My husband and I went running on the river trail again today. We had not gone together in a while; I was surprised by how difficult it was for me to run, breath and talk.
I really wanted to talk with him - we have lots to discuss right now - and I also needed to get out (or a large part of, anyway), my daily 16,000 words with him.* But, I struggled to avoid taking a deep breath after every 2-3 words, which quickly became quite frustrating.
As I ran I realized that my limited ability to talk was due to the fact that I had been running on a treadmill and reading, (much easier than on the trail, pushing the stroller, and talking), and so I was out of shape! I couldn't talk as much as I wanted because I had not been consistent with my exercising.
As I ran, I thought of a correlation. If I am not taking care of myself (eating right, sleeping enough, nourishing myself spiritually, exercising, etc.), with my crazy and stressed life, then I am much less able to reach out to people around me. I am totally self-absorbed. If I am living a balanced life, I can easily notice the needs of people around me and reach out to help them, even if it is only with a kind smile and hello.
*By the way, the claim that women speak about three times more words than men each day is not substantiated by research-based evidence, according to an article on NPR in 2007, (a great article to read), but it sure feels true sometimes.)