Exhaust the Body - Tame the Mind

Lately I’ve been struggling with focus and keeping my mind on the job, well actually the problem is not being able to keep my mind on ONE job at a time. I’ve been simultaneously thinking about the dozens of things I need to do. Focus is absent and taking a toll on my productivity. I let my mind jump all over the place.

Yesterday I saw a post from my old business coach Matt Verlaque, with some lessons he’d learned from his own business coach Dan Martell. One of those lessons that jumped out at me was “Exhaust the Body - Tame the Mind”. Have a read of his post on LinkedIn

Over the last 5 or so years, I’ve been doing a lot less physical training. Back in the day I used to train 15+ hours a week training for Ironman. Although half of what some people do still plenty of training to exhaust the body. Now on a good week I probably only get up to max 6-7 hours. Enough to keep fit and sane, but not enough to exhaust the body and tame the mind.

If you prefer audio, you can listen to the audio version on the podcast, or use the embedded player below. You can also watch the video version on Youtube

This morning I drove North. Up to Tawharanui regional park for a surf, 3.5 hours and 7.5km of paddling later, I was cold and exhausted. Two very good things for my state of mind.

Ignore that 49 bpm flatline heart rate, annoyingly the optical HR on my Garmin has stopped working. Also not sure what that triangle is about, I definitely did not paddle that.

Morning Surfing

Now I’m back at my desk and as much as I’m physically tired my mind is focused. I have that satisfying strange feeling of warmth that comes a few hours after exhausting the body. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it sort of feels like being wrapped in a warm blanket.

I immediately thought of Matt’s post and about how when I was training more seriously I was more focused and more productive despite having less time and was more physically tired.

Part of the reason for cutting back on training for me was so that I could focus more on work to grow the business. But maybe I over adjusted? forgetting that exhausting the body can help with taming the mind. I used to feel guilty about training too many hours that I should have been using to work on the business.

I’m not suggesting you need to train 15, 20 or even 30 hours but I’ve now realized that getting the balance right balance is important.

Physical activity is also an outlet for stress and anxiety, in my opinion the best outlet.

Maybe that warm blanket feeling is actually the absence of stress in the body and mind.

I got half way through writing this and wondered whether I was wasting my time preaching to the converted. Most of you are endurance, health or fitness coaches who already know that the benefits of hard physical training cross over to other parts of our lives.

But maybe some of you like me have been training less with the intention of focusing more on our businesses, families and our personal lives. It makes logical sense that if you spend less time training, you will have more time for everything else, but I think that logic only works to a certain point.

I’m going to make more of a concerted effort from now on to exhaust the body, so I can tame my mind.

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