I agree, this is a statement in itself that you could argue with fairly easily. Thinking through how many different things one person has to juggle through a day is a lot. Having kids add a whole list in itself. Plus the everyday items, plus lot of things at work, especially if you just started a new job (so many new things to learn), then if all this would not be enough and you are trying to move a family from one state to another… Sometimes it is hard to keep your sanity…
That is when running becomes very helpful. I am not saying everybody must start running. Pick your own sport, your own exercise. But unless you are already fit, I strongly recommend starting getting back to shape just about right now. In my case, running helped me tremendously, let me share with you a few points why (this is my own weird version of James Altucher’s Daily Practice if you wish):
1. Feeling good
I am not a fitness expert, but I am 100% sure that the healthier you are, the better your body can handle stress situations. This is very important as we are all exposed to stressful situations continuously. At least the most of us. At least I am. Simply being physically fit, first of all I have one less thing to worry out. Second of all I will not start sweating just by sitting in a chair or peeling an orange (Kevin James stand up) or just by walking three steps in a parking lot.
2. I can do anything
Last December (about 8 months ago), when I started running, I could barely finish 1.5 mile even with a super slow speed. I usually refer to that activity as “public struggling” rather than running. Yet now, a few months later, I am preparing to run a Half Marathon with a feasible goal of finishing within two hours. A half marathon is slightly more than 13 miles. Without starving to death, I lost in the process more than 20 lbs!!! I see how many people are struggling just to lose a few pounds. I lost more than 20! If I could accomplish these two goals that I never thought I could, why would I think I cannot take care of a task at work? I can do that, I will figure out a way to get it done and I will not give up until it is done.
3. Daily success
Every running is different. Sometimes, I feel less energized and less motivated to wake up and go out running, but I still pound it through and after the first mile I am already happy that I did not skip it. That is already a success for the day. Or at half distance I feel like I want to stop, but I do not give up and finish the run. That is already a small success for me for the day. Or if I am able to shave off a few seconds of my per mile average time. That is already a huge success for the day for me! Isn’t it better to start the day with a positive experience already?
This one could easily be the exact same thing as the “daily success” above, but I think it is slightly different. After each run I finish, I know that day I accomplished something. I showed one positive example to my children to exercise and the importance to stay in shape. I increased my chances to live long enough to see my children growing up and start their own lives (I know, this was a very selfish reason). If I see that I lost a pound that I wanted to lose, that is a great accomplishment. It is great to have a great accomplishment under your belt before 7AM, isn’t it?
5. Mental recharge
While running, I can think about anything. Anything. It is only the road, my thoughts and me. Selfish time warning!!! I can think about my current running, I can think about what I still want to accomplish, I can think about family and friends, I can think about how to handle certain situations or just think about things I would never really get a chance to spend the time thinking about.
6. Common denominator
As we are in the middle of moving, currently my life has a significant amount of uncertainty included. Between our old home, new home, the stinky apartment and occasional travel, I have been living out of two suitcases for five months now. The only constant things are my running shoes and waking up at 5 AM. So wherever I am, at least my mind has a common reference at the start of the day. I might be alone with this thought, but having a reference point every day helps. I look at this daily routine as a calibration point: I can always go back and rely on this and have the same starting point for most of the days. So far it turned out to be helpful for me.
Now as I have been waiting for an hour for a pretty bad storm to clear, I feel the increasing anxiety not being able to run. Not yet. But according to the radar screen, the storm should leave us pretty soon and I will be out for a mental recharge to accomplish something as soon as possible. Have a fun exercise!