On the “difficult blessing of exercise”…

That’s a quote from a play I recently had the pleasure of experiencing. And it seems like the perfect title for today’s post.

As the craziness of this week has continued, I have found myself often in the situation of too many projects and too few hours in the day.  It’s a common occurrence, and one that I’m used to handling.  Though it sometimes means some creative juggling of my schedule.

One thing that is usually a firm, non-negotiable aspect of my schedule is my morning work-out.  It wakes me up, leaves me feeling energized, and is a wonderful “me” time to start off my day. However, twice this week, I’ve found that it slipped to the wayside.  The most recent one was because I had accidentally overslept.  Even though I was working from home, my to-do list (which included some timed deadlines) meant that I pretty much rolled out of bed, turned on my computer, and started working. I promised myself that I would just work out later in the day, though I wasn’t fully sure I would be able to keep that promise.

Well, the hours slipped by and things just managed to get more stressful.  Suddenly it was mid-afternoon and my list still seemed never ending. A large portion had to do with the fact that I had to continuously stop what I was doing to deal with that ever present issue from earlier in the week.  The situation had been getting more tenuous by the day and I could feel it having its effect on my mental and emotional state.  A state that, after a mid-afternoon phone call, was deteriorating quickly.

As I hung up the phone I knew that I needed a break.  Not just a 5 minutes away from my computer, but an actual mental and physical break from the situation.  Of course, I was due in a teleconference just minutes later, but I didn’t care.  I was going to make this happen.

As my teleconference started, I carried my phone back to my bedroom and started to change into my workout clothes (don’t worry….this was phone only, not video…and I put the mute button on!). I wanted to be ready to go the minute it was over.  Luckily for me, the meeting ended a little early, and as soon as everyone hung up I was out the door.  Piles of work still demanded my attention, but my head and heart needed me more.

It was a beautiful day as I pointed my feet south.  And I walked…and walked…and walked…. Slowly my mind stopped Spinning on all the events of the day and instead started to take in the beauty around me.  The sun on my back, the flowers in my path, and the delicious breeze that kept me comfortable.  I started to smile and say hi to the other people that were out.  I paid attention to how my legs and feet were feeling as they took me an unknown roads and routes. I could literally feel the stress of the day slip away as the movement of my body brought a balance to my mind.

walking

(One of my walking trails. Source: author)

When I finally returned home the piles of work still awaited me.  But with my renewed energy and peace of mind, the tasks at hand seemed much less daunting. The exercise had indeed been a blessing – and one that continued to have benefits for the rest of the day.

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