10 Things I Love About Being Active

My “in-between series” post. I’m working on an outline for my upcoming series on injury prevention, but it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted and wanted to keep myself in the groove.

For the past week or so I’ve been . . . not myself, for lack of a better phrase. Also, I really don’t care to go into the details here. I was in a mental funk from it, and in not feeling well wasn’t able to go about my normal workout routine, which included not being able to enjoy some of the most beautiful sunshine I’ve seen this year. Ironically that it’s during these times that I realize what it is most I love about being active . . . I think it’s like one of those times when you want most what you can’t have because of the situation. Anyway, it’s more than just staying in shape, or looking good . . . it really goes beyond that on so many levels.

1. Few things that I do give me as much confidence about myself. I don’t ever leave the gym, or get off my bike, or finish a run and think, “I could have done better.” I’ve actually felt myself strut out of the gym after a workout to whatever victory song is playing on my iPod at the time.

2. I feel like I can overcome more of what life shoots at me. It’s what I enjoy. I don’t like being bored, and I never am. In being active, I can always find a sense of achievement when I overcome the challenges. Though I haven’t been able to lately, entering the next grade on the V-scale is such an amazing feeling. It’s a mark of hard work paying off. And to take it further, I find it easier to take on other challenges I encounter in life.

3. It’s a huge stress/pain reliever. I can’t remember a time now when I didn’t feel stressed out. I love being able to go bust out sets of pull-ups or blast some minutes to cardio with some awesome rage music. I can take out feelings on the weights rather than people. Sometimes I feel like each drop of sweat equals one ounce of stress. Right now with my back pain and sciatica as constant as they are, not sitting and being mobile is one of the few sure-fire things that helps. Not to mention the pain puts me in a not-so-fun-cycle: pain > lose concentration > can’t study > stress > pain. . .

4. It calms my nerves. I get test anxiety. It’s not the worst form, but it’s enough to derail my concentration. This semester on a day that I have a test, I started trying just a light workout on that day, just a couple of hours before a test. It’s not a hard workout. Just enough to calm jitters, get blood flowing, and not be so tight when I go in and take my seat before the timer starts.

5. It’s common ground between me and my closest friends. When I go through my list of people I like the most, being active and outside really is one of the only commonalities that some of us share, but we have the best time in sharing conversation. I like comparing undergrad majors we all had. In my closer circle of friends the following majors included: studio art/graphic design (myself), biology/pre-med, neuroscience, outdoor rec, philosophy, engineering, biochemistry, psychology/social work, and business.

6. Being active comes in so many forms that I love: climbing, trail running, and road biking are my favorites. It allows versatility when other areas of my life don’t (i.e. studying, studying, studying).

7. The world reveals itself. Unless you move, how else can you discover what the world has to offer. There’s too much you miss when you spend your life behind closed doors.

8. Because outside. No more on this one.

9. I find myself setting goals in other parts of my life. Being active is a lifestyle, it’s not intermittent, so rather than setting unnecessary weight goals, I make it appoint to be disciplined in other areas that might need more structure.

10. I find purpose in it. Read the above.

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Strong hearts. Strong minds.

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