Exercise is the most beautiful expression of the human existence. There are so many reasons to hold fitness as a goal and a beacon of light at the end of a tunnel where all else feels bland. Yet, there are so many reasons people find for not participating.
Let me tell you mine.
I was an extraordinarily fit girl, and started competing in my early teens. It took hours a day to train, and I did it because I loved it on every level. I would ride my bike for 4 hours and then swap for my running shoes for an hour jog.
Many times I would push myself to nausea. I worked hard. I was all heart.
Then I started to burn out a little, and I discovered how productive I could be in other areas of my life if I didn’t spend five or six hours training. I also figured out that laziness was easier.
That wasn’t the end of my training, or my fitness. But it did bring a little awareness of how sweet candy is when you’ve only been eating broccoli.
I understand both the beauty of physical performance and the challenges. Here are my reasons for moving when I don’t want to.
To say exercise gets your energy flowing only touches the surface.
Yes, your blood flows. But every time you move your body with effort you clear out old, stagnant energy that you have been carrying around with you for a long time. You bring in new, revitalized energy to replace it. You feel fresh, vibrant.
This is part of the reason that a good workout is usually an excellent antidote for anything that has been weighing on your mind. Old energy is heavy, and once you get it out of your system you will naturally feel lighter on your feet.
Wax on, wax off.
Of course you have heard of ‘active meditation’ in terms of making a menial task blissfully fulfilling. This, in my opinion, is far too literal an analogy for enlightenment, but that’s beside the point.
When you workout, your mind enters a state of peace brought on by endorphins (endogenous opioid neuropeptides), pain and simple endurance.
While you push yourself, your body copes with the pain of growth by releasing hormones that will help you deal with it. Coupled with repetitive movement, this can send your brain into a rather beautiful place that is really quite meditative.
Inner stillness through physical exertion.
Rather limiting in its name, Runner’s high occurs in any athlete. It is a beautiful point at which your activity stops feeling strenuous and becomes effortless. I have experienced this phenomenon through my multitude of sports.
Yes, you have to work hard to get there. Once you do, you will seek it thereafter.
On one particular day, I was 6 hours into a race, on a bike leg that followed a running stage. Running was not my strength, and I always used the mountain bike stages to make up my position.
Regardless, it was a hard effort followed by a, relatively speaking, less strenuous one. All of a sudden my body switched into that dreamy state. Every move I needed the bike to make, it made without my asking. Every hill I ate up, every descent I nailed.
Let me tell you, it is the most amazing place to be, and I believe it represents the pinnacle of human physicality.
Please, exercise for the sake of experiencing the perfection of what your body can do. I promise, it will take you amazing places, all you have to do is ask.
If my passion for fitness hasn’t shown through yet, I don’t know what else I can say.
And stay tuned. I am really enjoying using this space as my outlet, and I sincerely hope you enjoy reading what I have to say. I want you to find motivation and solace here, because it’s not an easy road to take. In fact, it’s a damn hard one.
In a world where simply living is becoming easier and more comfortable, we are in ever increasing danger of not pushing ourselves enough. So push ahead, feel, hurt, agonize, and triumph. In the end, any and all experience is a triumph in itself as it means we are truly alive.