The best workouts take you on a journey.
In your apartment or garage, in a gym in Manhattan, or in the backcountry.
Anywhere in the world, your workout can take you somewhere, and the location isn’t as important as the journey.
You’ve likely heard of this journey. We hear stories about the runners high, about endurance athletes entering the pain cave, or Arnold Schwarzenegger comparing lifting weights to having sex.
Maybe you’ve experienced an emotional journey of your of own while exercising. It could be one of happiness or sadness. One that evokes positive aspirations, or conjures up dark memories. Perhaps you can’t quite put words to it, but you feel…
Exercise as experience isn’t about selecting specific movements, music, or having flashing lights. It’s about emotion. The goal is to make space to feel something. That journey is more important than the location, but some locations certainly help.
Running or cycling in nature is probably preferred to doing it on a city street. A city street is preferred to doing it inside. Doing it inside is preferable to not doing it at all. Regardless of the location, the best workouts take you on a journey.
What’s the best way to ensure that you’re going on that journey? Intention.
“Mindfulness” is the darling of millennial culture right now, but infrequently is the idea associated with intense exercise. We reserve it for yoga, for meditation, for intimate dinners with our closest friends.
The practice of mindfulness needn’t be limited to those activities. We can practice it at all intensities, considering the strength and endurance of both body and mind.
When I was younger, I used intense exercise to numb my emotions. Now, I use it to feel them more. Feeling something – anything – is better than not feeling at all.
That’s the beauty of movement to me. The more we do it, the more we can dissolve the societal barrier that’s been created between our bodies and our brains, the more we can experience movement, and the more we can experience ourselves.
The best workouts take you somewhere. Journey Onward.