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Oct 08, 2018

2. Exercise, almost every day

Exercise, almost every day. Maybe this is just me. But if I’m not active, I can’t trust myself. I can’t trust my emotions, my reactions, my thinking. Regular exercise resets me.

Boy it's hard to not come off holy on this one. I think I'm doing alright on the exercise front. My body works pretty well, and I don't have trouble when someone asks me to yield some sort of athletic energy. I can say yes without hesitation when someone invites me on a run. Not that that happens particularly often. But I could.

And I know that a lot of people couldn't do the same. So I guess this ties a little bit into last entry's theme of being thankful for what you've got, what you can do. I've got to be thankful for the body I have, and the things that I do. One day I will die, and I won't have these things anymore. (Probably won't have much at all, in fact.)

On the other hand, I don't know that I've ever really felt what this guy is talking about. About when he doesn't exercise, he can't trust himself. People like to attribute a deep clarity of mind to the well-exercised. I don't get that. Maybe I've been doing a sort of amateur amount of exercise for so long that this is just the norm for me, and if I took some long period of time off exercise I would lapse into muddy-mindedness.

But we sort of did just that when we moved to Seaham, and while I did feel a little restless, I don't know that I ever felt like I couldn't trust myself.

I've never gotten a runner's high either. After a while, running just gets sort of painful and boring. Better to charge headfirst into the pain and get it over quickly with the fastest 5k you can muster.

Still, something but be driving me on, since I try to be in the gym as often as I can be fussed to. And it's not just a body dysmorphic thing about wanting to feel bigger, although that does play a part, like what happens if I don't go to the gym, and everyone else does, and they all get bigger than me?

But it can't just be that, because I'm compelled to run now and again, which is something that, except for a shiny post-run 25 minutes, I don't seem to enjoy almost at all. I think I like the idea of being someone who can run more than I actually like running.

But it's gotten to the point where exercise is less of something that I need to consciously remind myself to do and more of a daily part of my life. Saying 'regular exercise resets me' is like saying 'regular sleep resets me.' Exercise is just something that I do.

I'm not trying to come off like I've moved onto another level, like all of you down in the pits struggling with having to exercise and me up here where exercise is such a part of my life that I don't even notice that it's miserable. Exercise is like the 'this is water' sort of medium I'm living in. Just the same as sleep is, and food is, and low-level stress about the tidiness of my house is. It's a part of the white noise background of my life. Not something I'm relying on, not something without which I wouldn't be able to live.

None of which is meant to detract from the value of exercise. We could all afford to move around a little more, if only to help us be thankful for the ability to move. But I feel like this rule is a little bit the rulemaker trying to flex on everyone to show us that he's got some sort of surfeit of health credit.

Anyway time to wrap this one up as I have to wake up early to go to the gym.