Monday, February 29, 2016

Yelling "Argh!" also engages the abdominals

Frustration can be a useful tool.  Not a pleasant one, but useful.  Frustration with how tired we are, or how chubby we look in photos, or how hard it is to run for the bus can motivate us to get started on a fitness program.  The exercise burns away the frustration, reduces stress, and begins to address the problems that were frustrating us.

But there are other kinds of frustration that we can use.  When we get injured and can’t do our usual activities, frustration can help us try something new that we can do.  The frustrating process of rehabilitation can allow us to develop more mindfulness and more precise form so we don’t have to repeat the process after another injury.

Then there is the kind of frustration that comes from other sources entirely, like maybe the kid who takes 45 minutes to put on clean underwear, pants, and a shirt, or the person in the car ahead of you who does not appear to have passed driver’s training, or the family member who left us without toilet paper in the bathroom.  Frustration does generate energy and there is no better way to get rid of it than by taking it out on the treadmill, the weight rack, or the yoga mat.

It’s all fuel.  Use it!

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