FieldCore’s Commitment to EHS includes Employee Health and Wellbeing. As part of our Health Matters initiative Ross Brown shares how he works in time for fitness and health even with a chaotic schedule.
My name is Ross Brown, I am 38 years old and was raised on the west coast of Scotland. I am ex-British military. I have worked in the power industry for over 20 years and I am currently the Blading Leader for FieldCore. My role has a balance of field work, working as an Instructor and working from office. Currently, most of my time is spent in the field.
Here is how a regular day might go for me.
On projects we work an average of 10 hours a day. We wake up around 6:30 am in a hotel and eat breakfast in a restaurant. Sausage and egg or bacon and egg is a tasty one off, but not for every day of the week, in my opinion. I would normally ask the hotel staff for three boiled eggs to go and at work I would have boiled eggs, a fruit, and a coffee.
Throughout the day I usually snack on some granola or porridge. I also take a multivitamin. I find it useful, as my diet isn’t as good as it would be if I wasn’t travelling. At lunchtime my favorite option is pasta with chicken, or rice with tuna, although at times in our job a microwave ready meal is no stranger, especially considering that sometimes we work in the areas with no supermarkets around and we buy what we can.
What do I do to keep fit while working away from home?
Before I start, I have to give you a little bit of my background. I was one of three brothers growing up, one of whom is my twin. We competed with each other all the time, whether it was running to the shop or during our spars down at the Karate dojo. We were all very fit and enjoyed a wide range of sports. My twin and I both joined the Army at 16 and excelled in our battalions at sports. The military installs self-discipline and willpower inside you that can never be taken away. This has really helped me over the years. That’s why I understand how difficult it is to motivate yourself for the average guy or woman who hasn’t had the same experience as I did.
In the evening after a long day at work, a lot of people I know will meet up at the bar and enjoy having a couple of beers together. I choose to do this only once a week, not because I don’t enjoy the social aspect, but I enjoy sticking to a routine, I am mentally driven by it. It gives me a sense of achievement and tests my discipline.
I would normally train 4-5 times a week Monday to Friday. Saturday would be a day to have a couple of cold beers and Sunday would be the rest day. When working away, training would be a balance of cardio and weights. I normally start with stretching, followed by bike, and treadmill. Then I would do 30 mins weights and finish off with sit ups and another ab exercises. I am asked by friends or colleagues often to write them training plans. I normally tell them to start off doing a walk on the treadmill so that its fairly enjoyable. This way they can watch TV or listen to music and burn the calories needed. I also advise them when doing weight exercises to stay light for the first couple of months and let your body adjust. Doing more reps with lighter weight will tone and strengthen your muscle fibers without the risk of serious injury.
The last thing it is important to touch upon is how Covid-19 has affected our lives whilst working away. I remember being in Switzerland with a few members of my team building the validation rotor for the new GT26HE, when we saw the news that countries were closing their borders. Before long I was asked to leave my hotel as it was closing and moved into a smaller hotel that had agreed to stay open with no front desk staff. GE sourced Covid-19 tests and we as a team abroad really appreciated that. This job was my first experience of how we as a company can still work even in very tough times.
Since then we have travelled extensively doing what we do best. One of the best memories of a quarantine stay was in Ludwigshafen, Germany last summer. In the morning I woke up to a knock on the door. Two of the staff members in full PPE passed me my breakfast tray and walked away. Then I waited for the next knock at lunch and again at dinner. I remember calling one of the guys in the other room and saying are you up for a Skype workout at 9am? I didn’t take no for an answer and before long 3 or 4 of us were on Skype doing a video workout. I set a call up for 9am every morning and I could see the guys were really starting to enjoy it. It was more than a workout in my opinion. We had set a routine and didn’t allow ourselves to drop out or cancel.
One thing I have learned during my years of working away and keeping fit is every small change or improvement in your diet or training is positive. One of the best things I like about working for FieldCore is there is a sense of community. We look after each other on our travels and I guess I haven’t had that since being in the army. I will always be there for my colleagues to help motivate them. I’m not saying I can get them from Zero to Hero, but I will at least be there to help them as they try to improve.
I hope this can give you some sort of insight into our lives and what we do to try and stay as healthy as possible.