The realisation that this is my life for the next 20 weeks has slowly begun to set in. And although I’m nowhere near getting used to it just yet I think I’ve passed the denial phase, leapt over anger, bargaining, and depression (for now… I’m sure they will revisit me later) and I’ve landed right in the midst of acceptance. The intensity of training is picking up, and although everything is still new and fresh, it is becoming some sort of different, unnatural routine. Along with that routine comes the consequences…
I’m starting to feel the effects of late nights and early mornings and putting into practice the whole ‘rain, hail or shine’ motto. However, despite my mini whine, I do really feel that once you get out of the comfort of your bed, escape the freezing cold and get moving on those mats all thoughts from the ‘outside’ world seem to disappear. Probably to make room for the amount of brain power and thought space needed to learn and retain every detail of training, but, regardless it’s liberating. Training and especially training first thing in the morning sets a motivating mood, mind frame, and Mmmmotion (see what I did there?… eMotion… I needed another ‘M’ word… No h8 plz) for the rest of the day. And it all kinda got me thinking about the effects exercise has not only physically but psychologically as well. After reading the general information on how it makes you happy and confident, less stressed and more energetic, I wanted to dive deeper into the actual mechanics and details of what it is that actually causes these physiological effects. So I did a some good old googling and read pages and pages of scientific ‘mumbo-jumbo’ that I’m not going to bore you all with because I’m not sure I totally understand it… but it was honestly fascinating (I’ll throw some links in at the end for those interested). The best and most simple way I can attempt to explain it (complicated concepts for dummies) is that exercise is that multivitamin (or coffee in my case) that gives you a kick in your step; and helps you feel not only physically sound and well but mentally awake and ready to conquer the world 😉 That is alongside some endorphins, serotonin, BDNF, hippocampus (my new favourite word) and a bunch more. Plus exercise literally makes you smarter… We’ll sort of… It helps you grow new brain cells… Which will make you smarter… Right?
To wrap it up, this week was great, as per usual, and despite feeling exhausted, I’ve been able to view the infamous saying that this sport is 20% physical and 80% mental in a new light with an entirely different perspective. I have a new understanding of the impact exercise has on individuals psyche and after feeling it myself over the last 2 weeks couldn’t flaw the research at all. I believe that it is a grossly underused “medication” for not only physical hindrances and mental illness but as a tool to increase quality of life. The irony and juxtaposition in that the act of waking up at 4 am, going to training and intending on having a fight in 6 months, which makes me feel cold, tired, miserable and honestly slightly anxious; is ultimately having adverse effects. It all opens my eyes and gives an insight into the bigger picture of not only this journey but the lifetime to come… Oh and that the brain is a scary, dark, mysterious mechanism that is cool AF.
So with that, it’s time for me to take my vitamins, thank you all for tagging along for a little read and I’ll see you next time 🙂
p.s. these are a few interesting sources I found, however, the real nitty gritty detailed stuff that I read was all sourced from google scholar, so… much of it is restricted access unless purchased. For that reason I haven’t bothered to throw the links in, but feel to check them out yourselves.
Conquer Worry Podcast – Episode 5 – Why Exercise Leads to Happiness & Tracy Shawn Interview