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Hill Navigator: The D.C. 15

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo

CQ Roll Callís Hill Navigator advice column helps staffers with sticky or complicated situations they find themselves in on Capitol Hill. Each week, we take the most interesting submissions from our inbox and answer your concerns. This week: how to fend off office-induced weight gain.

Q. I moved to D.C. about a year ago and am a runner. With my Hill and networking schedules, it is really hard to get a work-out in. I have been packing on what my friends and I call the ďD.C. 15Ē pounds. Any advice on a work-life balance or gyms that are open late night around the Hill that other staffers go to?

A. Youíre lucky to be a staffer in the time of ubiquitous gyms. Both the House and Senate have staff gyms in the office buildings for fairly low fees ó the House gym is in the Rayburn basement and the Senate gym is on the fourth floor of Dirksen. If you can keep sneakers and workout gear stashed at your desk and make haste during the lunch hour, that could be a good option for you.

Or, now that the weather is finally getting warmer (and will hopefully stay that way) you can always go for a run outside and then use the gym for a post-workout shower and primp.

But letís be realistic. Youíre not referring to the lack of gyms in D.C. You canít walk a block without seeing a gym, yoga studio or some group exercise community. Youíre likely referring to the lack of time in D.C., which no one has enough of ó ever. D.C.-ites, Capitol Hill staff in particular, lament how busy we are, all the while signing up for more work, more meetings, a new project or new activity. If working out is going to be part of your jam-packed life, then you need to find a creative way to make it part of your networking schedule.

Try a softball team. You can do a few laps around the mall before chugging beer at the games. Sign up for one of the Capitol Hill races ó there are 10Ks and 5Ks all the time ó and encourage other staffers to train with you. Find a flag football team with your state delegation or alumni group. Even if the games donít break enough of a sweat, youíll already be in your workout gear and you can probably find a few buddies who donít mind running the two miles to the bar for post-game drinks.

And no one in D.C. is too busy for a drink.

Q. I recently dated a fellow staffer from an office that my office works with often. It ended badly and now he wonít take my calls or work with me! Do I explain to my chief of staff what happened?

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