What started out as a great idea, ended with me questioning what is up today with Sydneysiders! I had a quiet morning; no meetings, no urgent deadlines so I decided to treat myself with a trip to the beach. It was a great opportunity to relax, recharge and cool off! I am a big advocate of taking time out to be more productive in the long run, so finding time in my schedule to allow for this is a priority. At that time of day, the peak traffic was just warming up, so a 6km drive became a 25 minute battle just to get there. During this time, I encountered so many angry people I really started regretting my decision. Who knew you could get so frustrated by such trivial things as someone wanting to change lanes?  Finally, I arrived, parked and was ready to hit the coastal walk to the beachfront.  Upon exiting the car my ears were assaulted with the angry shouts between warring neighbours across their balconies, a guy randomly swearing at a garbage bin (that’s the downside of taking drugs, kids) and a couple who couldn’t decide who should hold the dog leash! Yep, seriously.  The worst of this, it was all taking place in front of arguably one of the most picturesque backdrops in the world –Sydney’s gorgeous eastern suburbs beaches.  On the flip side, my walk and swim were great and achieved what I set out to do ….. until it was time to hit the road again. My drive back featured just as many aggressive drivers and impatient people with no consideration for others. I was feeling really revved up myself until I stopped at the next set of traffic lights. I briefly looked out my driver’s window and made eye contact with the person in the opposite lane. He smiled at me! J It was such a cute gesture; that it made all the tension fade away and slightly restore my faith in humankind. The thing is, we are all human; with feelings, fear, anxiety, stress and hope. It’s amazing what one kind word or look can do. If only we could all take that step back and recognise this obvious point and actually put it into practice. Instead of reacting to the negative anger out there in life and perpetuating it, stop and realise we don’t always know what is behind people’s actions – give the benefit of the doubt more often and randomly smile at a stranger – believe me, it’s great to be on the receiving end!

I truly believe this is one of the most powerful benefits of great training. It leaves participants feeling refreshed and motivated. Obviously, without the chance to recharge our batteries, we become staid and frustrated, taking our stress out on others.  People are just nicer and nicer to be around when they get the opportunity to step out of the day to day (treadmill). Oh and more productive!