The Joy of Exercise
6 weeks ago, I injured my knee whilst running, an old injury that I received from a skiing accident when I was 18, yes too long ago to want to mention. I didn’t quiet realise the impact this had on my mental state until this morning when I decided to go for a run.
You see I am 45 years old, and everyone tells you ‘That’s when things start to break’, ‘you should find something else to do’, ‘you’re getting too old to run, that’s when I stopped’. What did I do, I listened to what everyone else was telling me and thought well this is it you, you had better find something else. My stress levels started to rise, I started to question what I was doing and let in all that negative self talk. It’s not like I don’t do other things. I walk my dogs every day, and whilst I enjoy the social aspect of that, it’s more for them then it is for me. I love riding my bike, but it takes a couple of hours and I don’t really have the time for that during the week.
This morning I woke up and thought my knee doesn’t hurt and I am feeling so stressed I really need to go for a run, so I did. I didn’t run far, I didn’t run fast, but I enjoyed it. I looked at the sun shining off the water, the beauty of the trees, the fish jumping and smiled and said good morning to everyone I ran past, but most of all, I breathed. You see running for me is a sort of meditation, I am so focused on just breathing everything else falls away and I just appreciate the beauty that surrounds me. Will I continue to run, yes! Will I run up a ridiculous number of hills and push myself like I used to, NO! I will just run for joy.
We all know the importance of exercise for health, but it should make you happy and not be a chore. Once it becomes a chore you will find reasons to avoid it. What brings you joy?