Aching in a Good Way

One of my favorite feelings in the whole world is the day after an intense workout. I tried out this new ab workout a few weeks ago and I spent the following four days feeling like I’d been in a fight. Every month or so I do this sprint workout I learned a long time ago where you do a 40 then a 45 then a 50 then 55, 60, 65…all the way up to a 100 yards at a dead sprint (jogging back and 10-15 seconds of rest per). I did it twice, back to back. The next day I could barely get out of bed. Literally every part of my body ached, including for some reason, my arm pits.

I have a big shipment of books coming from Amazon and I am almost giddy to get to them. To see them in a week strewn about the floor–flagged and torn apart, stained with food and a dirty cover. To crack the spine like it was a person you hated, to conquer it, to absorb it and simultaneously refuel with it.

I like that better than I do the feeling of a lazy Sunday or sleeping in (although both are fantastic). Which only leads me to further believe, as Aristotle did, that happiness is the expression of excellence. And that more than anything, good spirits depend on creating a space in which you can do something that you like as best as you possibly can.

I have so much I want to write. So much to say. So much further to run. So much more to do. So much more to learn. But I suppose that if it didn’t happen, if something happened and made all that impossible, I could shrug it off. Because yesterday, I did everything I fucking could. I was at full capacity.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.