Less than a week ago, I moved from the San
Francisco bay area to Boulder,
Colorado. I also purchased a new
transmission for my car (the old one broke upon arrival in Colorado). Next I comforted my moving truck
driver as he was rattled after hitting a patch of black ice and crashing his
18-wheeler into a guard rail. Fortunately, both the driver and the shipment
were fine – the truck, however, was badly damaged. My shipment was further
delayed after a police K-9 patrol investigating the accident suspected that the
truck might be transporting narcotics across state lines (a claim which,
thankfully, proved to be false after the drug-sniffing dogs inspected every
single item aboard). To top things off, the ignition cylinder in the car lent
to me by local friends (while mine is in the shop) jammed, rendering the car
useless. Yes, it’s been a stressful few days!

While on this rollercoaster of stress, it would be far too
easy to let my fitness completely slide. After all, I have quite a few catastrophes
to tend to, plus I’ve moved to a new (and fairly cold) area and have yet to
join the local gym. But here’s the thing – even though I haven’t been getting
the volume or quality of exercise that I normally enjoy, I’ve made a point,
whenever possible, to just get outside. I’ve gone on runs as short as 20
minutes, simply because no matter how badly I’ve wanted to crawl under the
covers and make the challenges disappear, I’ve known that a little bit of fresh
air and exercise would make a world of difference. Indeed they have, and I’m
one hundred percent certain that the smile on my face today is attributable to
this morning’s brief jog.

So no matter what type of obstacles you’re dealing with in
your own life – no matter how overwhelmed or frustrated you feel – remember
that you hold within yourself an invaluable tool for dealing with stress. You
have the ability to lace up your running shoes, step out the door and stride
your way into a better feeling place. When times get tough, get yourself
outside.