I am a devout cardiovascular exercise nut. I am one of those people who finds joy in going to the gym to workout, sweat, and "feel the burn." But here's the truth, really. I go for my brain, not my body. I have no interest in getting a chiseled abdomen (I like brie and prosecco and lemon bar ice cream wayyyyy too much). I have no interest in sculpting my shoulders or toning my calves. I mean, those interests are totally cool and I totally respect you and everyone out there who has those interests and goals, but that's not me.
Okay, so back to why I go. For my brain. Something happens in the rewiring sense when I get exercise. My brain feels calmer, more at peace, more mellow. It works. It has been my medicine since I got off medicine. I know the science is piled high to support exercise being good for the brain. There is no doubt about that. But for me, it borders on survival. The fact that when I exercise, I feel like I am able to survive the world. Deal with the unknowns. Go with the flow. Sleep better. Be the turtle and let things roll off my back. It's magic.
So I try. I try to get there everyday. Which is highly and insanely unrealistic, just like someone saying I am going to resist the black of the hole of the internet for the rest of my life. I mean, come on, right? So, I feel successful when I hit my 3x/week minimum. Anything above that is a B-O-N-U-S. When I am on the elliptical, for example, I am actively taking care of myself, my brain, my nervous system. It's a radical act of self-care, compassion, and a reality check for myself. It gets me out of my head, into my legs. Out of my small self and into my big Self, able to see the world just a bit differently with a teensy bit more perspective.
And so that's why I go. Not everyday, but most days. And it makes a real difference. I may look like I am a beet vegetable ready to explode and drop dead, but I am smiling dammit. I am friggin smiling because I am at peace and it is in those moments the world and life feels doable.