A few weeks ago I was talking to my favorite spin teacher, Jillian Wright. It was her birthday weekend and she was considering challenging herself to go skydiving. It got me to thinking about how, as we age, we fall into ruts with things. It makes it easier to have a routine, but it also makes it boring and when that happens with exercise, it means our bodies plateau.
Jillian is a great motivator as a teacher. When we were discussing skydiving, I mentioned I had been bungy jumping in Australia when I was still a teenager. (Okay, sit down, I know you are in shock that I’m not still 17!) That rush of blood to the head and adrenalin can really shake up a system. Birthdays are a good stake in the ground to challenge the body to change up what my exercise routine is, and make sure to not be afraid to take risks.
Part of the reason I took a job as Head of Music Video Programming at Yahoo! four months after moving to Brooklyn, which I fell in love with immediately, was challenging myself to take risks. Was I afraid? Didn’t I still have it in me to rise to the challenge? I was working at Vh1 at the time, for only a few months, did I really want to uproot or had I found my job for life? The one that I am happy and challenged in and passion about- that was a really tough decision. Initially I turned down the job at Yahoo! I loved my co-workers and my new job at Vh1. After a few months, Yahoo! poked me again and I had to face reality, I was denying myself growth by not taking a bigger risk.
Jillian took that leap soaring through the air, strapped to a man with the parachute, without one of her own. When I watched the video of her jump it gave me goosebumps. In life, we need to shake off our daily routine, get out of the box and get that heart pumping. Earlier this year I added Zumba (aka Exhaustion to Beyonce!) to my workout routine. It can be hard as it is all about non-verbal cues. Once I let myself completely go and get into it, I have had a much more enjoyable time dancing and gotten a lot better at it.
The body needs, *and I’m not endorsing skydiving for everyone, challenges. It’s great to workout consistently, but even doing that, can lead to a rut. We all need that ‘jerk’ when the parachute hits us, so our course alters slightly and adds a new dimension and challenge. That added challenge is why Cyclesanity spin programs change from week to week, why over a month there is a build-up and concentration on different aspects such as watts creating power, or how much distance your legs will take you. It’s totally amazing that Jillian inspires me inside and outside of the classroom. This was a great reminder to keep challenging myself, not wait for it to be an annual challenge, but take a look seasonally at what is happening and make goals for my body as well as professionally. Now it’s your turn to soar.