One’s life and physical fitness are intertwined. Though I believe everything is connected and touch on the theme of the mind-body connection regularly, I keep trying to separate my own fitness from the rest of my life, and two of my trusted coaches have reminded me in the past week that each ties into the other. They aren’t truly separate. Separating the variables isn’t possible.
I find this funny, just like I find economics funny and fascinating. (My undergrad degree is in economics.) I love the subject (ooh, and the graphs!), though I also think much of it is theory because there are too many variables that cannot be isolated and accurately tested in the real world. Yeah…separating the variables isn’t possible.
Going back to fitness… How one approaches the world has a lot to do with how one feels about the world, and whether or not one exercises (and how) can make a significant impact on one’s worldview. To restate and further clarify, whether or not one exercises (and how) can play into how one is able to apply the same principles of goal-setting, achievement, moving beyond failure, and building resilience to one’s life outside of one’s fitness endeavors.
And yet, I am feeling like the two should be able to be separated. Perhaps because I’m acutely aware that I do a poor job of compartmentalizing my emotions and, therefore, I’m aiming to compartmentalize my actions in an effort to exert control over something in my life right now.
Oh, I can put on a game face like anyone else and get the job done, but I feel emotions so deeply that when something is bothering me, I’m a total wreck.
Even though I’m doing a much better job of using the Q-TIP (quit taking it personally) philosophy.
Even though I’m employing methods that I know work for me, like running, lifting weights, listening to music, and writing.
Even though I understand that sometimes people don’t get along or work well together because we are not all carbon copies of one another, acting/thinking/feeling in the same way.
I usually sleep like the world has stopped – you could be doing major home renovations and I would be able to sleep through all of the demolition, drilling, hammering, etc. without stirring, even if I was on a couch or the floor right in the middle of the project. Even if my cat, Scooter, was standing on me and meowing and kneading at the same time.
I’m working through an interpersonal conflict right now, and I’m gutted. I can’t sleep through the night – it’s not full-on insomnia, but it’s not good sleep, and it’s not enough sleep. My dark circles are intense. I’m walking around exhausted, and I’m not eating well or feeling fully recovered as quickly as I usually do after my runs or strength-training sessions.
Instead of wearing my cranky pants and lashing out at others, I am focusing on gratitude and self-care.
I have some resolution on the conflict, and I thought I would sleep better last night as a result, but my heart hasn’t caught up with my brain in terms of moving forward with a logical plan. Though I’m logical and analytical, I’m also empathetic and feel emotions deeply, and this sometimes means that I’m working through internal conflict even as (or after) the external conflict is (has been) resolved.
Exercise helps me manage my stress and process my emotions, whether those feelings are intense or mild and whether a particular problem is big or small. I have no doubt that my current ability to remain patient and understanding while setting/enforcing healthy boundaries is a direct result of me making my physical health a priority in my life, despite having other commitments and obligations that I could allow – if I so chose – to crowd out my exercise commitments.
So separating one’s physical well-being from one’s overall well-being isn’t actually possible, and how we approach our physical wellness affects the rest of our lives.
Do you agree or disagree and why?