I have never been what you would call a sporty girl. I don’t play well with others (count me out when you’re putting a soccer team together) and I don’t understand marathons. But I have a whole drawer full of neon clothes, a shelf full of exercise DVDs, and hand weights in my living room.
I exercise every day because writing is so much easier when I work out.
Writers need to exercise, because it floods our overactive minds with delicious
chemicals that relax, restore, and inspire us. When endorphins are flowing, we are more likely to give ourselves a break and get out of the way so our story ideas can come to us. We don’t focus on what the inner critic is saying so much. We can also take more risks with our characters.
Without regular, blood-pumping exercise, we tend to listen to self-doubt and criticism. That’s no good.
Think about the interviews you hear with athletes. Have you ever heard an athlete with an overactive mind, doubting and overthinking herself?
No! Athletes have clear minds! They aren’t worried! They’re in the zone!
Exercise is the best anti-anxiety medicine I know.
Here’s some of my favourite work out stuff. Steal it all — including my awesome running playlist.
Here is a ridiculous video of me at The Color Run this year, dancing through glitter.
As you can see, you don’t have to be any good at dancing or running in order to benefit from the effects of dancing or running.
May this inspire you to be unafraid to look like a fool when you work it.
With love to your body/mind,
ps – I was recently featured on Janelle Allen’s Zen Courses podcast, and it was such a good conversation! This might be my favourite interview: Janelle brought out the best in me. She asked such good questions about how I built Story Is a State of Mind, and why I teach the way I teach. It’s worth a listen, especially if you are interested in taking my course, and want to know more about what to expect from it.
Nike Free. They’re light (great for travel). And they keep your feet close to the ground, so you get to feel more of the terrain, which is more nutritious for your whole body. They come in bright colours — and you can customize your own!
I have this set up so I hit “Need You Now” by Cut Copy right around the time I want to quit. That song gives me a boost. Move the songs around if you want, so you get power boosts when you need them.
I love this app because it keeps track of my speed and my distance, and gives me little cheers and pep talks. It also tallies up my total kilometres, which makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. It connects easily to my running playlist, which makes it perfect.
4. My Jillian Michaels workouts
I’m a Jillian Michaels fan. Her Total Body Revolution did exactly what it promised it would – I recommend it to anyone who is starting to work out from scratch (like me). As Ryan likes to remind me, “Remember on our honeymoon when you tried to do a push up and started crying?” Yeah. I remember. Thank you, Jillian!
This winter Ryan and I are using a new Jillian DVD called “Killer Body.”
5. My Tracy Anderson Workouts
I’m a recent convert. I find myself dancing along with this preternaturally blonde woman all the time. I mute her, because I don’t like to hear her talking; I put a Spotify mix instead. Her arm exercises are wonderful and addictive.
The program I have is called “Metamorphosis.”
Here’s a Dance Workout mix on Spotify.
Here’s my other favourite, the Bollywood Dance workout mix.
Warning: your calves will hurt a lot after the first time you do her dance cardio. You have not broken your calves, I promise. Stretch them, walk on them, and keep dancing: they won’t hurt like that the next time you do it.
6. Coconut Water
Drink it after your workout. It’s full of electrolytes. Your body will soak it up and turn it into magic.