Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lessons from the Rooftop Garage

Yesterday morning, we did a different sort of boot camp class. 

You may be saying, "Boot camp?  When did you join the military?"

No, I'm still going to my little gym that's connected to a hospital, the little gym that began life as a cardiac rehab unit.  One of the classes is a boot camp style class, where we have an interesting circuit course.  Each week is different.  Some classes are lots of weight work, while others have more cardio.  Some classes are equipment intensive, and others are not.  I like the variety.

Yesterday morning at 6:10 I arrived to a room with nothing set up.  My first thought:  "Oh, dear, I've come on the wrong morning."

But no, our instructor had decided to mix things up a bit.  He'd been doing elaborate room set ups, with obstacle courses for us to walk between and/or over often holding weights.  It required much in the way of set up and take down.  Yesterday he simplified.

We grabbed a stretchy band and went to the 7th floor of the parking garage, which at 6:15 was deserted.  And from there we were able to do some sprinting, to do some lunge walks, to exercise our arms in a variety of ways, and to repeat.  And of course, there were stairs on both ends of the work out, and some ab work and stretching once we returned to the classroom at the end of class.

Sure, it was a bit more humid than I like, with a threat of rain.  But it was great to change our perspective.  We worked out our arms facing the beautiful lights of downtown Ft. Lauderdale, which was still lit up because it was dark when we started.  We watched the light slowly break through from the sun about to rise in the east.  As we faced west, we could see the morning commuting traffic building.

It was great to change our scenery.  It was interesting to have a different routine to try.  It was wonderful to remember that we don't need fancy equipment or complicated courses to have a good work out:  just a stretchy band and our bodies.

As always, I started thinking about how these lessons from a morning work out apply other places.  In our writing, in our work, in our reading, and even in our relationships, it's probably good to change the scenery (if not necessarily the projects and the partners), to get out of our routines (especially if they're ruts), and to remember that the simpler approach will work just fine.

How could we experiment with these simple realizations?  Let me count some of the ways:

--We could try creating in a different place or a different time of day.  We could experiment with a new medium or genre.

--We could send out our work to a place we've never tried before.  We could apply for a grant.

--We could write something much shorter than what we usually write.

--We could reconnect with an old friend.

--We could plan a trip to a different place, even if it might be years before we could go there.

--We could take a class.

--We could read a different kind of book.

--We could take on different job responsibilities.  We could volunteer somewhere new.

--We could say no to invitations.  Or say yes.  Or say, "Let me check my calendar and get back to you."

--We could jog around a rooftop garage near sunrise.

--We could chart the path of the moon.

--We could remember what we used to love to do.  And then we could do that.

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