36: today i briefly emerged from my comfort zone

Last night I sleepily rambled on about being frustrated and uninspired.

While I’m no stranger to feeling down in the dumps, I’ve decided that I really don’t want this blog to be where I take out my personal frustrations on the world. There’s enough negativity going around online, and I’d like to contribute to the digital conversation in a more positive way.

So, rather than mope around about my lack of inspiration, allow me to present a solution.

When you’re stuck in a rut, change something.

It doesn’t have to be huge. Or even big. Or significant in any way.

I spent today, once again, rather bored at the office. My job isn’t bad – I enjoy the people, and it’s pretty laid back. But the work isn’t difficult, nor is it particularly intellectually stimulating.

When I got home, I was prepared to do a short workout and then try to do something creative to wake up my mind and put me into the writing mindset. I was going to keep it incredibly brief, as my time is valuable.

As I was unpacking my bag, I heard my parents talking in the hallway. My ma mentioned that she was off to the gym soon to teach class.

Now for about a decade, my mother has been a spin instructor. For you non-fitness types, spinning is like riding a bike without going anywhere. It involves EDM music, yelling, and profuse amounts of sweat.

And for the past decade, I have refused to participate. I was convinced I would hate it.

“I don’t like working out in groups” was my go-to excuse. And in general, I don’t prefer to have other people around when I’m lifting weights, with the exception of maybe a couple close friends.

But today, for whatever reason, I decided it was time to try something new.

I’m not in terrific shape, but my ma told me not to worry and to just keep up as best I could.

“Just keep pedaling.” Simple enough.

When we arrived, there were only 2 other people in the class – both older, both friendly. I adjusted my bike, and the music started pumping. My legs quickly went from feeling terrific to totally burning.

But I kept pedaling, song after song. Position after position. Through higher magnetic resistance and lower.

I have always greatly respected my mother for what she does. As an instructor, she’s committed to learning these workouts and then doing them class after class.

And they’re tough as hell. As a beginner, the most I could do after a few songs was just pedal slowly and try my best not to quit. My respect was justified.

And I didn’t quit. I’m proud of myself. And I feel much better now than I know I would have had I resigned to the wimpy little 15-minute ab workout I had originally planned for myself.

I found that being in a room full of people, and being shouted at by my mother to keep going, helped me push myself for the nearly hour-long class. I would definitely give it another go, and recommend it to anyone.

Anyway, the moral here is that I tried something new. After 10 years, I ditched the excuses and allowed myself to take a risk.

Because what I was afraid of was failing. I was convinced that there was no way I could keep up, that I wouldn’t be able to handle the class.

But, as it turns out, I was right. I absolutely couldn’t keep up. But nobody cared, and it still felt great to do.

I added some excitement to my usual boring routine, and my mood was boosted significantly.

I hope you all find some cool new thing to try soon, too.


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