Variation and Rewards
By Bobby McCullough
It was a little over a year ago that I decided to get proactive about my health and integrate exercise into my daily life. As someone who was aiming to be mentally healthier, I recognized that improving my physical health would be a crucial part of the solution.
With all the traveling that I do, I initially had concerns about whether I would be able to maintain any kind of exercise schedule. As it turns out, I found that the inconsistencies in my whereabouts and schedule could actually help keep things interesting!
First and foremost, I have had some of the most amazingly scenic runs while on the road: on the trails of Redwood National Forest, in the mountains of Colorado and through the urban landscapes of cities like San Francisco and Seattle.
When I toured last summer, I also used running as a way to explore the small towns that we tour through. I would wake up early on Saturdays to shop at the local farmers markets or I would find some interesting local stores I wanted to visit and base my run around them. I also get to visit so many different gyms and yoga studios, the change of atmosphere is something I now look forward to.
On this past tour with Benyaro, I went to about 15-20 different yoga studios, took a variety of types of classes and practiced with all kinds of people. With all these variables, exercising on the road becomes more fun and interesting. Also, between meeting people after the band’s performances and meeting people the next day at markets, stores and yoga classes, I feel like I haven’t just seen a town but have been able to get small sense of the community there.
The other focus that has kept me going for the last year is creating rewards for myself. The first thing I focused on was how great it felt after exercising in the morning and feeling like I had earned my breakfast.
When I first started, my goal was just to “do something” before breakfast—simple. Whether it was a short jog, some weightlifting or a yoga class, I would find something to do before I ate breakfast.
I love feeling like I have earned my food that day and also enjoy the feeling of actually being hungry, not just eating out of habit. Also, if I exercise at some point during the day, I feel like I can go out and not have to be as cautious about how much I eat or if I have too much dessert, because I have earned it. I’ve found that it’s amazing how much you can eat when you exercise regularly!
Focusing on rewarding myself enjoying the rewards that naturally come from exercising are what fuel my motivation to keep moving.
Bobby McCullough is a touring musician living in NYC, who has recently refocused much of his energy on healthy and happy living.