But for some there’s an increasing trend to take all that hurt, anger, pain and general pissed-off-ness and turn it into a positive by getting physically fitter, stronger and more wonderful than ever before – cue the rise of breakup fitness.
Trauma it seems can be make or break, and for those in the headspace to find it, fitness seems to be the making of them. You hear a lot about people who post breakup do marathons, triathlons, or generally seem to use it as an opportunity to have a total life overhaul.
Men’s Fitness reports on the healing powers of going to the gym ‘go to the gym’ they say ‘twice a day if necessary… get your aggression out in a healthy way’. Reddit asked the question ‘does anyone feel a breakup/ex make you push harder during a workout?’ and had nearly 300 responses generally confirming that it was the best solution to getting over an ex, and the New York Times featured Brant Eastwood, the man whose divorce motivated him to run the Boston Marathon in a cracking PB of 3 hours, 1 minute, 17 seconds.
According to Trent Petrie, director of the University of North Texas Center for Sport Psychology, the people who take the fitness option to overcoming a breakup “are better at compartmentalizing or utilizing some of the energy that surrounds the emotions they’re experiencing — maybe it’s anger, maybe it’s sadness — and channeling that into another venue or arena.”
Interestingly, the article in the New York Times points out that while breakups feel like one massive trauma, they are often the result of an ongoing series of little traumas, which have a structural and functional impact on the brain. Dr. Yeager of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center commented that the way to release those tensions (many of which you probably don’t realize are there) is using movement – kind of like using adrenaline to drive you to win at the start of a race.
The natural inclination when you’re stressed and low is to hide away, but “that facilitates negative moods,” said Jasper Smits, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
As one newly single mum who found that seven half marathons was the key to getting through her divorce, commented in the same article: “If I had time to sit and think about it, I probably wouldn’t have made it through that time… running gave me something to focus on that was positive.”
Well how wonderful is that!?
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.