Have you ever run a marathon or trained for any other kind of endurance event? The saying goes, “Running is 90% mental and the rest is physical”. I’m living proof of how true this is – let me tell you a story to explain why…
Several years ago my thyroid was about the size of a small orange. It was affecting my ability to breathe (which is VERY important!) as well as my ability to swallow. Thankfully there was no cancer, but it still had to go. Since that time I have had a great deal of trouble getting myself back to where I was both physically and mentally pre-surgery.
Fast forward 3+ years post surgery and I’ve FINALLY discovered the “secret” to getting my mojo back. Ready? It’s…EXERCISE! I had allowed myself to turn into a bit of a slug since my surgery and especially over this past winter. The weather was AWFUL and all I wanted to do was eat and sleep. The grand result of my inaction was about what you would expect. I felt terrible. I wasn’t sleeping well and I had very little energy.
About this time I got a message from my friend Christel. She and I met on a breast cancer walk years ago and she always seems to have tons of energy and a great outlook on life. Turns out much of her great attitude is due to regular exercise. Christel is an 11 year breast cancer survivor and teaches what she calls “Booby Boot Camp” to fund the different charity events she participates in. After seeing her posts about boot camp for several years I finally decided it was time to join her.
As I write this, I’ve been doing Christel’s boot camp for 2 weeks and the change in me is nothing short of miraculous! I’m sleeping a whole lot better and I feel much healthier than I have in quite some time. I’ve even started running again!
So, what is it about exercise that creates this awesome outlook on life? According to Olympian Jeff Galloway, there are several reasons we humans feel better after exercise. While his emphasis is on running, what he says is true of any kind of exercise. Jeff says:
“When you’re tentative about your motivation to get out the door for a run, it often helps to read (possibly out loud) the following list of benefits you receive after running:
- Your attitude is better after every run.
- Stress is released, often completely dissolved.
- Natural body chemicals called endorphins relax the body, reducing or eliminating muscle aches and pains.
- Your spirit is engaged, leaving you with feelings of accomplishment, confidence and strength.
- Body and mind are connected, giving you the confidence that comes with being a more “complete” person.
- Your right brain is engaged, energizing your creative and imaginative resources.
- You’re learning connections to hidden inner resources which kick in whenever you’re under stress.”
I write about money so you may be wondering what all this talk about exercise has to do with money. It’s not so much about money as it is about attitude. If things aren’t going well and you’re at your wit’s end, go sweat. It’s amazing what a little sweat and heavy breathing will do to adjust your mindset.
I had a recent setback when funding for some training that I was counting on didn’t come through. Eeyore was my spirit animal that day until I remembered it was a Boot Camp day. I almost didn’t go but I had committed to this class so I got in the car and drove to the park. By the time our session was over I had totally forgotten why I had felt so bad when it started.
It doesn’t take much money to get started with an exercise routine-some comfortable clothing and a good fitting pair of socks and shoes is all you need to go for a walk in your neighborhood. If you’ve reached your limit with life, go for a walk. You won’t be sorry-I promise! Just be sure to check with your doctor for the OK before starting any activity you’re not used to doing.
If you’ve had experience with exercise helping you get through a challenge please share your story in the comments. See you in the park!
Be well and God Bless – until we meet again…