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Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Use Triathlon To Slow Down

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta writes about how the new experiences of training for a triathlon helped him slow down and enjoy life.

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CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta writes about how the new experiences of training for a triathlon helped him slow down and enjoy life.

As people get older, there is this feeling that time is moving faster than ever. Studies have shown that this feeling is true across cultures all over the world, genders and borders. As a student of the brain, I have been trying to learn why this time-warp feeling is so prevalent.

Of course, time itself is not changing, but it is our perceptions that change a great deal. As a child, days seemed to last forever, and you can probably describe in astonishing detail the first time you drove a car or a childhood summer. It turns out the first time you experience something brand new, the more attention you spend on it. You remember every little detail, and carefully store those details in your memory banks. It is that attention that seems to slow time down, and often make things more enjoyable.

It is also one of the reasons we should always be having new experiences, especially as we get older.

Truth is, I wasn’t thinking about any of this when I signed up to do my first triathlon in 2010. Mostly, I was nervous about a long open water swim, and worried I wouldn’t have the time to squeeze in all the training. My life was about to change in every way imaginable – physically, spiritually and psychologically. Within a few weeks, I started to play the role of an athlete in training. That involved preparing my own meals the day before, making sure my bag of gear was ready and setting the alarm for anywhere between 430 a.m and 530 a.m.

Read more: Thechart.blogs.cnn.com