About the Entrepreneur:
Mark Cunningham is the Owner of The Bidding Network, a local technical recruiting firm. We have 5 employees and we focus on placing experienced software engineers and other IT professionals in full-time opportunities here in Austin. Our client base is both startups and Fortune 500 companies.
Why do you make time to live fit?
Keeping a fit and healthy lifestyle is a small yet critically important cog in the wheel of keeping my family happy and my business successful. If exercise and eating healthy weren’t important to me, I think things would still be okay but they wouldn’t be good. I wouldn’t be nearly as happy, my wife and daughter wouldn’t be as happy and my business wouldn’t be as successful.
I do know some people who eat terribly and don’t exercise and to a degree, they are still happy and successful. I can’t be one of those people. To me, exercising and eating right is an aspiration to personal greatness and all of that carries over to all other aspects of your life. It sounds so trivial but it’s really important to me.
Give your top 2 reasons how living fit helps you be a successful entrepreneur?
It keeps me humbled and disciplined. My business is very much customer service oriented. I thrive on being told what to do and then delivering that for a customer. When I work out, I actually enjoy having our fitness coach bark at us and encourage us to do better. I like being pushed; it simply helps me do my best, both in fitness and business.
Describe your weekly workout routine?
I work out 4-5 times a week. I work out at Atomic Athlete and I’m also part of David Braswell’s Outright Fitness, which is a Sprint/Middle Distance running club. Both programs are very intense and I would describe them as “hard core” fitness programs.
Describe your weekly nutrition plan
I cheat 1x/week but it’s a simple cheat. I’m not chowing down on cotton candy but rather, add some carbs to my diet. I make a green smoothie in the morning (I just recently started adding Avocado to my smoothies), fruit and vegetables throughout the day and a couple of energy bars sprinkled in there. Post workout, usually another shake. If there is anything I do need to tweak, it would be to ease off the heavy liquid diet I’m currently on.
As a family, we also have been getting meals at MyFitFoods for over three years now.
Give one piece of advice to others looking to get fit and healthy as a busy professional
Remember when Nancy Reagan said in that drug campaign back in the 80′s? “Just say No”. I used to think that was so corny but in reality, it was a great message. Every time you say “No”, it gets easier and easier.
With eating healthy and exercising, just say “I can”. Say it every day. “I can” and “I will” and guess what, “You will”. To make this mission statement easier, surround yourself with people who embrace healthy living and exercise. You’re not going to be very successful if you try to work out and yet still want to meet your friends at Trudy’s for happy hour. You’re going to have to give some of that up.
What do you do to promote fitness and health within your company &/or to your clients?
I put my employees through workouts after work. I hit em’ hard too! Hybrid workouts of running and weights. They really enjoy it but I make it hard for them.
What’s one interesting item you always keep in your gym bag?
My orthotics. I have terrible feet and have had two bunion surgeries to correct them. I can’t do anything without my orthotics.
What do you use to get motivated before a tough workout?
I listen to some tunes. Usually classic soul/R&B.
What’s the workout you hate the most?
Stamina sessions that include heavy front squats and middle distance running.
What’s the toughest workout you’ve done this past month?
David Braswell had our group run (10) 400 mm repeats and after that, we did some hill runs. One of the younger guys lost his breakfast during that workout.
Give us one fitness accomplishment you want to achieve in the next 10 years?
I don’t know if I’ll ever have the strength but perhaps I can make it to the Crossfit Masters division games when I hit 50 years old. Right now, I just don’t have the overall strength to compete with those guys.