We all know exercise is good for us, although the older I get the more my husband asks – can we stop yet? But for me the motivation to exercise has never really been about fitness and health (though they are very worthy side benefits). I have always exercised to eat.
It’s a simple analogy.
Recently though I’ve started to appreciate another benefit to exercise. It clears the mind of all the fog (in my case, that’s a lot of clearing to do) so that suddenly, while plodding down the two-mile-mark road, puffing and cursing the fact that I’m not even half way, a conversation between my hero and heroine will bounce into my mind. Or perhaps a side-plot. Sometimes a direction I hadn’t considered to take the book in.
The physical pain is forgotten as I mull the ideas over, expanding on them, discarding them. There are times I love the ideas so much I’m terrified they’ll vanish before I’m home so I spend the next half of the run just repeating them over and over again so I don’t forget them. I’ve thought of taking a dictaphone with me, but realised I probably wouldn’t be able to make out my voice over my heavy breathing…
It’s not just when I run. Ideas come when I swim, too. Any exercise when I’m by myself and can let my mind wander.
So now I have even more motivation to put on those trainers. I’m not saying it makes the task any more enjoyable, but the rewards are worth it.
(and the chips – always the chips!)