It’s hard to be stuck in a rut, lacking the motivation you need to do the things you know you want to do, and not knowing how to get beyond this predicament. It’s a feeling most people experience to varying degrees. Sometimes for me it’s merely a temporary absence of motivation that can be overcome by reading a chapter in a book, or listening to some music, or simply forcing myself to sit down and get to work. Other times, it can be a more deeply embedded problem that requires a more involved solution. It is at these times that I leave my apartment, find a hill somewhere, and run to the top. It does the trick almost every time.

When we race to the top of a hill, on the basest physical level we are increasing our heart rates, ramping up the adrenaline in our bodies, and sending into overdrive a release of endorphins and other chemicals that directly contribute to our emotional states in a positive way. It is this act of kicking ourselves in our asses, so to speak, that will serve to rescue us from the artificial, emotionally draining predicament that we’ve found ourselves in.

There is also a psychologically positive aspect of getting to the top of the hill that gives us a sense of accomplishment and allows us to experience, on a physical level, the notion that we are capable of following through with a task to its completion. Such feelings would obviously allow a spirit of productivity to wash over our beings, enveloping over us the motivation that we previously lacked.

Before we descend too deeply into pure metaphor, let us make our ascent up the slope of discovery and perhaps learn something new about going up hills that we did not know before. While a hill may represent for us an obstacle, something to be overcome, it is first and foremost a heap of dirt, rocks, minerals, perhaps some artifacts from the past, bugs, burrowing rodents, grass and trees, maybe some wildflowers; or perhaps, it is pavement, cars, concrete, pipes dug deep below the street, and of course, artifacts from the past.

(this essay can be read in its entirety in my collection Amusing My Selves – Essays & Observations: 2014-2015 which is available as an e-book on the Kindle store)


It’s Not Too Steep To Climb: Why You Should Go Outside, Right Now, And Run Up A Hill

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