A few years ago, I read an Outside Magazine profile of Danielle Fisher, the youngest person ever to climb the Seven Summits, the highest peak on each continent. In the profile, Fisher talks about how mountaineering has helped hone her focus and lessen the effects of her attention-deficit disorder.
“Increasingly, who I am on the mountain is who I am in the rest of my life,” she told Outside.
A Washington Post story last week about group exercise instructors who have high-powered day jobs, from a lawyer who teaches spin classes to a Zumba teacher who also serves as executive director of a business improvement district, drove the same point home: The skills and confidence you gain during your workouts can translate to improvements in every area of your life.
Running, swimming, skiing and lifting all remind me that I can be fierce and strong, and sharpen my own focus in a way that improves my writing and other daily interactions (thanks to Haruki Murakami for this revelation!). Like Fisher, increasingly, who I am on the trails, in the pool or on the slopes is who I am in the rest of my life, which is reason enough to motivate me to get out the door most days.
Who are you on the mountain—or in a marathon, or in an open-water swim? How does that translate to the rest of your life?