Richard Branson said in an interview that the one trait or behaviour that has made him successful was a commitment to daily exercise. At first glance, I found this nonsensical, but as I have made my own commitment to daily exercise, I have gained a larger appreciation for what he mean’t. Exercise behaves like a keystone habit, if you can get it right, everything else falls into place a little better.

The first thing I noticed is that I got over my fair-weather runner tendencies. I have during beautiful sunny days and during thunderstorms, I did not let the weather (circumstance) prevent me from getting my workout in. The sense of accomplishment I get from this, and from building a streak of days when I have run has been tremendously motivating. Given that I do my runs in the morning, it the energy I get post-run fuels me for the rest of the day. I feel like I could do anything, and I often do.

Alongside the energy, I live off the endorphin-fuelled runners high that never fails to brighten the outlook of my day. Even if I were to accomplish nothing else that day, I will go fall asleep satisfied that I made no excuses completed my exercise for that day. That, however, is a rare exception. What has happened more often than not is that I dive straight into the rest of my morning routine which involves some journalling, writing, and meditation. This then sparks what I’ll do for the rest of my day.

I don’t know that I’ll be starting multi-billion dollar empires anytime soon, but I am grateful to be able to finally understand why so many people I admire prioritise working out. Even though I have listened to its benefits from others a million times over, lived experience turns out to be the most impactful teacher.


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