Now...you really didn't think I'd stay away for long did you? LOL! My blogging spirit was on low yesterday, but I discovered just the thing to stoke those failing embers. I went to Borders last night to pick up some gift certificates and while I have a general rule to not purchase just released hardcover books, since I can't afford them--this library lizard prefers to wait for them to hit the library or at least hold out for the paperback release. I spied that hardcover book again, "The Athlete's Way: Sweat and the Biology of Bliss" by Christopher Bergland. I looked through it again, read a few passages and had to have it. I was feeling low in spirit; I had a few days where I just tried to cram in too much and needed a compulsive book purchase to shore up my flagging spirit. Don't we all do this to some extent when our defenses are down? I know Hipmama likes to buy jewelry in such a state and we all know Mike K. has a shoe problem--I buy expensive books, when in this frame of mind.
I couldn't put this book down lastnigt; I've never quite seen anything like this book written by this thoughtful endurance athlete, Christopher Bergland, who holds the world record for treadmill running and has won three times a triple triathlon distance Iron Man. You might think this book is about how to become an endurance athlete, but it's not. In fact, he acknowledges that running 24 hours isn't very good for you at all, but a passionate undertaking by a certain kind of athlete. Who are we to discourage anyone's passion--even if it entails some risk? Actually, this book has broad appeal to the non-athlete trying to figure out how to start an exercise program, how to get through the initial difficulty making exercise an enjoyable habit, to the seasoned athlete that already knows the bliss of sweat and wants to keep it going. He wants the non-athlete to know that exercise is not just a means to an end of a better body or healthier lifestyle. Exercise is a way to happiness--it has the capability to transform from the inside out. When I say running has changed my life...I'm not kidding. It has changed everything about me. Four years ago I wouldn't have had the confidence to stand and lecture to a group of students with attitude...now I don't think much about it at all. Now... that's change. This is exactly what I try to get across in my blog all the time. I sure like having a nice butt and slim legs, but this is a mere side benefit to the primary goal of changing the way I think--exercise like nothing else in my life...makes me happy and able to appreciate all the other blessings of my life.
Christopher Bergland has an interesting background in that he was raised by neurosurgeon parents. He himself, did not pursue neuroscience professionally, but growing up with it and having the help of his father, he explains in a simple way that exercise has the capability to change our brains. I think Ultra Kim would appreciate this book from a professional standpoint. She said, just the other day, that if she could bottle the feeling she gets on a trail run, she'd be a millionaire. I know, unequivocally, without a doubt, that this has been the case with myself. I was born into a brain that was hell-bent on self-destruction and self-loathing if I did not find exercise to change my brain chemistry. Given that C. Bergland isn't a neurosurgeon makes it easy to digest. Exercise, I believe, is such a powerful tool, that in many cases, it eliminates the need for antidepressants. Before I discovered the power of running, I don't know many people told me I needed to be on antidepressants. I know they work for many people, but I was determined to not alter my brain chemistry with drugs--to use what God gave me. I knew there had to be a reason that God created me this way--knew he didn't do it to torture, taunt, and test me. I'm funny that way, but I don't want to take anything, since I've become a recovering addict. Pretty hilarious since I used to take anything that wasn't nailed down. But, most importantly, bliss is available to anyone who regularly exercises...not just the extreme nutcases like myself. Just lace up those shoes and start sweating!
Anyway, I'm chomping at the bit to get through this book! I'm entertaining my in-laws today. Maybe when they're talking about boring stuff, I can sneak in a few paragraphs....