"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."