Today, what with one thing and another — a trip to the grocery store, doing laundry, driving home, seeing some friends, helping some friends move — I didn’t get to my taiji routine until 9:00 pm. An hour and a half later, I’m wired. I’m totally energized by the work I did, the breath I moved around, and the muscles I worked. Halfway through Five Golden Coins, I realized my mistake — this is a morning exercise routine, designed to stretch and wake up the body. Now it’s 10:30 at night, and I’m stretched and woken up, a half-hour before bed. Ooops.
Don’t delay. Your body’s health is your health. You’re not a mind attached to a body, you’re an embodied mind. Working your body at the start of the day helps embody you — helps plant you in the mindset that you are a body in this universe, subject to the universe’s laws: gravity, energy, relativity, cellular operation, age, death. Get up and move that body. Don’t make it an afterthought at the end of the day, when you’re tired, and thinking about bed — exercise will wake you up and make sleeping the last thing you want to do. Make it the day’s priority, instead.
The time you invest in exercise or practice is yours alone. It doesn’t belong to your employer, your clients, your school, your boss, your spouse, your children. It’s time that you’ve set aside — made sacred, really — to the achievement of your goals. Without the energy that comes from exercise and fitness, nothing else is really possible. Make this a priority. Make it happen. Do it with the rising of the sun.
This day will not come again.