By Mark Briggs

y mom was diligently working in the kitchen when I marched into her space with a chip the size of Texas on my teenage shoulder. A mom has a way of “knowing” things. Before I could speak a word, her right hand shot up and out. Her flat palm projected toward me with that universal sign - STOP! And, of course, I did! It was either comply or die at our house. Then she delivered the best advice I would ever learn. She said, “You need some fresh air!”

With those words bouncing within the walls of my brain I found myself lost in the open space of our humble family farm. Surprisingly, every breath of air assisted me in thinking clearly. It prevented me from saying or doing something I shouldn’t.


I’m reminded that fresh air is imperative to live every time I ascend the heights of Glacier National Park or simply walk down my driveway. We all continuously need this precious life-giving source.


Fresh air clears the head. It’s a proven fact that an increased heart rate, expanded lungs, and plenty of oxygen help your thinking. The next time you go to the gym notice how you, as well as some of your otherwise normally quiet friends, become more articulate communicators. Humans simply process better with good airflow.


Fresh air opens the heart. By an open heart, I mean one that can be less inhibited and more inhabited. Some might call it more vulnerable. That’s okay! Although the heart can be deceptive, it is the most honest part of you. With fresh air, your heart can guide you to optimal creativity.


Fresh air increases capacity. Think about it, in order to take a breath your lungs must expand. Lungs are not the only things that enlarge. Your capacity to think, process, problem solve, and even your capacity to love increases one hundredfold. This means the premise from which you give grows as well. This translates into everyone with whom you come in contact grows as well. Increased capacity means: you grow, they grow.


How did my mom know that something as simple as fresh air could make such a big difference? It’s simple. Fresh air is the essence of life! In the records of Genesis from the Bible, “God formed man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The man came alive — a living soul!” Gen. 2:7 MSG


You have been custom designed to play that tennis match, walk your block, run that 5K, or if you’re so inclined, a marathon. Fresh air, it’s magic! It clears the head, opens the heart, and increases your capacity. Go get yourself some!