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In Conversation With dentsuMB’s Garrett Kellogg

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dentsuMB’s Studio Production Manager explains how succeeding at his fitness goals propel him when tackling work and life challenges.

In Conversation With dentsuMB’s Garrett Kellogg

On 'National Take the Stairs Day 2022,' Garrett Kellogg accepted our challenge to beef up his daily run by adding some stair climbs. The dentsuMB’s studio production manager reports back his experiences (he survived!) and how “taking the stairs” correlated to other aspects of his life and career as a black man in corporate America.    


Q> How long have you been a runner?  

Garrett> I've been a runner since my junior year in high school in the fall of 1997. My younger brother was already joining the school's cross-country team and convinced me to tag along. I didn't care much for running at that age, so it was a hard sell. In the end, I think he used my competitiveness to persuade me since we're only about a year apart in age. 


Q> What fitness goals do you practice that you also use to approach work and life challenges? 

Garrett> My only fitness goal is to just keep running. Through running, I’ve been able to practice patience with myself and others around me. Also, I have a clear process for a run: prepare with fuel and the proper attire, listen to my body, challenge myself and eventually decide when it’s time to stop. I use this same mentality in work and life. 


Q> What is the most important thing you have learned from being a runner? 

Garrett> I think it’s that we are extremely resilient and adaptable. Our bodies and our minds are capable of much more than we might think. Prior to becoming a runner, I would have considered something like a marathon a feat only accomplished by professional athletes. Now I know that with the right level of commitment and a visit with one's primary physician, it’s an achievable goal for someone who’s never run more than a mile. I think on some level this is true for almost anything we set our minds to. 


Q> What is your superpower? 

Garrett> I suppose endurance is my superpower.  

Distance running is mentally and physically taxing. Maintaining a consistent, manageable pace is important. I strive to be mindful of my own limitations because if I expend too much energy too fast, I’ll burn out prior to finish.  

As for how I apply endurance to my work toward better diversity, equity and inclusion, I’ve found it helpful to think of it this way: It’s important to know your limits (biases/blind spots), train properly (listen/learn), take in the proper fuel (connection and dialogue with partners and advocates), and a rest period to getting stronger (put down the heavy stuff as needed).  

Sending amazing GIFs is my secondary superpower. 


Q> Why do you think it’s important to be patient with yourself in fitness and in life? 

Garrett> In both cases I’ve found that I'm more liable to cause myself some type of trauma if I'm not patient with myself. No one knows my pain tolerance or breaking point better than I do. 


Q> Do you see parallels between “taking the steps” in your fitness routine and taking the steps in your career path? 

Garrett> Absolutely! Taking the steps is a hard route. This has been a reminder that the 'elevator' should be accessible to everyone. In this analogy the “elevator” is a metaphor for many things for me - access and opportunity, mentorship, sponsorship, and feeling safe and welcomed as you are. 


Q> Explain the connection for you between your body and your mental state when you run. Did you have the same experience when you changed up your routine for “National Take The Stairs Day 2022?” 

Garrett> My mental state begins to shift a bit ahead of a run. While I'm in the physical act of putting on my running shoes and layering up for the cold, I begin to feel knots of anxiety loosen.  As I get into the run, the knots begin to unravel. While I’m in the rhythm of breathing and cadence, the tension of frustrations fade, and mounting fears or insecurities starts to subside. After the run, I walk a bit to cool off. I stretch and notice the sense of peace. During this process, I think very little about the run strengthening my legs. 

During this change in routine to take the stairs, I thought less about the benefit to my mind or coping with anxiety. Instead, my mind was focused on the benefit to my body by taking the steps. I’m considering the ways that doing a stair climb will strengthen muscles I don’t normally focus on which benefits the muscles that are constantly at work, including my heart. It’s more of a cost and benefit analysis, I guess. I never achieve the state of flow that I usually achieve on a run. 


Q> Any final tips for incorporating stairs in your fitness routine? 

Garrett> It took a bit of adjustment on the first few trips up the stairs Stay mindful not to go so fast so that you don’t trip. Here are a few words of caution: limber up and go easy. Do a light warm up at ground level and some stretching. Nike and Gatorade ads make charging with high knees up the bleachers look easier than it really is. 

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dentsuMB US, Wed, 12 Jan 2022 17:43:27 GMT