We held our breath as the guard shined a light on the small windows right above our heads. We had closed the doors to four old confessionals just in time to avoid being seen. It was close, and now we were all hidden in our own little rooms under the centuries-old church. Fortunately, we had heard the footsteps and were able to collect our tools before accidentally leaving evidence of our intrusion. Once the guard passed, we quickly and quietly came back out and set to work on hacking the sophisticated computer that would allow us to get closer to our goal of breaking into a hidden vault below the old church. But the computer was only one of the technical obstacles in our way. The room suddenly filled with crisscrossing laser beams. Our only way through was a loose vent and a willing volunteer to navigate the maze of a crawlspace. Luckily, the physical exertion hadn’t taken away all our wits. The most amazing prize was within our grasp!
As we’ve learned in our many experiences, keeping a sharp mind that can focus and adapt to new experiences (or even routine tasks) is just as much a physical effort as a mental one. As we get physically tired, from crawling through mazes or making it through a long day, our minds start to compete with the rest of the body for energy. As we get physically or emotionally exhausted our minds, don’t work the same way. And, even when we don’t need to have a sharp mind, fitness helps us keep our energy levels up for extended periods. Fitness, both physical and mental, requires a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and practice. And conversely, the benefits of physical and mental fitness translate into an improved lifestyle, increase productivity, and extended energy levels (even if you aren’t breaking into vaults).