But if I could offer one piece of advice to incoming freshman, it would be to learn to take care of themselves—because they are about to be surrounded by people who often have the misconception that racking up achievements and accolades is more important than leading a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Should we encourage our children to work hard? Absolutely. But young people need to learn that grit is only effective when coupled with restorative activities like sufficient sleep, exercise, a well-balanced diet, meditation, walks in nature, and time off. Research shows that these basic yet essential self-care habits result in greater focus and productivity, not to mention increased creativity, better decision-making, and stronger emotional intelligence.
Yesterday I ran at a running event called Round the Bays. According to their website, it is one of the world’s largest fun runs and New Zealand’s largest mass participation sporting event. It is a 8.4km walk / jog / run from the city along the waterfront to St Heliers Bay, one of the rich suburbs.
My employer paid the participation fee and gave a nice bright orange tee shirt. This is not the only reason I ran though. I wanted to experience how it is like running among thousands of people wearing a bib. And I wanted to see where I stand among some of my super fit coworkers.
I did not practice specifically for this event. I run a 5k every Sunday. So this is my weekly run, just in the different part of the city, with thousands of other runners.
I ran 8.47 km non-stop in 39:42, my best. I stood at 13 among 187 coworkers and 635 overall among 19,619 participants. I’m pleased with my time and ranking.
Now what? a half-marathon? marathon? Nothing. I am not getting carried away by this result. Keeping my weekly tiny 5-8k running routine is important to me than any grand goals.
My new year is warming up. I started, rather continuing, work on my goals. My exercising routine resumed this week after a two-week holiday break. I started drinking protein after my workouts. I had a great lower body workout this afternoon. My trainer kept it relatively easy so all of us finished all the reps ahead of time. However, at the end he challenged me to swing 32 kg kettle-bell non-stop for fifty times. I tried, but gave up after twenty swings. So he asked me to complete two more sets of twenty swings, breaks allowed. I was able to do all of them with a good form. So that’s sixty swings with a break after every twenty. Still pretty good.