November 9, 2020
As what is likely to be the last nice weekend of the year 1 I spent a good portion of my time outside. Hiking with friends, and then a solo attempt at making my way around the lake, I’m exhausted even moreso than a typical Monday morning.
I’ve been paying more attention to my body as of late. I’ve come to fully recognize that the days when I complete no physical activity in the mornings 2 are the days when I do not feel well—physically or mentally. This is not necessarily a new revelation on my part but rather one where I am now understanding the full implications of regular physical activity (or lack of).
With no regular walks to/from the office these days, and with the weather getting colder, making a concerted effort to be physically active is becoming increasingly more important.
On that note, my relationship with the gym is mixed. I spend a lot of time at the gym, in comparison to most people, and do not enjoy it one bit. I am not a gym rat. What I am, is someone who recognizes the following three things about myself and going to the gym in the mornings:
- Physical activity is good for me, both physically and mentally (the latter being more important for me, see #3).
- Being active in the morning provides me a greater amount of sustained energy throughout the day.
- If I do nothing else throughout the day, or feel like I’ve accomplished nothing of value, I can at least remind myself—I got up in the morning, went to the gym, and ran. If nothing else, I’ve accomplished that.
That last point has helped me to get through some of the most challenging of days. When day-after-day can feel like I am adding nothing of value to the world, and completing the most mundane work ever has me questioning why I bother to develop skills or expertise, knowing that I woke and contributed to my personal health is often enough to sustain me for the next 24 hours. It’s a temporary fix, one that I know cannot last forever, but I have found success in it.
Reading: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi