Over the last ten weeks I have become accustomed to my routine. I wake up at 6:17 and ensure that my first meal is finished by 6:58. I then pop into the shower for a quick pick me up rinse followed by getting ready for my morning exercise. On most Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings I meet my personal trainer (StormFitNation) for a workout that is sure to leave me with the desire to fall over. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I head out for a jog along the beach. The rest of my days typically include reading, writing, eating, and reading and writing a little more. It truly is the life of a full-time doctoral student.
Last week Storm gently encouraged me to step up my game a little. He mentioned that cardio after my strength training with him would prove to be fruitful. I have little doubt, actually no doubt, in his suggestions as I have seen major results over the past ten weeks in myself and even more so in him (he is training for a show and definitely has the nutrition down – I am still learning the nutritional deal to physical health). Thus, I mentally adjusted my routine to account for the extra 30-45 minutes I would spend at the gym to incorporate my daily cardio fix. This also meant that I needed to bring some tunes along to help keep my head in the game.
Monday morning rolled around and I was prepping for my last workout with Storm before my three week adventure out of town. I packed up my iPod and headphones, my water, and a towel. My brother bought me some amazing Bose sports headphones the last time both of us were in the same city together. The gym I go to is fairly personal, safe, and once you’ve spent some time there it is comfortable. I have never feared anything going missing, until now. I was set to jump onto the Stair Master for my cardio after I entered the locker room to pick up my iPod but to my surprise it was missing, gone, vanished and my sweater with car keys were not in their normal hanging location. I like routine and hang my gear in the same spot every day. The lose was small but inconvenient, as my brother summed it up. It still took me for a loop and had me wanting to leave the gym as fast as possible so I packed up and headed home, without my dose of cardio. I putts around once I got home, purchased a new iPod and headphones a few hours later only to return them a couple hours after that. I figured I was heading to Alberta and would save the PST if I just waited 48 hours.
Today, I was back at a gym. It was a gym I used to go to on occasion years ago and is relatively close to my parents house. I asked for the free 3 day trial pass only to learn that I needed to sit with a staff member and go through an orientation to the gym (I could not tell them I had already been there or it would void my free entry). So I sat, answered a few questions, and finally got to my workout with my father’s iPod and the typical Apple headphones that come in the package. It was not all that bad and I managed to save myself some dollars. After all, student life is expensive and usually lacks financial income.
If I have learnt anything, it is that health comes with structure, routine, and discipline. There are always bumps along the way and moments of challenge. I have started to rely on my routine to keep me motivated. Each time I overcome a bump, even the small ones like having my routine interpreted because of a small but inconvenient lose of music, I write it down in hopes that I can always look inwards for inspiration. It is this innate motivation and inspiration that I believe we, as social creatures, need to focus on versus always looking towards others. Others will always be there, some cheering you on and others wanting you to fail, and I truly believe we only balance the energy of others by surpassing their energy with our own internal energy.
I encourage you to spend a few moments to think about the energy you feed yourself. What does energy mean to you? Does this energy look a specific way, give you a specific feeling? How do you come back to this energy when you face a bump along your journey?