Fast forward six years, and I'm a journalist. Some nights, I pound the pavement, stand on concrete sidewalks for hours waiting to talk to the police or trek through snow drifts or mud to get to a crime scene. Those nights, I get home, hit the pillow and am done. I earned a good night's sleep.
Other shifts, though, I work the phones, chasing too many stories at once and praying everyone will call me back. I sit in front of my computer, dialing and talking and transcribing interviews. Those nights, I get restless and pine for the pain in my feet and legs I'd feel after a grueling night serving greasy food.
I decided Friday (Two days before I ran the Pittsburgh half marathon: great timing, self.) I was just sick of sitting. It was that simple for me. Having read article upon article upon article about the health benefits of standing and watched pioneering coworkers elevate their work stations, I'd thought about it. But it sounded like work. And painful.
For a few nights this week, I practiced and toyed with the idea. I piled dictionaries and a shoe box under my keyboard and mouse. For about half of a shift, I stood, shifting from left foot to right. I sat some. I hurt a bit. But I really enjoyed it and felt more attentive. Add in all of those alleged health benefits, and that was enough for me.
But I'm cheap, so the challenge became finding a more permanent fix than dictionaries for less than a grand, which many standing desks go for. Enter: Target. With a 30 percent discount, two of these bad boys turned into my $14 standing desk (see left).
Night one -- last night -- was rough. My legs and back hurt, and I sat for about two hours. When I woke up this morning, my feet were achy, but I managed to get in a 5K run, so clearly I wasn't crippled. I'm thinking It can only get easier. (If you have tips about standing desks, please help me out and comment below or Tweet at me, @LexiBelc.)
Worst case scenario? I take my ClosetMaid shelves home and use them for what they are intended: shoes. That's probably a better idea anyway.