Last week I had one of those moments. I was out running around the neighborhood during the sunset hour. The scenery was a picturesque golf course with palm trees and the sun was lazily lowering itself beyond the horizon, painting the sky a warm palette of reds, oranges, and pinks. The weather was surprisingly cooperative, bringing Miami a cool breeze with low(!) humidity. The scene was set for the perfect outdoor run.
Then the magic happened. My legs were particularly fresh that day so running was much less arduous than normal. I was in tune with my breath, focusing on maintaining an easy pace. I wasn’t out to break any records; I was simply aiming for a leisurely workout. I was just cruising along, deep in thought, and my new favorite song, “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Ray (thanks SMF!), came on my iPhone. Suddenly all the elements combined–I found myself in exercise bliss.
Exercise bliss, to me, is one of those rare occurrences. Somewhat similar to the elusive runner’s high, it is that moment when everything clicks: your body and emotions flourish and you feel as if you could do that workout, in that environment, forever. It isn’t exclusively reserved for super-athletes or the exercise savvy; anyone who gets their sweat on can experience the bliss. It can be transformative, causing you to view your workout of choice in a whole new light, a light of admiration.
I have to admit, I was slow to catch on to running. I broke out of the gate entirely too fast, and with each session I asked myself why I continued on with it. It wasn’t until my first exercise bliss moment that I finally embraced running as a favorable activity. I felt comfortable, strong, and in control. Running in the throes of exercise bliss made my 45-minute run feel indulgent. I felt like I had to share it with everyone, let people know that exercise really can be fun for anyone–it all depends on what exercise you love to do.
The moral of the story is that in order to experience exercise bliss, you have to do what interests you. Are you dying to get back into your dancing shoes? Do you wish you could relive your high school soccer glory days? Whatever it is, if you enjoy it, you’ll do it. If you do it, you’ll enjoy it even more. It’s somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Have you ever felt exercise bliss? What are the ideal conditions (location, music, type of exercise, etc.) for your favorite workout?