“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Fourth R

It is commonly held that there are Three Rs that all children need to learn (even though, confusingly, only one of them actually starts with the letter R!): Reading, Writing and [A]rithmetic.

And I agree, these are essential life skills. Being able to read, write and do basic maths are important skills for coping with life in our complex 21st century world. And I, personally, find both reading and writing immensely pleasurable, and know that my life would be much diminished without them.

But I would add a Fourth R: Running (or any kind of physical exercise of the person's choice). Because I also believe that in order to be happy and fulfilled, we need to look after our bodies as well as our minds. I go for a relatively short (20-30 minutes) run three times a week, and for one or two two-mile walks every day (one with a friend in the morning, one with my other half in the evening). And the feeling of physical well-being from doing this modest amount of exercise is huge! Especially the running - when I get back from a run I feel euphoric and satisfied and at peace. No drugs involved!

If I could wave a magic wand, I would wish for everyone to be able to find a form of physical exercise that they enjoyed, and that they could stick to doing long term, because I have experienced directly how much running (and being out in nature on my walks) feeds my spirit. And that is so precious. 

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