Friday, June 22, 2007

physical and mental exercise

i've come to really understand that the brain is just like a muscle. you have to constantly use it to keep it in shape. there will be times when you have to prepare for something...a tournament, an interview, a test, a marathon, etc. and if you haven't exercised hurts.

my body was so sore this morning because i had started "working out" again. this isn't even tournament season workout. it was a couple of sprint drills on tuesday, kicking paddles on wednesday and monday. and there i was waking up at 9:30 and feeling like i got two hours of sleep after getting hit by a truck.

i suddenly realized today that it's the same thing when it comes to mental exercises. they tell you in college that you can't really cram. it's not really effective...maybe it's like carboloading and basically sucking it up for some strenuous exercise, after which you are completely spent. and the alternative to that is to train consistently, whether it's doing exercise every day, or continuing to learn every day.

the difference is that it's easy to force your body to do something, like run for 30 minutes. and even if you can't...if you just do it straight for 3 weeks there will be a marked and inarguable improvement. but with the brain. you can't just go outside and start doing mental jogging. it's like when you just leave college, you know all the (mental) jogging trails. as time passes, those trails get grown over with weeds, shrubs, greenery, and soon you're left in a little open field where the boundaries are clearly defined, but you're not sure how to explore past the treeline. so you have to bust out a machete.

sometimes i look back at my MIT classes and only now can i really appreciate their magnitude.

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