Chasing an active lifestyle

You know how sometimes no matter how hard you try, everything you plan just falls apart? Well sometimes, everything you plan just falls together.

Usually when I look at my calendar (the thing I call “the book that runs my life”), it scares me a little bit. It is just chock-full. But earlier this year, I started to schedule my workouts just like I schedule all the other activities that I do: If I write it down in the book that runs my life, it tends to get done. I’m now spending time Sunday evenings plotting out which workouts will fit into my schedule for the coming week. I also do meal planning and preparation on most Sundays.

This past week, that all came together in a glorious success, and it felt so good I’m still riding high.

Despite the fact that I missed one planned activity, Zumba, because I was under the weather with food poisoning, I made it to the gym, made it to a dance class, made it to a weight-lifting and cardio thing called GRIP, and took a hike with my kids and grandkids on Sunday. I’m still sore from all of this activity, and my plan for later today is to hit the gym again.

All of this comes down to planning.

This morning, I ran late as I had my grandson for the morning, as I will on Mondays now that he’s in preschool. My attention was on helping him get ready—and my own routine suffered as a result. But I had some lunches I had prepared earlier in the freezer. I had easy-to-grab snacks of fresh fruit and nuts on hand. I had my protein shake, which only takes a minute to prepare, for breakfast. Having all of that ready to go made it easy to stay on track even though my routine shifted, as it always does.

The best part of all of that was that I really felt like I made a shift to an active lifestyle this past week. Since that’s one of my biggest goals, I’m really excited about that!

If you read my column, you’ll know that this is all part and parcel of the ongoing demolition of my comfort zone, and I had another experience this past week in that regard.

I went back to a dance class at Just For Kix in Moriarty, an adult class offered at 6:15 p.m. on Fridays. It’s designed to be a dance for exercise class, which is one of my favorite ways to get a workout. I had joined a previous class at this dance studio, which I liked. But a combination of my own self-consciousness and my ever-crazy and overbooked schedule prevented me from seeing it through.

The class is led by Natalie Poyner. “Last year I had a lot of requests for an adult exercise class, so I thought why not,” she wrote me in an email. “The class is an exercise-based dance class intended to give you a great workout while dancing and having fun.”

It’s the only adult class the studio offers currently, as it focuses mostly on young dancers starting at age 3. “At Just For Kix we recognize the efforts of all dancers,” Poyner said, and I would have to agree. My efforts are weak at best, and I still can’t for the life of me figure out why I go left when everyone else goes right. But none of that matters in this class.

To sign up for the class, call Poyner at 505-610-1772. The first class is free; thereafter the cost is $33 a month.

I noticed a difference this time around—I’m not going to say that I morphed into a prima ballerina, eager for the spotlight. But my level of comfort in this dance class was noticeably higher than I have ever felt before in this context. Pushing myself beyond what I thought I could do has made it easier to do things I thought I couldn’t do.

In fact, the more I do things I thought I could never do, the more I like it, and the more I feel like chasing that feeling. What else have I been telling myself I can’t do? When can I try it? How can I plan for it? I’m eager to find out.

Do you struggle with your comfort zone? What strategies do you use to move beyond it? Contact me at leota@lobo.net or 505-286-1212, or join the conversation in my Facebook group, “I’m Losing It!” I’d love to hear from you.