Elev8 Your Everyday: Fitness Inspiration
Most of us mere mortals need something more than a self-inflicted kick in the keister to stick with an exercise routine. How about that underappreciated calorie burner called fun?
I’m in the “if it feels good, I’ll do it” camp, and I don’t think I’m alone. Fortunately, there are plenty of feel-good things—like physically moving without pain and with a sense of joy and play—that are also good for me. Elev8d Fitness has become one of these.
The problem with routines is that they’re so…routine. Even the word has a slightly bitter edge, and saying it a few times in a row (routinely, if you will) entails making your mouth shimmy around in a way that doesn’t quite feel normal. The word conjures chores when you were a kid, or that gymnastics tumbling “routine” you never quite mastered in grade school (the awkward backwards somersault!), or stuff you know is probably good for you but is god-awful boring.
Flossing. Dishes. Laundry. Carpool pick up. All are routines; and all are repetitive, numbing rigmarole. None are what I’d call sexy or inspiring.
So why must we plunk exercise in that category? Just because yes, it’s good for us, and yes, it’s something we should do regularly for optimal health benefit? I get it, but ugh. To me, taking something that energizes your body and elevates your mood and boxing it into a segment of your day called “routine” is a total buzz kill.
The problem with most things we dub “routine,” or worse, that require “discipline,” is that somehow the categorization transforms them into the “ought” category, rather than the “heck yeah, I want to” category. In my experience, anything that I hope to adopt as a regular practice and reliable part of my life better be something I enjoy and look forward to doing, even if I know it’s “good for me.” Otherwise, I’m smart and squirrelly enough to find a way to avoid it.
Wait, you too? I thought so.
Why do I drag myself out of my warm bed a three mornings a week, squeeze into a bathing suit and haul myself in the predawn dark to a pool when I could be savoring another hour of delicious sleep? Because I enjoy the meditative aspects of lap swimming, as well as the cardio boost, and I enjoy the people who share my lane and, God bless them, laugh at my jokes. Even if swimming was guaranteed to make me look like Darryl Hannah in Splash (I’m showing my age)—but I hated the water, I wouldn’t do it. It’s hard enough to get out of bed for something I enjoy.
The beauty of Elev8d Fitness is that it’s fun, simple, and uplifting. In other words, it’s not “routine,” and frankly, for me at least, it doesn’t really fit into the category of what I’ve come to think of as a “workout.” There are plenty of opportunities to slip an Elev8d segment into my day without having to change into exercise attire or get sweaty. It’s less something I feel I have to commit to than something that calls to me—because it’s more playful than painful and more silly than humiliating (Bear Crawls for the win!). And it makes me feel good.
Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours of practice-makes-perfect research, and the gazillion blog posts, TED talks, and Steven Covey-esque how-to guides on creating routines to improve your efficiency and success, we are a culture well-subscribed to habit/discipline/routine routines. And good for the people who can adopt them and perform accordingly. I’m just not one of them.
So yes, I guess these little 8-and 16-minute routines have become part of my “routine,” but in a reclaimed sense of the word. In the way rigmarole can shimmy around as you say it, like a whirling dervish—dizzy and joyful and full of life.