Last week for Wellness Thursday I got to thinking about sweat, exercise and endorphins. Long story short, exercise releases endorphins, hormones which interact with our brains to reduce feelings of pain, and to create a positive feeling throughout the body. It’s colloquially known as “runner’s high” and is a feeling of euphoria, similar to the feeling created by morphine.
Well, I’m “on vacation” this week, and I’m getting a short, intense course on endorphins.
Ahhh, vacation, a time to slow down, rest, reflect and recharge. Maybe a time to catch up on your reading and your writing. Perhaps you’re developing a pilot course in Mirasee’s “Launch My Course“ program, and you’re a few weeks behind because you lost all of June to a deep, black depression. You can use your vacation time to catch up.
Yes, when you have vacation you have an extra 8, maybe 10 hours a day to get the backlog on your “to do” list under control. Unless, of course, you have 3 kids. Then you are, as I wrote “on vacation.”
“On vacation” is a much different time from vacation. “On vacation” is when you’re organizing and doing stuff with your family, and trying to cram your to do list into an even smaller window than during work time. This might explain why your company forced you to take a week off because you haven’t yet touched any of your 2019 vacation days. Work is less stressful than vacation is.
Now that my wife is working, for the first time since the birth of our first child, my vacation is also her vacation. And she wants to do something, to experience something, new. Every. Damned. Day. Slow down, chill, relax and recharge while I get caught up on a few things? Oh, Hell no. Gotta pack every waking moment with…something.
Fortunately, my wife is also a fitness nut. It was she, who first go me into yoga. Come to it, you can blame her for my daily ramblings, because if she hadn’t dragged me into that yoga class, way back in 2006, I would never have found myself on the path that led me here.
Thanks Honey, from my several readers.
As I was saying, my lovely and long suffering bride is also a fitness nut. She decided that we must rise every morning and run. And with the exception of today, we did. We started small, 3.4 km, and ramped up. First to 4.5 km and then to 7.4 km, which is our standard, daily run. We’re no longer adding distance, but rather working pace.
And I’ve learned a few things.
- Being a foot taller gives a great advantage in pacing, but since we’re not racing, that is actually a bad thing. I’m jogging far too slowly for my joints. It’s too fast for a walk, but to slow to properly pace myself, and my knees, hip and back are taking a pounding.
- Don’t forget your freaking glucosamine. My right knee is letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that it is unhappy. My exercise survival kit includes glucosamine, and I forgot to bring it.
- Don’t forget your bloody knee braces. I don’t know which I miss more, the glucosamine or the braces. I could probably go a week without one or the other, but not both.
- It’s oddly enjoyable to run with someone. I have always run alone, and running this week with my wife has been a revelation. For the first time, pretty much ever, I’m enjoying having company on my runs.
- Runner’s high requires a much higher output than I can get with my wife; she’s too short to keep the pace I need. So I break free for the last ½ km and really open up the pace, and that is good for the endorphin kick.
- Crappy cottage beds are not really conducive to a good night’s sleep, and a good night’s sleep is much better for running than a crappy night’s sleep.
- Getting your sweat on from running with your bride, rather than doing Bikram Yoga with your bride is different, and yet the same. It’s a very different workout, but the point is to be exercising hard, and doing it together. All the benefits of hard exercise? I’m still getting them.
I don’t know if there’s a great, deep, abiding lesson to be learned here. Just another story to illustrate my conviction that hard, regular exercise is at the core of a healthy lifestyle, healthy relationships, and a healthy life.