"For me, outdoor exercise is simply an escape hatch. My running shoes are a trap door I can sink my feet into whenever life gets too chaotic, which it consistently does.
Physical activity, particularly while breathing in fresh air, helps me put it all in perspective.There is something in the monotony of repeated movement that helps me both physically and mentally reset.
Getting my heart rate up eventually makes me feel good — after it's made me feel worse.
Somehow, though, even the feeling worse part is good. It's like the physical exertion matches the level of work demanded of me in life. When I can actually match that imagined pace, even during an activity that seems totally unrelated, it makes me feel like I'm working through something. I feel that sense of competency, and it brings me back into myself, one step at a time."
- Alli H.
Palmer, Alaska USA
Via When Life Gets Too Demanding, the Outdoors is an Escape Hatch
"Running helps clear my mind, and it allows me an hour or so to be in my own head—no outside distractions, no people talking in my ear, and no craziness. Just me and my thoughts. I’ve been running since I was 18, and I regularly run 5 or 6 miles. It does become tough to find routes when I’m on tour, but I find it’s the best way to explore a new location—especially when I am in a new city every day!"
"We go outside to rinse ourselves of worldly stress, and to taste again that simple life. In our escape, we leave behind Facebook and Twitter for a brief time, choosing instead face-to-face time beside the campfire, and the tweet of the kingfisher along the riverbank.
"It might seem antithetical to give myself one more thing to do [when planning a wedding]. But I now know that when I’m juggling a lot, squeezing in a workout is one of the best things I can do for myself. It gives my brain a time-out, drains away some of that pointless panic energy, and lets me come back to the world with fresh eyes and the wherewithal to stop and look around. Sure, there’s a lot to be stressed out about right now. And there’s plenty to be thrilled and joyful over. I can’t eradicate the bad entirely. But I can feel them both."
"I feel kind to my body neither under or overworking it and I’m not hating the workouts themselves wishing them to be over quickly. Instead they calm me down and are good for me mentally as well. I feel like my life can be very stressful sometimes so I need my workouts not to be draining me or put any more stress on my mind or body. Instead, I want them to be calming and strengthening and giving me energy. This is just what works for me not putting any pressure on me to reach fitness goals or get any type of results other than feeling good and taking care of myself.”
" And when Sophie gets angry - really, really, angry...she runs! She runs and runs and runs until she can't run anymore. Then, for a little while, she cries. Now she sees the rocks, the trees and ferns. She hears a bird. She comes to the old beech tree. She climbs. She feels the breeze blow her hair. She watches the water and the waves. The wide wold comforts her."
“It [yoga] makes me feel relaxed and I like it 'cause if you are stressed out or something, you can do yoga and it will make you feel much better.”
2014 - “The Canadian” Ironman
"I trail run outside almost everyday. Often, I leave home worried with unanswered questions, timing issues, contractual difficulties, scheduling challenges. Every single time, within five minutes, these are gone - evaporated. The brain has switched off, hypnotized by the regular rhythm of my running shoes on the trail's dirt and the inhale-exhale cycles. Focused on avoiding the roots and rocks and water, I let go and become creative. The funny thing is that when I get back home, these worries are usually gone for good. Lost on a Gatineau Park dirt trail, somewhere..."