Relieving Stress

There are many reasons to exercise.  Better health, to be more fit, weight loss, etc., etc…  One thing, though maybe overlooked at times, is the use of exercise as a stress reliever.

Let me tell you a story.

There was a guy, who lived out in the country where internet service providers are limited. While there are advantages to living outside of the hustle and bustle of the cities of the world, internet connectivity is not one of them.

The guy was stuck with satellite internet. It was slow, but faster than dial up, and had bandwidth limitations that sucked. On top of all that bad, it wasn’t cheap. You would think that if a company is going to provide you with less than great access and then limit said access, that at least it would be cheap. You would, unfortunately, be wrong.

So when the company decided to up their speed with a fancy new satellite, they naturally thought everyone would want to switch, even though it would cost the customer more every month.

When they called this guy who lived out in the sticks and asked him to switch, he asked them up front, “what will my new bill be?” 

They replied, “oh, just ten dollars more a month, but you get so much more speed.”

There minds must have had trouble processing his denial of their new great deal, as they called back month after month, trying to get the poor guy with the crap internet to switch, only to be answered time and again with a resounding, “no.  Not until the bill will not increase,” he would tell the disappointed sales person.

Then the company hatched a new plan. They called up the guy and told him all about the new plan. How his bill wouldn’t go up, and how everything would be great. He would get better internet, not the best but better, at no extra cost to him.

All was well. Flowers bloomed and the internet was there, unless a storm cloud passed over or the modem went wonky as it was want to do. Overall though, ok.

As it seems though, with all these big companies, the other shoe is bound to drop at some point. It fell just two years later. While checking his account, low and behold, there was an extra charge. One that had not been there before. A ten dollar equipment lease fee.

There must be some mistake.  A phone call was in order and so it was placed. After a good half hour on the phone, most of it on hold listening to some of the worst hold music ever imagined, it was decided that the extra ten bucks added to the bill was in fact the new normal and would be there going forward forever.

The guy, feeling lied to and cheated, did not take the news well and vowed to do all he could to find another provider, knowing all the while it would be a tough task.

His anger roiled inside him. Loud music blared on the way home. He knew what he needed and that too was being denied him at the moment. He needed to run.

Once home, the running shoes slipped on and he was off. Running in the open, through the fields and trails as fast as he could. His heart pounded in his chest and blood filled his ears, and the anger, while still there, lessened. The stress slipped away a little with every step. Things would be alright. The run was making things better.

After the run, the guy was still ticked off at the company for lying, though that is the way of big business.  He did feel better though. He was able to go inside, have dinner and watch a movie with his family without all that anger threatening to boil over into the family.

The run actually fed on the anger, eliminating so much of it, allowing for better focus and better decision making after the run. So when the stress gets too much, or something happens to set off your anger, hit the trails, road, or gym, and put that negative energy to good use. You can make it work for you instead of against you if you focus on it. And with all that extra energy, you may just make a new PR.  Who knows?

So good luck out there. If possible, stay calm. If not, rant and rave and run really fast. Have a great week. God bless.

Trying to Eat Clean

I’m a believer in the basic principle of “putting in the work.” If we do our part, results will surely come. Maybe not the results we would like all the time, but results all the same. It’s true in school, at work, and maybe more than anything else, it is true when talking about our health.

Eating clean and exercise are the best medicines we can give our bodies. I believe this more each and every day. While there are a myriad of studies to back up that claim, the results from my own life are proof enough for me.

Though it hasn’t always been the case, clean eating has become something I love. I feel better and my body functions better when properly fueled. So I do my best to eat clean, but I’m not perfect, nor do I claim to be.

As a result of my less than perfect nature, I mess up. (Fried stuff, popcorn, etc.) It’s okay. It happens, and when it does, my body has a way of telling on me.

My body says, ” hey, you did it again!” and I reply, “yeah, sorry bout that.  I’ll try to do better.”

So that’s that’s the daily goal. Not perfection, we’ll never reach that, but better. That’s what I carry through the day, and most of the time it works. It can work for you too.

So often we try so hard to be so strict on ourselves, placing so many restrictions upon us that it’s almost impossible not to fall beneath the weight of them all. Don’t. Just do a little better than yesterday. Before you know it, you’ll be eating clean. Mostly.

Then there’s exercise, but that should probably be a different post so I’ll sign off for now. Good luck, God bless, and happy (clean) eating!