Last night I arrived late to my cardio kickboxing class and found that we had a substitute instructor. No big deal. She had subbed before and led us in a similar routine to our normal one. This time, however, I noticed she had some large index cards spread out in front of her on the floor and a big stopwatch around her neck. Hmmm…
I made it in time for the last warmup stretch and then everything changed from the norm. The whole class was interval training—90 seconds of a particular movement (squat, sidekick, punch, etc.) and 15 seconds rest. It ended up being a great workout, but I noticed my resistance to even a simple, non-threatening change in exercise routine. That led me to a few thoughts about change and the benefits of embracing it.
Abandon the Rut
I thrive on routine. Knowing what to expect and executing the same actions results in better performance, whether in exercise class or my business. But routine can eventually lead to complacency, boredom and a “that’s how I’ve always done it” mentality.
With physical exercise, we know the benefits of cross training and using different movements to strengthen our bodies. We may discover muscles we never knew we had! The same proves true in life. Change forces us out of normal routines and into new ways of thinking. Getting out of the rut stimulates new ideas and possibilities, not to mention more effective strategies. We just may discover strengths and abilities we didn’t know we had.
Shatter Old Limitations
Routines trick us into thinking we can only go so far. We draw lines in the sand—limitations around our abilities and capabilities. My initial resistance to a different instructor and format was because I wasn’t sure if I could physically do what the class required. The other routine was safe because I knew I could do it.
But as I learned last night, change helps us break through those limitations and reminds us that oftentimes much more is possible than we think or imagine. Not only did I make it through class, but found it easier than the normal one!