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Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


Exercise is touted as one of the best stress relievers. Every article I read has exercise as one of the top recommended outlets to help yourself relax. I run in Central Park 3-4 days a week and it does help me. I get away from work and pressures in my life for a while. But more and more I’ve been wondering:

Why are more and more folks running with electronic devices that aren’t for playing music??

I just don’t get it. People are more stressed than ever. Prescriptions for anti-anxiety drugs are increasing. Yet cell phones and Blackberries and iPhones, etc. are becoming like an extra limb on people. Today I really paid attention and was honestly shocked at seeing person after person run by me in the other direction carrying some electronic device in their hands. I carry a bottle of water! They’re strapped in little cases on their running shorts or poking out of a pocket.

So instead of leaving stress at home for a while, many people bring it with them to run!

It really annoys me. All I have with me is my water and a washcloth to mop my face. While what others do may not seem to be my business, it does affect me. I love a relaxing run. Since I’m an energy person, I can feel how wired many of these electronic runners are. Seeing someone running towards me with a handheld device reminds me of work. It feels unnatural on the running path.

But then there are the exercisers who actually use the devices on the path!

A biker almost sideswiped me when he got lost in a conversation on his phone. He didn’t even use a headset and started swerving as one hand steered while he didn’t miss a beat on the phone. Many on foot talk on the phone. It’s distracting, as they tend to speak louder than if they were talking in person. It also gets confusing if they come up from behind me and I think they’re asking me something. Grrrrr…… Can’t people just run and talk later??!

Then there are the texters. Those are the worst as they look down at the keypad instead of watching where they’re going.

I see them coming towards me. Heads down. Attention on texting, not on looking to see if they might get in someone’s way. I’ve had to do a quick sidestep to avoid bumping into someone who had no idea they were coming toward me. Most are power walking fast. Occasionally someone is running. A lot of stress must be generated by trying to focus on the phone or text pad while doing exercise!

Okay, I admit that I’m very bah humbug about how some people have become obsessed with answering their phones or texting at all times and at almost all costs. The biggest cost can be your health. Everyone needs downtime to refresh your body and soul. If you’re one of these people, reassess your priorities. Everyone needs a real break.

Decide: what’s more important, taking a call or sending a message immediately, all the time, or your own well-being?

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