There’s a lot of science out there touting the stellar benefits to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). While science may be correct, it can really suck. When you’re out of shape, like me, most exercise sucks at the beginning. So if I am going to be sucking wind like a west coast asthmatic climbing stairs in Denver I prefer to do it with a good ol’ fashion sweat fest.
I bet you’re all wondering why I’d rather slug through an hour on the treadmill rather than do a painful but quick twenty minute HIIT workout. Well there are a handful of reasons.
- Rocky Balboa taught me a monochromatic sweatsuit will always be underrated. Stairs with statues at the bottom and frozen sides of beef fall into that category as well.
- There is something cleansing and satisfying about losing 25% of your body weight in sweat. (Be smart and hydrate – beer doesn’t count)
- It’s a good way to get lost in my own head. Doing that every now and then is good for me.
- More often than not I’m pleasantly surprised by what I find once I get good and lost. (Hint: It’s usually clarity.)
- At the end of the day, your legs might feel as stable as a newborn giraffe’s but you’ll feel like you accomplished something.
I write this today because I accomplished all but one of things listed above (sorry, Rocky). Now that I have exercised I feel the need to write. Both writing and exercising tend to be all-or-nothing things for me. Unfortunately that means I often struggle to balance doing both on a regular basis. One almost always falls to the other and I find myself needing to reset and try to start finding the happy medium again. Thus I am here today. I think in many ways it is the fact that writing and exercise go hand in hand for me that make it so difficult for them to effectively coexist.
Now there are hundreds of blogs out there describing the similarities between writing and running. All of them are valid. I could list a bunch of them but one thing sticks out in particular.
My dad and I have long-standing inside joke that exercise is best for “working shit out.” Most writers I know become unproductive for a number of reasons that eventually boil down to having too much white noise buzzing around in their heads. They need to work that out. How everyone does this differs. For some it is cooking. Others it might be bird-watching (those people are weirdos). For me, it’s working out.
I’m convinced that if I can find the balance in which exercise and writing become regular events in my life (at the same time) I’ll be able to find my best writing there too.
Until next time, keep sweating!