I try to get up every morning and workout. It is not something I have been great at doing regularly until about 4 years ago. When I turned 40 I knew I needed to start paying better attention to my body, and keeping it working well. Since then I have a pretty good success rate at getting up and doing some type of exercise. This helps me feel good which generally means I am in a good mood and therefore more productive and pleasant.
Writing has the same effect, by getting me to think clearly enough to write this sentence. As I write more the easier it is to put my thoughts together and convey what I am thinking. Doing this every morning helps me organize my thoughts about the day. Whether I am reflecting on something that happened yesterday, or planning something for next year writing helps review what is happening.
When I exercise I am thinking about my next bike ride, hike, or rafting trip. I think about how a strength movement is going to help me in different circumstances. I may also be thinking about how much pain I am in and to keep breathing and get through it. Which is a huge thing to work on and apply to a bike, hike, or rafting trip. In the end I am doing these things because I enjoy them.
Writing is also an exercise in thinking. When I am writing this sentence I am trying to organize my thoughts to convey something. I am also thinking about work, or a meeting about the trails group. Mainly I am thinking about what the heck am I trying to convey here.
Where I get stuck with physical exercise and writing exercise is thinking about what others will think. When this happens everything freezes and I forget why I am doing this. Instead I am worrying about how I look, or if someone might think this sentence is silly. There is no benefit to this during exercise. If those things are important to an activity then it isn’t exercise, it’s work.
The fun part about exercising physically or mentally is that it is just an exercise to get better. I have no delusions about going to the Olympics or being hired as a model, but I do want to enjoy a long bike ride. Physical exercise will ensure that I can physically complete the ride, and hopefully have a smile on my face. I have no delusions that I will be a New York Times bestselling author, but I do want to improve my writing for work. Writing exercise here on my blog gives me a place to practice writing, and expose it to whomever cares to take a look. I hope that it is enjoyable to read, but I try not to take it too seriously. I am writing metaphorical push ups and jumping jacks here with the intent that my writing elsewhere will get better.