He comes into town “for a visit,” and I am abundantly aware of the never-works-out-ness of that notion, but, nevertheless, I arrange and rearrange my schedule accordingly so as to accommodate their (not) presence… as if I don’t know better. I am the brilliant creator of my own misery here. Of this, I am certain.
By late morning on what is supposed to be day two of “the visit” but has ultimately morphed into day one owing to one debacle or another on the day previous that found them arriving in the small hours of day one (previously meant to be day two. Are you following me? Imagine my vexation.), I’ve still received no word of their location or itinerary for the days ahead, so I elect to go about my morning as if they were not in town, doing laundry and fetching groceries and such, when finally he phones.
Where are you (accusingly)? Him.
The grocery store. Me.
I’m here, Devin. Him.
So I tell him I’m going to run home and grab the kids and we can all go to the lake for a stroll. I explain that stopping at his hotel is not an option owing to the five kids in the car and how I imagine the hotel staff would not appreciate our visit, and I make it clear that we cannot simply go ahead without him once at the lake, because he would never catch up. I say all of that to create a sense of urgency around being ready in a timely manner, but as I pass the hotel an hour or so later, they are nowhere in sight, so I phone to see where they have gotten off to (all this after letting him know we were in route and even embellishing a bit and making him think we were closer than we were and “the dogs are going bloody bananas” a few times. One must sometimes match exceedingly slow with gentle deception.).
We are getting ready. Him.
DID YOU HAVE TO SEW YOUR OWN CLOTHES THIS MORNING? Are you incapacitated and unable to be ready ON TIME?!? Should I call the freaking police? DID YOU DROWN IN THE ESTROGEN OCEAN?? DID THE HOTEL FREAKING FALL ON YOU? ARE YOU HELPING TO REBUILD IT NOW? SHOULD WE COME HELP? My mind.
To be clear, my father is one of the kindest and most benevolent creatures I know, but, God love him, he is a giant dawdling pain in the a%$ (this coming from a generally patient human with no (some) propensity for theatrics or overdramatization (I think I may have made-up that word)).
So… what’s that got to do with exercise?
Have you ever noticed a remarkably discernible difference in your own enthusiasm following a jog or a bike ride? Well, exercise affords enormous benefits that extend far beyond the more obvious physical ones. There is a powerful connection among exercise, mood, and productivity. Where it concerns the latter, in short, physical activity increases the blood flow to the brain, which ultimately enhances awareness and energy, giving way to more efficient time management while also inciting a significant reduction in stress and anxiety levels… which brings me to my next point…
Exercise makes us feel better. In fact, consistent exercise can treat mild and even moderate depression just as effectively as prescribed medications given a similar impact on the chemicals in the brain, and one doesn’t have to be miserable to achieve these benefits. While we aren’t always terribly motivated to exercise, doing something small goes a long way where it concerns improving our overall sense of well-being. When the heart rate is elevated for even just 15-30 minutes, tension is released, stress becomes more manageable, our mood is improved, mental acuity is sharpened, physical and mental energy levels are elevated, sleep patterns are improved, and spirits are set alight… all as a beautiful consequence of physical activity.
And, while exercising in the face of exhaustion may seem counterproductive or counterintuitive, such is very rarely the case, as physical activity is actually like giving our body a blast of oxygen, improving its capacity for moving oxygen and glucose throughout. Furthermore, exercise can have the effect of precipitating heightened creativity and greater confidence. When we exercise regularly, even and especially in the face of whatever adversity finds us inside of any given moment, our ability to maintain a balance and overcome obstacles is exponentially improved. Finding time to exercise even when it seems as though there are no spare moments will afford you the ability to make the most of the rest of the terribly busy hours of your day.
So do a little something, tone down the overactive nervous system, stop fanning the flames of your own wretched humor with your indolence, and feel a lot better.
Note to self: Don’t be a sloth even on the weekend, and workout every morning for several hours when dad is in town.
Note to Dad: Don’t be a sloth. Wake up and workout when you come see me. GET MOTIVATED! Here on this side of the earth, we rise sometime before the lunch hour.
Love you, Dad, and fret not. One day when I become obscenely wealthy as a consequence of the best-selling book I am going to write about you, I will gladly put you and your girlfriend and her offspring and her offspring’s offspring up in a really fancy shoebox on the roof of my really fancy house.