Last night I was sitting in cycling class, pedaling away, and I watched a spider crawl down a web from the ceiling. Seriously - this actually happened. I was totally freaked out (especially when I lost track of him and wondered where he was going next...) but it also made me realize that it was probably some sort of metaphor... and that I must have been a bit bored.
I've spent most of my life avoiding any sort of physical exercise, so trust me when I say it is possible to become an athlete after decades of skipping P.E. I used to be so embarrassed by the fact that I was terribly clumsy and out of shape. Well, I'm still a total klutz but I have found workouts I truly enjoy and that's what counts.
A few weeks ago someone asked me if I really enjoy sessions with my personal trainer. YES! It's challenging and at times makes me want to scream/curse/yell obscenities, but I've discovered that I get a thrill out of rising to the occasion. I enjoy it so much, in fact, that I'm thinking about going to the other side. I'd love to be able to change someone's life in the capacity that my trainer has changed mine.
...back to that spider. Even though I am a big proponent of finding and focusing on workouts that you enjoy, I admit that sometimes I get bored. Of course I do! Not every moment of every workout can be exciting, challenging, life-altering. Sometimes, be it your mood, the atmosphere, the class or the instructor can start to feel a bit mediocre for whatever reason. Here are a few ways I forge through a workout when it starts to get a little stale...
I think of things to write about. (Like this post!)
I sing (mouth) along to the song lyrics. Even if I'm not crazy about the song, rocking out spices things up a bit.
I change it up (within reason). Slowing down, speeding up, turning the resistance up or down, challenging myself to a different tempo, pace or weight are all things that help me keep things a little interesting.
I smile. When I used to really struggle with the hand weights series at SoulCycle, I would make myself smile a giant, goofy, toothy smile. (I'm sure the instructors thought I was nuts.) This does a few things: it reminds me to (try to) have fun, it sends out good energy in the world, and by forcing myself to actively keep a smile I'm my face I'm holding myself accountable and staying present in the moment. Try it.
I think about what I'm going to eat afterward. Always a surefire way to get my ass in gear. I may or may not have chosen the workout location last night specifically because of its proximity to Whole Foods.
How do you get through your workouts when you need an extra little push?