It's surprising where you might find profound ideas or inspiration. A few years ago, I was chilling, watching Legally Blonde (I just giggle every time that Bend and Snap scene comes on), when Elle Woods' statement in the courtroom scene struck me. She said, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands. They just don't."
And something clicked. This silly, easy-to-watch movie inadvertently said something that my psychologist has encouraged me to do for years. For me, the particular exercise that works phenomenally is running. Sustaining a raised heart rate for a prolonged period, increased breathing rate, and feeling the ground force reaction created by my own body all work together for my mental well-being.
I'm not shy about seeing a psychologist regularly - anybody who knows a bit of my story would not be surprised by this (you can read my story here: https://www.getbackuptoday.com/inspiring-stories/becky-piper/). Talk therapy and medication are beneficial to me, but the third factor is exercise.
Over the years, I've narrowed down all the good things that this third part of my mental well-being has done for me into 3 points:
Exercise, training, and especially running allow me time to self-reflect, work through problems in my head, and figure out how effectively communicate my solutions.
Running, along with training, maintains my health. Mental wellness is easier for me to maintain when I'm physically well, too.
Even though I physically struggle with running now, the soft rhythm of my feet occasionally chases the more traumatic thoughts from my brain…and that feels wonderful!
Running has done wonders for my mental well-being… but maybe for you, it's cycling, swimming, strength training, cross-country skiing, and perhaps even dog sled racing! Whatever gets your endorphins going, keep at it!
Coach Becky Piper is a USA Triathlon Certified Level 1 Triathlon Coach, Paratriathlon Coach, and Cycling Coach. She is currently on her way to Michigan but has made a little stopover in Wisconsin to see friends and family while her husband Sam is serving in the military. Her dog, Gunner, is with her on the long adventure across the country. She is the reigning national champion in the Time Trial and Road Race in women’s C2 Paracycling and is preparing for her debut in the Paralympic Trials, but her true passion is coaching. Coach Becky can be reached at email@example.com.