Today, I wrote while working out.
Did a few sets of an exercise…
And repeated – over and again throughout the entire session – which eventually extended over several hours.
Since waking, my mind was constantly and continuously engaged in deliberations about something I’m contemplating Writing / Painting about.
I couldn’t get it out of mind & keep it aside even as I began exercising.
So, while going through the reps, and pumping iron – I remained mentally engaged with the subject. The repetitive nature of the physical exercise actually helped my mental processes. Helped me weed out the peripheral stuff and zone in on what really mattered.
And so, in between sets, while regulating my breath & waiting for my heart to calm down… I wrote.
It felt pretty good…
Music in the background; driven by caffeine… Physically engaged in strenuous exercise; mentally occupied with articulating a concept & simplifying it down to be expressed in written word.
It felt great because I was challenged and engaged on all fronts together at once.
Occupied. Stimulated… “Alive”.
Music points me in a specific direction. It opens up the pathway to “getting into the zone”. Sets the tone for the activity at hand. Sort of aligns the mind with the heart…
Consciously, my choice of music while Working Out is quite different than what it is for Writing.
Today, (like for most workouts) – I chose Metal. Perfect for the task at hand.
I didn’t expect it to help streamline my thinking.
It surprised me…
Caffeine is a stimulant. It creates clarity and enhances focus. With respect to mental tasks, it helps separate thought from emotion (clarity). It’s also an extremely effective pre workout supplement.
Best consumed in this manner –
“Black as night, sweet as sin.”~ Neil Gaiman
Exercise engages me physically and mentally. Any exercise related physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels – all of which affect focus and attention. It promotes positive changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being.
Music, Caffeine and Exercise together, form a potent cocktail to facilitate thinking.
And thinking is a great precursor to writing.
“Thinking is like exercise, it requires consistency and rigor. Like barbells in a weightlifting room, the classics force us to either put them down or exert our minds. They require us to think.”~ Oliver Van DeMille, A Thomas Jefferson Education
Writing is purely a mental exercise – Thinking, Analyzing, Processing, Compiling, Editing before finally Committing…
“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.”~ David McCullough
Combining Writing and Working Out felt better than either of those stand alone. It gave me longer recovery between sets of exercise. Extended out my session without undue increase in stress. Enabled to achieve overall greater workload. Equally important – It also allowed me a pause between paragraphs to dwell on what I’d just written before what came next.
I didn’t plan this, but it was overall – more functional, invigorating and gratifying…
Contributing to the speed of thought @ pace of my heart…