Winter has arrived. The last few days have been bitterly cold and to top it off, we have had our first drop of snow of the year as a good few inches has fallen in the last 24 hours. Its beautiful to look at especially in the morning, but for me i detest the cold weather as it unsettles my MS symptoms and generally makes me feel rough. So nice to look at but not for me.
On Tuesday of this week I braved the arctic conditions, wrapped up and set off on my lunchtime 4 mile run along the towpath and the River Lagan in Belfast. I was on my own as usual, which gives me time to de-stress from work and think about life, and solutions to some of the challenges in front of me. After a mile or so i normally stop for a stretch and on Tuesday i decided to pull up at a park bench along the rivers edge. The snow started to come down and it was bitterly cold but stretching is an important part of your exercise program to avoid injury and facilitate recovery. As i raised my head and was looking directly at the bench, clearly someone had been there before as there were two phrases written in black permanent marker, faded slightly but still strong enough for me to make out what the words were. The first words etched on the bench was "THINK POSITIVE" and down on the seated area the second was "Be THANKFUL". I am very much into personal development and over the years quotes have become a huge part of my daily routine. The two mindsets was exactly the medicine i need to take on Tuesday and I'm sure the person who left them there didn't realise the positive impact it could make on someone like me on Tuesday in the middle of a blizzard. So for the rest of this week i have tried to Think Positive and I have also tried to be a lot more thankful for everything thats going on right now, so i am glad i decided to stop at that bench.
Its important in my opinion that everyone takes some time out during the day for themselves. I mean with no distractions, phones, computers, books.... nothing just you and your thoughts. Most people do this through meditation and i have got into it myself this past while but going for a run, walk, taking a rest of some sort is equally as rewarding. Thirty minutes a day to yourself is recommended by many in the medical profession, but the huge problem is that most people simply don't get round to doing this. Its now more important than ever that people look after their wellbeing and start to take it more seriously. It amazes me that people spend more time organising their holidays than organising their personal health and reviewing their wellbeing. The penalty of this can be fatal later on in life, so its important that we all raise more awareness in relation to this.
In my own case i am now training 6 days a week, and i feel that i continue to be in good mental and physical health as a result of my program. Long may it last.