It’s the Little Things…Just Put On Your Tennis Shoes and Shut the Front Door! (Or, Making Time to Work-Out)

It’s the little things that can make a big difference. So, today is a little post.img_4728

Whether you grew up in sports and want to get back in shape or the exercise bug is new to you, it’s hard finding time to work out as an adult. Life happens. Working out is rarely easy and usually only happens if you prioritize it, like really prioritize it. Space abhors a vacuum, so if you have free time, it will get filled…somehow…and chances are it will be the path of least resistance…which probably isn’t working out. Most days, I have to force myself to exercise because it would be oh so easy to go home, walk the dog, and watch Netflix until bed. On the days when I am extra tired, I start with the smallest step. In this case, the smallest step is both literal and figurative: I put on my tennis shoes.

To give credit where credit is due, this smallest step comes from Gretchen Rubin. In her Happiness Project book, Gretchen Rubin shares how her father got her to start running by telling her just to put on her running shoes and close the front door behind her. This was my inspiration for getting back into working out and it works for me.

Personally, as a cheap introvert, I don’t like classes. There are other people and they cost money. Also, my dog needs exercise and attention, so I feel guilty if I work out without him. Ergo, I needed to find another solution: just put on my tennis shoes and walk out the door.

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My tennis shoes by the front door and Way Pup stretching before we go on a walk

This works whether you get on a treadmill, walk around your neighborhood, do jumping jacks in your living room, dance in your living room, go to the gym, or walk your dog. As long as you put on your tennis shoes, you are more likely to get up and get out. Even on days when I don’t feel like working out, I tell myself just to put on my tennis shoes for 15 to 30 minutes. That’s it. I give myself permission to walk, to take it easy if I want, but that I must put on my tennis shoes and at least get on the treadmill or walk the dog. Invariably, I end up running or exerting myself with pushups/squats/other bodyweight exercises, but I start off with that tiny little step of putting on my tennis shoes and walking out the front door. It’s the smallest, easiest step you and I can take, literally and figuratively.

It’s the Little Things…Making the World a Better, Brighter Place

Be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

This was my college’s motto when I went there and it has always stuck, persistent in the back of my mind. I don’t always live up to it, but it’s always there, nagging at me to be a better version of myself. These days, the change I wish to see is kindness. It is love. It is openness. It is positivity. It is love. Continue reading

Adventures in…Giving Up Sugar

Until this past February, sugar (and especially chocolate) have been my Achilles’ heel. That’s when I stopped eating all cakes, candies, pastries, cookies, and extra sugar…cold turkey. It was possibly one of the harder things, but also probably one of the best. Now, I still eat desserts occasionally, though my exceptions are very limited. No store-bought desserts. No pastries. No frosting. Only homemade desserts, ice cream, and high-quality chocolate. Prior to February, I would’ve called myself crazy and certainly didn’t imagine a future without the amazing goodness of sugar. So why would I do this to myself?

It all started because I chose to give up sugar for Lent…and then chose to keep that going. This started out as a 40-day experiment that worked out really well and I ultimately decided that it was best for me to continue abstaining. This choice is not for everyone – just like vegetarianism isn’t for everyone – and you have to choose your own path. That said, giving up sugar and desserts has been so good for me. Continue reading

Adventures in…Being Put on the Spot, Karaoke Edition

Being put on the spot scares me, particularly if I’m unprepared. Whether it’s being asked questions in class, having to say a small speech in front of people, giving an impromptu presentation, or just asked questions in general, I hate being unprepared in the spotlight. When this happens, my entire body and brain shut down. I literally freeze, my eyes get kind of wide, and my brain feels like it’s running around in circles inside my head waving its little arms in terror. This is mainly why karaoke has terrified ever since I became aware that it’s a thing. As a consumate preparer, you’d think that I would have prepared for the eventual time when I would face karaoke, but I didn’t.

There are plenty of social situations that you can usually avoid if you don’t like them and it’s not big deal. That’s how I treated karaoke for most of my adult life until I couldn’t avoid it anymore. Unfortunately, we may find ourselves in a position one day when we really, really should just do it. I should know myself better and know that I need to be prepared for situations before they happen. I should have known that I needed a prepared karaoke song. But, for whatever reason, I only just came up with my go-to karaoke songs. Hopefully, you can learn from me and be more prepared than I was when I found myself in just that situation. And while I haven’t discussed this with many people, I have to believe that there are others out there like me who need preparation and become petrified at the thought of choosing a song, then voluntarily getting up there to sing it in front of people. So, for all my fellow karaoke-averse people out there, here is how I came around to believing that everyone needs a karaoke song. Continue reading