I like the morning – up early, small breakfast, coffee, morning news and off to the health club. I sit outside at 5:10 a.m., checking my email and waiting for the club to open. I fire up a podcast or start listening to a book and suddenly my mind is racing around dozens of ideas and concepts – some new, but many familiar – like a good friend you’ve almost forgotten, but are happy to see again.
Before I know it, the 36 minutes on the StairMaster are over. Where did the time go? Once again I trick my body during what might be an activity that is boring beyond endurance by sending my brain on a wonderful excursion through a great author’s thoughts.
Great thought and exercise are old friends. My late father-in-law, John McDiarmid, spent time at the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey. My wife, just a little girl at the time, remembers the professors walking all over the town. Her mother explained that it helped them think. With iPods, iPhones and every other MP3 player available we can listen to the great and inspiring thought of others while we burn off calories and pump up our pecs. What a deal!
Right now I’m listening to Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. I read it decades ago, but I’m being challenged and stimulated to new ideas, action steps and excitement and hope for the future. At 80 minutes into my workout I feel great, both physically and mentally. I’ve stopped several times between sets and reps to email myself an idea that bubbled to the surface while listening to wonderful smart people read their inspiring words to me.
So, load up your MP3 player with a couple of great books: The E-Myth Revisited by Gerber. Personal Accountability by Miller or II Corinthians by Paul and stomp your local StairMaster into submission. Everybody wins.