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KGB VOL 6: “Health is wealth.”

It’s a cliché, but it’s absolutely true. 

Wealth is something that has many layers to it and it’s something I am most certainly not qualified to speak upon, so take this analogy for what it’s worth. 

The pursuit of financial freedom requires a daily grind that puts money in your pocket regularly. The long game requires generating income in both short- and long-term investments.

But, what are you “investing” in your health? Take a quick scan of the internet and you can find estimates of prices of all the fancy things that top athletes spend their money on. They invest heavily in their daily grind with tools and tricks to get them from one competition to the next. Adding people to the performance team not only provides an elite service but helps with accountability and deflects unneeded stress to maximize the short term. 

One of the health/fitness “investments” that is discussed far less falls in the category of the long-term stuff. I am not talking about surgeries or magic potions. I am talking about how top performers truly relax, clear their minds, and fully recharge.

In my experience, true relaxation and a clear mind go hand in hand. I think it is difficult to find one without the other. Having a clear mind does not indicate a brain that is empty of thought, but more a mind that is present, in the moment, and calm. Simply absorbing what is coming in. 

This is the difference between a “trip” and a “vacation.” A trip is short with a focused destination. You are looking to experience what that destination holds and you want to make the most of your time. Like a massage, a visit to a body worker, or a chat with a mental health coach, time is still part of the equation and regulates the depth and volume of that experience. 

Vacation, on the other hand, is essentially timeless. The events of the day are inconsequential because the day is just the day and time is not pulling on your emotions. Vacation has little intention to it and it allows for the delights of whimsy and creativity.

If you are “present” in any situation, you can do what it is that your body and mind are directing you to do. At times you may need to quiet one or both of these sounds, but at other times you might embrace the noise and drift into deep thought or just get up and move. 

This, to me, is the definition of “unplugging” and truly being present. For most people in nearly any line of work, this is difficult. It may require an actual destination-based vacation, or you may find peace at home if the element of time has been removed. There are no road maps to attaining this type of feeling, but getting there is valuable.

Actively and intentionally managing stress is something that is becoming a larger part of the performance tree. Athletes who are both physically and mentally recovered perform better for longer. Here is the rub: not all recovery investments are created equal. Finding your long-term physical investment strategies takes time and discovery. The approach will evolve over time, and change with the seasons of your life. 

This type of investment is not something that needs to happen every month or every year for that matter. Searching for this type of relaxation is about the journey and understanding what core principles regulate what you personally perceive to be relaxation. If you are lucky, it might hit you in the moment. Notice and name it; what was it about that moment that allowed you to achieve such peace? If you can put your finger on it, grab that and hold onto it for your next experience. If you are not so lucky you may need to be more intentional in your search. 

Believe it or not, the human body is sensitive to “energy”, a nebulous element that can empower us or break us down. The people and environments you surround yourself with will impact your ability to let your guard down physically and emotionally. This type of understanding can only be experienced; you won’t know it until you broaden your thinking and really give attention to your mental and emotional states in a variety of settings.

“Finding your grind” is an essential mantra of Propel HP…the daily grind, the yearly grind, and beyond. It is a search for excellence and balance but, above all, it is a search for consistency. Having a good understanding of what elements are required for you to really relax is essential. 

Take your moments to dig in and work hard to achieve something great. Rest as needed to continue that push, but never lose sight of the big recharge and how essential it is to be absolutely in the moment even if it requires a specific set of conditions and only comes around periodically.  

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