Flee zombies, find zen


My zen journey was born while seeking meaning, enlightenment, peace and joy during a time when I found it difficult to even breathe. Not too long ago, I lost my family, my house, my 14-year-old dog and my 17-year-old cat. It was the darkest time of my life. Although I began the healing process by retreating to the ocean, a place of peace for me, I began to regain my sanity through exercise.

My non-gym-rat self journeyed to the gym almost every day for well over a year. I ran on the treadmill, rowed or swam until I no longer felt like crying or screaming. Sometimes, this meant 30 minutes of sweat. Other days, it meant hours of utter exhaustion, pushing my body to a point where I could hardly shuffle back to my car. I admit, these were extreme measures to deal with circumstances I had never even imagined. Although I would never recommend this course of action, I’m confident running from and through my grief kept me alive.

Outside of extreme circumstances, such as grief, determination to fit into the perfect wedding attire or preparation for the old 20-year class reunion, exercise can fall to the wayside for some. With tons of studies out there repeatedly telling us the benefits of exercise — how it wards off disease, depression and extra weight, how it elevates moods and promotes better sleep and how it can even put a little extra oo la la into a heated romp — why do we do we put it at the bottom of our to-do list? We skip it because cross training’s not fun or because hot yoga doesn’t feel good because it’s just so damn hot.

So here’s your challenge for the week: Just move, do what feels good, what’s fun. If you love to dance, get down and shake it like a saltshaker while you’re making dinner or take it out of the kitchen and sign up for that sizzling salsa class down the road. Follow what inspires you. Hike a trail filled with flowers and sunshine to feed your soul, take a trapeze class or do somersaults out in the park with your daughter.

I don’t want to see you get caught up in pounds and inches unless that’s a very positive motivation for you. I do want to see you focus on physical bliss, joy of movement and your body’s capabilities. Instead of dwelling on a single trouble area, consider taking a moment to be grateful for your legs that move you, your arms that sway you and those magical fingers that can hold that jump rope when it’s not your turn to Double Dutch.

What I’ve been doing lately? Recently, I’ve found myself working from home less and being tethered to a desk more. I’ve since begun to fall out of my gym habit, which I had previously found enjoyable. So after months of being stagnant (I won’t tell you how many), I decided I wanted to have some fun. I downloaded the Zombies, Run! App. Not only am I running on a regular basis, but I’m also looking forward to it. These words never crossed my lips before this app. I look forward to the action unfolding, the clues coming in, my playlist matching the rhythm of my footfalls and escaping the “zombies” that are surprising fast at times, not at all like the old movies I remember.

Whether you’re seeking answers or depth or want a longer life filled with moments of breathing in the wild air, take a step and simply move. As always, I invite you to take what you need, share your wisdom and let your light shine. You can do this in the comment section, connect with me on Facebook or give a shout out on Twitter. It’s your time to shine. Now, go rock that body.

Miki Markovich is a seeker of beauty and truth, traveler of interesting roads, saver of furry souls, typer of words, iPhone lover and mac head. You can find her on Twitter at @mikimarkovich and @fiveminutezen. If you’re looking to go from pissed to blissed in five minutes flat, find balance or improve the quality of your life through self care, check out her website at fiveminutezen.com.

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