How do we slow down?

Do you ever have those days where you are just pooped? You start yawning at the end of the day and you do not know why? You got a good night sleep (and in my case Chris said I must have slept well because I was not talking in my sleep all night). Yet, somehow you just have no energy whatsoever. I know for me it is often because there are too many items on my to-do list, there are too many things I want and need to do.

There are countless articles, blogs, and videos on the Internet that talk to us about how to slow down, how to prioritize our lives, and how to say no. So if it were so easy, why is it hard for so many of us? I have blogged a few times about wanting to suck the life out of my days. I like to get shit done, but does my relentless nature come at a cost? I hate the days when I am too pooped to run, or when Chris talks me out of a routine that I love (he likes me to have a down day from exercise at least once a week).

Take Monday night for example. It was 80 degrees and sunny and Portland and Chris encouraged me to sit outside with him after work and just enjoy the sun and warmth. It was hard for me to resist, because who knows how long it will be until we have another similar gorgeous day? Yet, even while sitting there enjoying the moment I kept thinking, “I want to go for a run, I want to go for a run.” Why? Why do I drive myself crazy about breaking a routine?

Then last night I was physically and mentally exhausted, so I tried to take a nap after work and I could not get warm and could not fall asleep. Again, no run and it drove me crazy. Part of it for me is I love the euphoria and feeling after a long hard run. I am dripping in sweat and I feel like I truly did something 100% for me and no one else. How much of our day is ever 100% for us? What causes the mental roller coaster for what we want (or think we want) and the choices we make?

I know none of these ideas are new, but the struggle is that sometimes there is so much on our plates that often what gets removed are the things that matter to us most. The things that ground us and keep us going. I know these past few days are anomalies for me. I am relentless and will duke it out with Chris so I can run and catch up on a book, but maybe that is not true for everyone. Maybe it is taking 15 minutes to meditate, or even for those of you with young kids having a long hot shower, and going to the bathroom solo. How do we slow down and make better choices?

Happiness = Eternal Stench of Running Clothes

Happy Friday! What do you do each day to get exercise? Do you sit in cubicle hell all day, or do you have the ability to move around, stretch, and have an active day?

I spent most of my life NOT running. Now I cannot seem to get enough of it. I want to go everyday and usually I do not want to stop when I need to due to other obligations, or because I am wiped out. I crave it. I often think about what would happen if I had been enamored with running earlier in life. Why did it take me so many years? Did I think I would not be good enough? Did I think it would be too exhausting? I cannot remember, all I know now is that I cannot imagine my life without running in it.

It is not that I did not have encouragement. A very close friend from college ran daily, often winning races and hiding the trophies in the back of her closet. She was a badass (and still is) but never wanted to talk about her race wins. She would often come back to our room for a quick shower before dinner completely caked in mud and gloriously happy. What did she already understand that took me years to wrap my arms around?

The key for me is the euphoria I feel when I finish a run. I feel pushed and stretched. I feel like I am being responsible for my health and taking care of myself. I feel like I have had an hour to myself. I feel content. While my husband would prefer to not smell the stench of my running clothes hanging in the bathroom, he obliges because he knows how happy it makes me. The stench = hard work, dedication, accomplishment = happiness.

Do you have a daily exercise routine that makes your day balanced?