when RSS attacks
As you may know, I'm sort of on a mission to be more active in general. Leading a sedentary lifestyle is suboptimal, and I need to be creative to thwart that outcome of having a desk job. When I was still in school I would bike everywhere, be in dance classes/rehearsals all the time, take martial arts, and walk a lot. In short, I was a pretty active chica despite pursuing rather cerebral disciplines full-time and working part-time.
Side note: when you're in college, you wistfully long for the day when you'll get to come home from work and not have homework hanging over you, so your free time will be genuinely free. Think of all the things you can accomplish! Write the next Great American Novel! Become a trapeze artist! Teach yourself to speak Russian!
It's a filthy lie. As it turns out, there is a huge difference between spending your day darting between classes, taking breaks, going for walks, catching up with people between classes, and poking at your homework, and spending all day at work. All day. No random 1-hour breaks because that's how you schedule works out. Nope. It's more of a time suck than one would think. Add on top of that a ridiculous commute time by living in the wrong city... it's suboptimal.
Anyway, I went from being really quite active to getting some serious secretary spread. I sit on my butt for my drive, then all day at work, and then in the evenings we'll eat dinner and watch an episode of something on Netflix or play a video game. The other day my bottom was actually sore from all the sitting. How can you have a more ridiculous first-world-problem than that?
I know that I have less energy now because I don't use it. I know that I don't sleep well when I'm sedentary. I know I'm not nearly as healthy as I should be.
However, change is hard. And the perfect is the enemy of the good. Oh sure, I'll get more active. I just need to adjust my schedule, and wait for the weather to clear up, and wait until I actually feel like it, and organize the fridge first. Nope, I'm not avoiding it or anything.
Fortunately, Mr. Geek reads this, and for some reason he took me seriously. He's been hauling out the DDR pads and we've been jumping around on 'em nearly every evening that's not already taken up by dance lessons. Yay for kicking my butt and being more active! But it still doesn't help my personal activation energy problem.
I have a number of assorted blogs that show up on my RSS reader, most of them related to life improvement (plus a few sartorial-minded ones. What? I'm a girl). When I get a chance and need a brief break from whatever I'm doing, I'll poke through some of the new entries.
Yesterday, this showed up.
Ouch. Boy, does that one hit a nerve. To my credit, I did have the thought that I should really act on that, and go do something right now.
But I didn't. I challenged myself, and the challenge fell flat.
I'm tired of that blog. It's a little too poignant. Let's see what someone else has to say.
Gah! The universe is conspiring against my laziness inertia!
So I did it. I got up from my computer, walked outside, and went for a walk. I stretched my legs and rested my eyeballs by looking at plants and sky instead of a glowing screen for a bit. There's a little dirt path that runs parallel to and a bit back from the road to my workplace, so I meandered along that, though I was annoyed at all the random detritus that had been discarded into the brush along the path. I checked my watch, and simply walked for 8 minutes or so, and then turned around. On the way back, I picked up some of the litter that I came across, and was fortunate to find a full-size potato chip bag that I then used to stuff other garbage into. I have a habit of picking up trash I walk across. A few years ago, Mr. Geek and I went on an epic hike in the mountains (it wound up being more epic than originally intended, admittedly; maps are good) and by the time we emerged, his backpack was stuffed to the brim with beer cans we'd found along the side of the otherwise beautiful trail. People are disgusting sometimes.
To return to the topic at hand, it felt good! 15 minutes of walking, and I could feel my lungs working better, my eyes relaxing, and that curious popping sensation in my thigh muscles that says I've worked them. I returned to my desk, and the rest of the day went much more quickly than usual. That evening, I had much more energy than I would have expected, and stayed up a bit later due to simply not being exhausted.
A tiny change, but a big result. I think I like this.
Have you had to overcome your own activation energy to reach a goal? Did baby steps help on the way? I'd love to hear about it.