I’ve always said that the best part of exercising my body was the result it had on my mind. There’s nothing like a long run, a series of wind sprints or a bike ride to clear out the cobwebs. If I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I can immediately reset my mood with a quick jaunt on my stationary bike. When I have to make an important decision, running a couple miles gives me the time alone to really think things over.
I’ve been a gym rat for decades. I’ve used indoor bikes, outdoor bikes, skinny tires, fat tires, roller skates, stair-climbers, indoor and outdoor jogging. My favorite workout of all is the long run.
It is an amazing feeling when my feet hit the hot pavement to push my body up and out allowing me to run faster, to run harder. My entire body evolves and glides freely with the release of each deep breath or the slow trickling down of sweat along my face. Each exaggerated movement has a purpose that helps me to awake and start my day.
For a few years, I had a route that stretched across three parks. Altogether, it was about six miles. I actually counted the number of steps between and around each park. When I didn’t have time for my full run, I’d modify the route slightly. The route had a built-in obstacle course of curbs, fences and hills that I used to break things up. It was kind of like low-altitude free-running.
When I moved to another city, I set up a course that went through a park with exercise stations about 100 yards apart. I’d stop at each station and do sit-ups, push-ups or chin-ups. That gave me a full-body workout in about 30 minutes.
However, as much as I love running I realize that I have baby my knees in order to keep my passion alive for many years to come. I decided to spare my knees any further wear and tear. I switched to a low-impact spinner-style stationary bike. At one point, I worked my way up to 50 miles a day. Of course, I had a nice, comfortable bike-seat or I couldn’t have stayed on the bike for so long. I enjoyed doing an exercise called “The Tortoise and the Hare.” I’d ride slowly for ten minutes, sprint for five and repeat the process a few times. The ride goes by quickly with my Ipod Touch strapped onto my arm for dear life.
Nowadays, I need more than my running high. The stresses of life and work have become overwhelming and I seek solitude in yoga or a light walk after a hard day.
No matter how busy my schedule gets, I always try to include some sort of workout. That time spent working out keeps me feeling fit, and when I feel fit, I feel confident. That confidence carries over to every part of my life.