Is there new cheese in the Pilates studio?
|Source: tumblr.com via Christine on Pinterest|
I don't often feel inspired when reading books to my 6-year-old son. However, one of his favorite books, which I've read ad nauseum in a race to log hours for the summer reading club, has truly inspired. That's a pretty tall order for a children's book.
The book is called Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD and Christian Johnson. This book is the children's version of the bestselling business book by the same title. (I consider it the lazy girl's Cliff's Notes, which suits me just fine, as it allows me to cross off a book from my very long list of must-reads). In the book, two mice by the names of Sniff and Scurry, along with two people who fear change, Hem and Haw, are forced to find new cheese one day when they find the cheese they'd been enjoying is gone. It follows the characters and documents what happens when one approaches change with an open attitude as opposed to a fearful and grudging one.
The characters' search for cheese got me thinking about one's approach to exercise, which is often complex and difficult to maintain. I talk to many people who approach exercise grudgingly, as Hem and Haw approach finding new cheese. They stick with the same routine even though they hate it, they are bored to death, and it is, sometimes, even leading to injury. Why? Trying a different routine is scary and unknown. The old is safe. (You lost 15 pounds when you started running and fear you'll put the pounds back on if you stop. So you'll just power through, no matter what).
If you are struggling to get your exercise in, perhaps you need to shake it up a bit. Here's why: even though change can be difficult, it is invigorating. It is exciting. It leads to growth, and it feels good. Isn't this what exercise is supposed to do?
So brush away the doubt that has been holding you back. Go find your new cheese. Don't let Pilates intimidate you. Don't assume you aren't flexible enough for yoga. Don't tell yourself you are uncoordinated and can't try Zumba. Don't let fear hold you back if you always wanted to rock climb. Your new routine may well be better than the last. It may be better for your body. It may condition your body more effectively. It may be more mentally stimulating. Go find out.