Leaving the Best Job I’ve Ever Had

I was an above-average middle distance runner in high school.

I just missed going to California states in a few events my senior year. But that doesn’t get you any kind of scholarship, and there isn’t much of an outlet for amateur 400m running. So I turned to distance running in college, and then made the odd decision to play ice hockey on a runner’s frame.

My beer league ice hockey career ended unceremoniously — with a stick to the face and a fake front tooth. Soon after that, I was back to distance running. But as I got into my late 20's, my IT band and flat feet eventually caught up with me. First taking me out for a few days, and then several painful weeks where I could barely walk because my knee hurt so bad. It was time to hang up the running shoes.

That’s when I started working 60 hour weeks and putting on weight. At my peak, I was around 175 pounds. Not huge, but certainly enough to have a little gut.

Then a friend leant me his bike for the weekend. And as any cyclist knows, it’s a beautiful, addictive machine. I was hooked. Now, after 8 years of riding, I’ve lost 30 pounds and I’m racing cyclocross for one of the most seriously fun teams in the Bay Area, Vive La Tarte CX - Huckleberry Bikes.

So being fit (or not) has always been a big part of my life. When I exercise, I’m happier.

My time becoming a cyclist has, by pure coincidence, also been my time becoming a designer. I first cut my teeth doing fake-it-till-you-make-it work at Apple with my mentor, Nate Myers. When it came time to move on from Apple, Nate pointed me in the direction of his previous employer—Cooper.

I’ve been at Cooper for over three years now. I’ve learned a ton from a crazy-smart bunch of designers, worked with great clients, got good enough to teach fellow designers as part of CooperU, and generally had an amazing time. I kept telling people “This is the best job I’ve ever had.”

But when the opportunity came along to combine a passion for product design with a passion for fitness, I had to listen.

So tomorrow I’m leaving the best job I’ve ever had to join the design team at Fitbit. It’s going to be bittersweet leaving Alan, Sue, and my friends at Cooper. But it’s going to be awesome.


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