A Walk to Reset

September is always an incredibly stressful time for me. Labor Day comes and goes, and suddenly everything seems to wind up to full speed. For me there is one “wind up” which tend to cause me the greatest personal stress. The immanent arrival of ABCNJ’s Annual Session.

I run the technology for this every year and, while I manage to do a decent job, it is extremely stressful. I work part-time for the region, so my preparation for the event begins in May. As different pieces come in, we continue to adjust the materials until the week prior to the gathering. There is a lot of nail-biting!

The weekend of Annual Session is a whole different kind of stress. During the meeting I’m running two computers, a camera or two, and a switcher — hoping all the while I don’t press the wrong button 1.

I have always spoken about the type of stress I face when passing through busy times as “running hot.” Interestingly enough, I now have some biometric data to correlate with my long-running observation. I’ve been using new “breathe” reminder on the Apple Watch to take a moment to practice Christian Meditation 2. Typically, my heart rate had been between the upper fifties and sixty beats per minute 3. Throughout this entire weekend my deliberately slowed pace was never below 75 bpm. I am literally running hot 4.

Mercifully, Sunday was absolutely stunning. So my neighbor and I spent the better part of the afternoon wandering down by the Delaware River on a photowalk. It was a good way to reset my equilibrium after a stressful, but productive, time.

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  1. This year’s wrong button count was four, which is actually pretty good. But I also forgot to press record for one of the keynote speakers, which bumps my personal grade to a “B.” 
  2. For these short sessions I recite The Jesus Prayer. 
  3. While I’m doing much better getting aerobic exercise since I’ve gotten my Apple Watch, I’m far from being “in shape.” 
  4. But, I also burned a ton of calories, which is nice… I guess.