Every summer, my routine is destroyed. It used to be that the school schedule that dominated my and my kids’ lives would go away. Now that the kids are grown, summer still means my routine goes out the window, but now I try and use that destruction.
When I’m struggling with my routine, especially when it comes to health and fitness, I always look for inspiration, then try and put the pieces back together in new ways.
This summer has been no different—and this year the effect is intensified as last week, we changed The Independent’s longstanding deadline night and printing schedule. For the past 15 years, Tuesday has been my craziest day at work, when most weeks I would start at 8 a.m. and finish sometime around midnight.
The change in schedule is still so new that I still feel discombobulated. So now is the time to implement new routines.
Another thing I do regularly is check in with people who inspire me through their example.
Last week I chatted with Dennis Fulfer, who had lost 80 pounds working out and counting calories. He and I find ourselves in similar positions now—that is to say, starting over. He said he gained back 35 of the 80 but is also reevaluating his whole approach to fitness.
While I find something like that totally daunting, Dennis is taking it in stride, although with a bit of apprehension: “Like I mentioned before, it’s about knowing how high the mountain is and how long it takes to get to the top,” he said. “Sometimes being ignorant to the obstacles on the road to your destination makes things easier. I’m fully aware of the obstacles, and thus apprehensive to start again.”
I have a cousin, 10 years younger than me, whose Facebook feed is a series of bike rides, runs, hikes, climbs, swims, kayaks, and other things that look so fun I wish she lived nearby so I could tag along. As it is, she inspires me from afar, and inspiration is the thing that gets me off the couch most reliably.
This summer, I’ve had my grandsons around a lot. Both were spending the night recently when the younger reminded me of one of our old favorite activities that had gone by the wayside: crazy dancing. We made a plan for one morning, but then other things intruded.
That didn’t slow him down, though. Next time both were over for the night a few days later, he even drew a picture, showing me in full Saturday Night Fever mode (I do enjoy a funky beat) as an invitation. When I said, “Yeah! Let’s do it!” he moved my disco ball into my bedroom and switched it on. That in a nutshell is the lesson I always seek to learn from kids. That enthusiasm, jumping in with both feet, never ceases to inspire me.
With my new work schedule, I’ve been trying to figure out how to incorporate regular workout classes into my new work routine, but what I run into over and over is that my schedule is crammed full. That’s no different than most people, I realize, but it is very daunting regardless.
I’ve taken some classes in the area that I really enjoyed, like kickboxing, and I’m struggling to figure out how to squeeze that back in to my schedule. It’s a struggle because I’m not super comfortable in those moments when my routine is out the window—but that’s the point. Growth doesn’t happen when you are comfortable.
How do you maintain or re-create your health and fitness routines? Contact me at 505-286-1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or find my Facebook group, “I’m Losing It!” I’d love to hear from you.