(Yes, the gentleman in the photo above is hula hooping while on the traveling rings – I got to seem him do this in person on the traveling rings in Santa Monica)
Find the delight in the play or get wrapped up in trying to scientifically improve and measure my progress or lack thereof – those are my two choices. I find there are many people drawn to the statistical side of exercise. I especially see this part in serious triathletes. And a small part of me is drawn there, but only a small part. The largest part is like a playful puppy, always ready and waiting. I have strong play sensors and I’m used to being disappointed when play doesn’t happen, or if people get tired before I do, or as people get older they seem less interested in playing. But some part of me is just like a puppy that is endlessly hopeful.
The trouble is when I get too far into the statistical side or the Calvinist approach to exercise. That I should be lifting weights a certain way, a certain circuit, lift those weights the same order, repetition, etc. I can be overly critical of my hockey playing, especially since I play with so many players that are ‘better’ than me. And I spent my first year focusing on triathlons almost fully in the mode of ‘improvement’. It worked for that year but after starting the next triathlon season doing a few triathlons surrounded by serious, humorless, not-extremely-friendly triathletes, the bloom was off the rose. I let go of the stats and the pushing, pulled back quite a bit on training and have now set myself up to gently enjoy triathlons a bit for years to come.
Fun and beauty – these two gems clearly draw me in to exercise and keep me engaged. When one is missing, there’s less of a magnetic pull. When both are missing I won’t stick around for long (weightlifting for example). What delight pulls you? How can you listen to the call of fun and beauty today, even for a moment?
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