“There are many reasons why you need a standing desk in your office—in our case, well, a home office,” said Andrew Barber, a young business owner from Texas. “This is my story,” he added, winking.
Andrew moved in with his high school sweetheart, Stephanie, a month after they both graduated from university. They settled for a small apartment in Fort Worth, where Stephanie quickly found a job as an assistant classical literature professor. Andrew, on the other hand, bought a small building near the interstate and converted it into an office. There he started a small manufacturing company that produced custom mobile phone and tablet casings. He loved technology, so he diverted this passion and combined it with his business degree. It seemed to work well since his sales skills came naturally for him. In less than a year, his products were picked up by major online reviewers. Soon, sales skyrocketed.
For a few months, the couple didn’t mind their busy schedules. They were having the time of their lives. They were young and successful. Stephanie even got promoted. No longer an assistant, she spent most days in the university and most nights creating modules for the next day.
“Working hours were long,” Andrew said with a hint of pride, “but when you’re doing something you’re truly passionate about, you don’t work a single minute.”
“Is that your secret to happiness?” I asked.
Andrew looked at Stephanie and smiled. “No,” he said, taking her hand. “No amount of success can compare to finding your soulmate,” he added, looking at his now beautiful wife who blushed and made a face at me. “Starting your own business can take a toll on any relationship,” Andrew continued. “It’s very important that you have someone who understands the demanding nature of a startup. As the captain of my own ship, I take care of everything. From business models, networking, marketing and advertising, even recruiting. I often go home late, and even then, work doesn’t stop.”
“It’s important to have a healthy relationship,” Stephanie joined in. “None of us can be that needy partner, you know what I mean? We knew from the very beginning that we needed a good foundation. We needed to pick each other up and not pull each other down.”
“Sure, it can be difficult,” Andrew said, shifting his weight on his chair, “but we constantly reminded each other that we were building a future.”
“Tell me,” I said, “about the incident three months ago.”
Andrew leaned over and kissed Stephanie’s head. “Sure,” he said, giving her a gentle smile.
Three months before the interview, Stephanie had a free day, and she decided to spend it at a yoga studio. It was her first time. A neighbor had been inviting her to come with her for the longest time, promising her an alternative way to remove all her stress. Stephanie agreed at last and drove downtown to meet with her.
The yoga studio was small, but the relaxing atmosphere of the Bali-inspired interior design made her feel relaxed. Since it was her first visit, she was asked to do a series of warmups to prepare her core. She was asked to lie down and copy her neighbor’s routine. As they were about to finish, she remembered something. She forgot to send Andrew’s packages to China. Remembering how important those packages were, she sat up and inadvertently twisted her back.
“It was the most painful thing,” Stephanie said, pursing her lips.
Her neighbor helped her up, but they discovered it was too painful for her to move. They called 911. In the hospital, the doctor explained that she hurt her lower back, and to be exact: between the L4 and S1 levels, which created problems to her lumbar nerve root.
“Sadly, there was nothing more we could do,” Andrew said, forcing a smile.
Because of the constant pain on her lower back, Stephanie was forced to quit her job. She was heartbroken, but she couldn’t stand nor sit for extended periods of time.
“But not all was lost,” she said, beaming with smile, “I finally had the courage to pursue my love for writing.”
Andrew encouraged her by buying her something he saw one afternoon on his trip to China. Something called “a standing desk.” A traditional-looking desk powered by two motors which could, by just a push of a button, raise the level of the table. A rising desk that could serve as a sit and stand desk.
“It was perfect!” Andrew said, placing his arm around Stephanie’s shoulder. “She could work on her desk—using it traditionally with her seated behind it,” he added. “But since she couldn’t stay seated for a long time, she now doesn’t have to go anywhere. She could rely on the table’s two powerful motors to raise the desk. Now, she can work standing up.”
“You’re talking about a desk by Flexispot, right?” I confirmed.
“Electric Height-Adjustable Standing Desk 2-Motor 2-Stage E1: Frame + Tabletop, yes,” Stephanie said, blowing Andrew a kiss.
In the past, Stephanie needed to walk away from writing. Not anymore. The adjustable desk allows her to work throughout the day. No more pangs of guilt because she had to walk away from work to lie down or take a walk in the garden while she relieve the pain on her lower back. Her work station can adjust itself to suit her need.
“I ordered it online,” Andrew said, “as soon as I got back here in the States. I went to flexispot.com and secretly ordered it for her.”
“It’s one of the sweetest things he did for me,” Stephanie said, biting her lip. “I thought I lost it all when I was injured. I thought things wouldn’t go back to normal. Flexispot made it possible for me to pursue a new career—without unnecessary breaks.”
After the interview, Stephanie told me the injury was probably for the best.
“My parents were both university professors,” she said. “I guess it kind of pushed me into a road I sometimes think wasn’t for me. I love classical literature, but my passion is writing. Sure, the injury held me back, but it also helped me refocus and rethink my life strategy. It gives me so much comfort knowing that my standing desk is always there to help me write the book of my dreams.”