Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Disciplined Mind In A Disciplined Body

I did not want to go for my run that morning. Thanksgiving was just a week away and the sky was black as coal with tiny diamonds sparkling throughout and a rosy scarf on the horizon. In the light of the moon I could see the frost on the grass sparkling like a sugar cookie on Christmas morning. My alarm had rudely prodded me out of bed only thirty minutes earlier and I was just not in the mood to go out in the cold and exert myself. It was only a short run, like routine maintenance, but I did not want to go.

I was not in the mood to smile and think happy thoughts. The accumulated stress over the last few years was taking a toll, my wife had gone back to school, I was juggling part time jobs and caring for our young daughter, she was juggling school and caring for our daughter. She got her first teacher job and the schedule got worse. Now, five days a week she leaves before seven and returns some eleven to thirteen hours later. The bills had piled up, but finally we had enough income to slowly start digging out of the hole we were in. I was, however, stressed and did not feel like being positive.

I got out of bed even though I didn't want to. I put on my layers and my leather Runamoc Dash running shoes. I put on my balaclava, strapped on my Princeton Tec headlamp and headed out into the cold. Even though I did not feel like doing it, I knew the importance of it. The exercise would improve my body and give me a chance to clear my mind. Routine maintenance is important.

I put on a smile even though I didn't want to. I made a conscious choice about my thoughts instead of letting them drive themselves. I directed my thoughts instead of allowing them to progress into a downward spiral. I knew the importance of it. This exercise would improve my mind and keep me out of the ruts I sometimes find myself in.

I run, I exercise, I train kung fu because without it, my body will atrophy and decay and become gradually more and more useless. I train to stay strong and healthy so my body can withstand more of what the world throws at it.

I discipline my thinking because without it, my thinking will deteriorate into stress and depression. I train to stay strong and healthy so my mind and spirit can withstand more of what the world throws at it.