To mark Cyclescheme’s Cycle to Work Day 2022, we sat down with our Head of Development, Adam Chamberlin, to find out more about how cycling helps his wellbeing and to discover how he maintains a good work/life balance.

Q: How do you maintain a healthy mindset?

Cycling is a huge mental break for me, something I can do to unwind at the end of the working day – that release of endorphins is vital for a healthy lifestyle. There is no denying the mental benefits of physical exercise. There have been countless studies highlighting how great it can be to work out and making it part of your daily routine can be a great way to remain consistent.  

Also, in the current climate, we all need to be crucially aware of the environmental impact we have on our planet, so I feel really good knowing I am not putting another car on the road.

Q: How did your cycling journey begin?

It all started as a means of getting to and from work, but I was soon hooked so I joined a local cycling club and ended up becoming a British cycling coach! Now I race at various disciplines across the region.

Q: How often do you cycle in the week?

My journey to and from work is under an hour each way – but if it’s a nice day and the sun is shining, then it’s a whole lot quicker. I am usually looking at around 120 kilometres of cycling in a week, without even thinking about it – yes, I work in kilometres, the numbers are bigger!

‘If you are not comfortable you will not be happy, and if you are not happy how can it be enjoyable.’

Q: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to take that first step into cycling?

Just get out there! Even if only for five minutes, keep those wheels turning.

The number one bit of advice I can give anybody is to be comfortable. If you are not comfortable you will not be happy, and if you are not happy how can it be enjoyable. So, make sure the bike fits you. I know people that have a bike that doesn’t fit them or it’s in the wrong position, so it is uncomfortable, and that’ll lead to aches and pains.

Q: Do you find cycling impacts your work life at all?

Yes absolutely, there is no better way to get yourself ready for the day than by bike. This is especially true at certain times of the year when the weather and wildlife can make a commute so surreal. Cycling with a barn owl only a few feet away is a pretty good way to start your morning!

At the end of the day, regardless of how much time I have spent on Teams, it is great to have that time to unwind and clear my head. During that time I can think about the day just gone or the workload ahead and it is not uncommon for me to build tomorrows action list while cycling home, ‘Hey Siri, remind me tomorrow to book a meeting with the team.’

Q: Is it difficult to find a work / life balance – with regards to your home life, work life, and your sports degree / coaching?

Without a doubt yes – we all suffer from that feeling of never having enough hours in the day, so to make the most of it I must be extra careful and effective with my time management. For example, every Sunday, I set myself a reminder to plan the coming weeks exercise workouts, I note if I’m cycling into work and then fit my training sessions around that.

Managing study time is key, so again I lean on my calendar and to do list. Each year I enter the key milestones and assignment due dates and then plan my racing season around those. I have been known to sit on the turbo trainer in the garage cycling away and typing out study notes or watching class webinars.

Finally, the most important one is family time. Ultimately, I try to involve my family where I can in the hope I can inspire my children to lead healthy and enjoyable lives. We frequently support each other at events or competitions, so you can often catch me at a dance recital, cricket match or a regional road race.

If you have the right people around you and a strong trust in the process, you can achieve anything.’

Q: Does your degree relate to / assist you with your role at Mackman?

Although from the outside a degree in sport coaching might not directly relate to a position in digital, there are more similarities than you might think.

As a coach or athlete, you are constantly working towards a target or goal. Along the way you will encounter a multitude of situations, positive wins, and dreaded setbacks. But how you deal with those situations is what prepares you for what is to come. Having a clear focus on the bigger picture and a support network around you to keep you on track, is what makes a true champion.

In essence, this is no different to managing a project or a team. We have the overall goal, which is broken down into smaller mesocycles of work, and there will be hard days but if you have the right people around you and a strong trust in the process, you can achieve anything.

Q: How did you initially find the role at Mackman?

The first time or the second? Originally, I saw an advert for a WordPress developer, so I applied and started my journey with Mackman. However, cycling intervened and that resulted in a five-year hiatus. I spent a few years working within the cycling industry, which allowed me to turn the pedals for a living, but it was a chance phone call with Bruce [Burgoyne] that brought me back into the fold and into my role as Head of Digital.

Q: How do you think your colleagues would describe you?

Oh that’s a good question, what age rating is this? Hopefully positively, I would like to think. I know my organisational skills often get noted and the fact I set a reminder to eat lunch or drink water!

In the past, there have been various comments about me possibly going over the top with the events and tasks I set myself outside of work. However, just like with my family, I hope I can inspire those around me to push the limits of what they thought was possible.

This spotlight interview forms part of a series on the Mackman team. For more information about our staff at Mackman, visit our Team page.