Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” To paraphrase, “Most modern men adapt to frustration and its resulting mental and physical stress.” We are surrounded by frustration—with our government, with our daily “adjustments” to the ebb and flow of life—and we adapt, but not without cost.
Frustration causes stress. Modern stress is unrelenting in its nature and is not natural in an evolutionary sense. We evolved to have a mechanism that deals only with short-term stress—flight or fight. Long-term frustration and stress cannot be eliminated but may be reduced by careful control of our minds and emotions. Stress can be an indispensable part of getting anything done. The goal is to use your stress wisely and also to decompress from it through your workout.
For most of us the workout is the most challenging thing we do and also the most rewarding. Since we are in complete control of the workout—its intensity, duration, and makeup—the process and the execution become the antidote to the negative aspects of stress. This intensely personal time is at our core; everything else we do depends on our physical and mental strength, and the workout is where it all starts.