The Right Amount of Stress

Today is my 32nd birthday. When I woke up I found my mom had bought me a subscription to Paleo Magazine for my birthday. She knows that when I’m doing my bike training I try to eat Paleo as much as possible. Mainly because it makes me feel good.

Sure, it helps me trim up for those long climbs on my mountain bike. But I also like the discipline it requires.

I have always been a disciplined person. I studied hard in school. I trained hard for football in high school. When I got to college I went to the gym almost every day. I was a music major and practiced my classical guitar for 2-3 hours every day in my dorm room.

An article in the Feb/March 2017 issue of Paleo Magazine talked about stress. Namely that prolonged exposure to subtle increases in stress is good.

“All of your body’s systems respond and adapt to stresses, becoming stronger with time. As we are progressively exposed to reasonable amounts of acute stresses, we become better and more efficient at managing and overcoming the strain. On the other hand, chronic stress can break you down, and stress that’s too great can permanently damage or destroy you.”

Running a business is hard. Being a husband and father is hard. Being disciplined is hard.

I have come close to breaking down a few times in the past. I let the stress get too great.

But I have also had periods of life where the stress is just enough to help me grow stronger without breaking me down.

I think its a constant struggle, finding the balance somewhere in the middle.

And sure, we go through seasons of life where the stress scale tips further to one side than the other. (Right now I have a 16 month old, with another on the way!). However, the ideal I’m always trying to reach is just the right amount of stress. Not too much and not too little.

Too much and I burn out, too little and I never grow. I want to experience reasonable amounts of stress so that I can become more efficient at managing and overcoming it.

I think that’s a good place to be.

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