Lumberjack Year: Exhaust the body

1998 mass games in Pyongyang. The performers are honoring the image of the former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. 北朝鮮平壌市でのマスゲーム。1998年、英語版ウィキペディア利用者のProbibitOnions撮影。

1998 mass games in Pyongyang. The performers are honoring the image of the former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung.
北朝鮮平壌市でのマスゲーム。1998年、英語版ウィキペディア利用者のProbibitOnions撮影。

There is a quote, of questionable provenance, online that goes: “Exhaust the body. Proceed the mind. Cultivate the spirit.” It’s for a line of active lifestyle apparel in Guam that I found while in the time suck that is the Internet.

It is too long to turn into a tattoo or a personal motto, but it is something that I keep in mind sometimes. Except, sometimes, in my case, I exhaust the body to keep the mind from bothering me and keeping me awake and alone with my fears. Sometimes, I am legitimately tired from work, and that is okay too.

There is something there, though. I have always been partial to books and things of the mind because I grew up asthmatic and lazy. Although I don’t regret that, I have tended to live in my head.

Physical activity helps me with that. At that moment when your will and your body falter and you rationalize that you would really rather be sleeping, or smoking, or basically doing anything else that doesn’t require as much effort, and then breaking past that moment of weakness for just one more rep, or just a few more seconds of going all out, of telling yourself to stop whining and to get on with it, the mind shuts up.

All those lingering doubts fade into the background against that huge Doubt in front of you: Can you do this? The answer, I have learned, is almost always yes.

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