old I am)

  2. Matt Zagaja

    I agree! If there is a miracle drug for our time, exercise is it. Study after study shows it has psychological and physical benefits. The insurance company Aetna here in Hartford has doubled down on it ( from NYT… ):”On a February day in Aetna’s Hartford headquarters, there were experiments all around. In a conference room downstairs, a meditation class had just concluded, and employees were returning to their desks. Nearby, preparations were underway for a new yoga class, starting in a week. And in his corner office — where a golden statue of the Hindu deity Ganesha was arranged next to an antique grandfather clock — Mr. Bertolini eagerly shared the most recent data from Aetna’s meditation and yoga programs.More than one-quarter of the company’s work force of 50,000 has participated in at least one class, and those who have report, on average, a 28 percent reduction in their stress levels, a 20 percent improvement in sleep quality and a 19 percent reduction in pain. They also become more effective on the job, gaining an average of 62 minutes per week of productivity each, which Aetna estimates is worth $3,000 per employee per year. Demand for the programs continues to rise; every class is overbooked.”

    1. LE

      I gotta tell you if I worked for an insurance company at one of those banal insurance company jobs “returning to their desks” (sounds very 50’s) I’d probably need to do yoga and meditate as well.(Exercise of course is a no brainer..)

    2. JimHirshfield

      Irony of all ironies as it relates to insurance company employment…Someone I know works for Aetna and their wife worked for a hospital affiliated with the VA (Veterans Affairs Administration, aka The Govt). This family, therefore, had the choice of being on the husband’s health insurance (Aetna) or the wife’s (VA). Turns out that the VA benefits were better than what Aetna offers their own employees.

      1. Richard

        On what measure?

        1. JimHirshfield

          I have no more details other than that. I was left with the impression it was the extent of medical coverage for the dollars spent. (shrug)

  3. awaldstein

    Big supporter of this.Misstep to not add nutrition to this mix.Exercise without nutrition is like activity without focus.

    1. Chimpwithcans

      Yep, I’d add sleep to that mix. Of course – good sleep is helped by the other 2 (exercise and nutrition)….but it’s vital for productivity.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Yessssss. Rest is important…”When I feel like exercising, I just lie down until the feeling goes away.” —Paul Terry.

        1. LE

          It also pays to be a member of the “afternoon sleep society” if you can.

          1. JimHirshfield

            I frequently take afternoon naps…inadvertently at internal meetings. Oops.

          2. LE

            Thanks actually I meant “the afternoon nap society” not “sleep”.

          3. Chimpwithcans

            That’s the thing about sleeping….all about timing! 🙂

      2. Rob Underwood

        We couldn’t figure out how to incorporate competitive sleeping into the competition quite yet, but hopefully we can do that in year 2!

        1. Chimpwithcans

          Ha…I’d be happy to enter any competitive sleeping event you think up. I’ll dominate 😉

      3. LE

        Sleep is super important. The key (as well as exercise and watching your weight) to looking young as well.

  4. JoellaDenley

    Such graceful.

  5. Jon Michael Miles

    Thanks for the reminder on this duality. I’m going to take up my doctor on his offering of a note for a standing desk.

    1. Richard

      Will insurance cover under durable medical equipment?

      1. Jon Michael Miles

        Not sure – but this would be by my employer.

    2. JLM

      .For 20+ years, I used a standup desk and it was great. I used to return all my phone calls while using the desk, leaning on it.It is a great strategy to force yourself to move around and it also is a good energy concentrator.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Jon Michael Miles

        Hemingway wrote standing up. Not sure how this jives with his quote “Write drunk, edit sober.”

        1. JLM

          .Interesting. I did not know that. I am always intrigued about Hemingway as he had some very good rules for writing but I am also surprised as to how little he wrote per day.He was a typewriter writer. I wonder if he would have been even more prolific if he had had a word processor.I can write 10K words a day on my good days — a lot of it is shit.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Sam

            “I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.” Pascal … or the Hemingway variant: “I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I was drunk.”

        2. Nathan Guo

          This distinction seems to be common amongst his quotes:”Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”

      2. LE

        I have my office arranged so I have to getup from my desk and move around. I don’t think I would be able to fit everything I needed and use on a standup desk. During a typical day the fitbit says I do between 2500 and 3500 steps.I use the principle of what I will call “explosive energy”. The minute I think of something I explode from my desk and do it forking at that very moment. Seems to work for me. [1]One thing that I have observed over time (and I think this is supported by research of some type) is that people who are endomorp vs. ectomorph tend to be less likely to hyperly go about their day. I noticed this in my first wife. She had a tendency to sit at her desk and call out to me “do you know why…” from another part of the house. I on the other hand would always get up and go to her. It wasn’t that she was lazy I just think it was built into her body type or there was some other connection. (I have other examples of this as well.)_[1] Other (for lack of a better way to put it) hacks: Keep your coffee or tea not at your desk but at another table and get up each time you want to take a sip. And keep things purposefully not easily reachable. For example I keep the laser printers in an outside room on purpose so I have to get up to get the output.

        1. Peter

          A treadmill under my desk is the best investment I ever made for my health. 15 000 steps on a regular day and keep being productive in the afternoon.

  6. LIAD

    from this am.March 12, 2015March 12, 2015

  7. LIAD

    MUST WATCH – Senior Apple Executive Talks About New Macbook…

    1. JimHirshfield

      OK, very funny for real. But that guy’s laugh…it sounds like a raccoon having it’s tail stepped on.

      1. LIAD

        reminded me of a seal

        1. Salt Shaker

          A seal has more teeth. Funny stuff, though.

      2. ShanaC


    2. Jon Michael Miles

      Okay with the caveat that I don’t speak his language – is this like a Hitler rant video? That is NTSC SD, 80s wardrobe, some one just subtitled it? Funny as hell in any case..

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I really hope it is a new one. I tried to find out if it is.. not really sure how to search for it.

  8. Richard

    You got to love how being charitable is literally built into our DNA

  9. Salt Shaker

    Analysts predict 90% of company employees will be on an ACA plan by 2020 as companies reduce benefits to save money. Company healthcare will be managed individually, just like a 401K. Of course, this presumes John Roberts (Chief Justice) doesn’t blow it all up!

    1. JLM

      .Companies with 100 full time employees (50 in 2016) or more have to provide a plan or pay a penalty. They can opt out but the penalties will be much more than the cost of providing insurance.A little known fact is that the employer has to provide insurance to the employee and dependent children — this is how the staying on your parents’ plan until you are 26 works out.Here is a good little reference point for the policies.…Employers will be trying to restructure jobs to provide 30 hours or less — likely to become 40 hours soon through legislation.The big winners under Obamacare are the insurance companies who have been able to jettison their least expensive plans and re-write all of them to much more lucrative arrangements.Deductibles are a disaster.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Matt Zagaja

        Health benefits from employers are exempt from taxes under the tax code, unless the group plans are significantly more expensive or your employees qualify for good subsidies on the public exchanges you’re basically throwing out money if you don’t provide employer based insurance and require employees to purchase it since they have to do so with post-tax dollars.

        1. JLM

          .Your observation is noted however the base case is really small companies who currently provide no health insurance. For them, it is all an incremental cost.The issue of pre-tax dollars for the employer v post-tax dollars for the individual employee will have a predictable outcome.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. LE

        A little known fact is that the employer has to provide insurance to the employee and dependent children — this is how the staying on your parents’ plan until you are 26 works out.One of the odd things about family health insurance is that it is the same cost whether you have 1 child or 10 children. I can’t really think of a comparable situation pricing wise relative to the cost that’s out there.

  10. Twain Twain

    Terrific fusion of developers (who are often sedentary because of code bunker habits) and a fitness venue!

  11. Travis Henry

    The Bro-grammer Olympics?In all seriousness, it looks like a creative event for a great cause.

    1. Rob Underwood

      I was sort of thinking about the whole bro-grammer thing as we were putting this together but thought it a risk worth taking.I’m hoping we’ll get a number of teams from different NYC tech companies participating and it starts to look like the Startup Olympics.

  12. Rob Underwood

    One note on the event — we’d love to see some companies field teams. For example a 4 person Google team, a 4 person Twitter team, a 4 person Foursquare team, etc. — each hopefully tapping into a corporate match. Also would love to see some early stage start-ups field teams too — could be great visibility and as Fred says we’ll be giving out a award for most creative fundraising approach.

  13. ShanaC

    Unlikely doctor would give me full permissions right now. can I come for the beer?

    1. Rob Underwood

      We can figure something out I’m sure, but it’s a 50 burpee penalty. 😉

  14. Nik Bonaddio

    Start doing Crossfit about six months ago, and it has helped in just about every facet of my life. Cannot recommend it enough for entrepreneurs (and venture capitalists!) of all ages and sizes.

  15. JamesHRH

    Awesome-sauce idea!

  16. Mike

    Excuse me, if this is not the proper place, but after watching the interview with jason. I am looking for your email, Fred. Thanks!!

    1. fredwilson

      There’s a contact link on the about page to the blog

  17. Dave Pinsen

    That particular CrossFit gym has a few Starting Strength coaches on its staff. It’s also the site of the twice-yearly New York area Starting Strength seminars.

    1. Rob Underwood

      That’s right. I have been doing the Starting Strength program there for over a year. They also have yoga and Pilates

      1. Dave Pinsen

        That makes at least 3 AVCers doing the program: you, me, and Andy Swan.

        1. Jordan Elpern-Waxman

          I also work out there! Can we have a CFSBK house team?

          1. Rob Underwood

            Jordan,I’ve love to see 4-5 house teams (a la Fight Gone Bad), joined by 10-15 company teams (e.g. a Google team, a Foursquare team, etc.) along with probably some teams from other CF gyms.Assume you saw http://www.crossfitsouthbro… ?

          2. Jordan Elpern-Waxman

            Do you think there are enough programmers at CFSBK to put together that many house teams?

          3. Rob Underwood

            The 6am class alone could create two teams easy. I think we have at least 30 developers at CFSBK.

          4. Jordan Elpern-Waxman

            I know there’s that one guy who is always wearing a GitHub t-shirt but I don’t know anyone else. I wouldn’t have been considered a developer either until a couple of weeks ago!

        2. Rob Underwood

          I *love* Starting Strength. Deceptively simply program. Here’s my last squat at my most recent total –

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Nice work. I wish I had your shoulder flexibility.

  18. Tereza

    Clever. Awesome. Daunting.

  19. Paul Sanwald

    I haven’t done crossfit regularly in several years (went back to boxing), but I can’t say enough great things about david and everyone else at crossfit south brooklyn. I started going back when we were still doing “murph” in prospect part on memorial’s a great space and great people.

  20. Richard

    Fitness will do a lot, ” fixing” our educational system (is it broken?)…that may be pushing it.A game of punchball will do it.