Spring is finally here! Hallelujah. You know what that means? It’s time to ditch the treadmill and get outside. Thank god. If you’ve been bearing the cold and have already been running/walking/enjoying the outdoors, good for you. But for the rest of us, pretty soon there will be no more room for excuses. It’s action time. Time to really bring that fitness routine to life, alongside the rest of the living entities that will soon be emerging outdoors (like cherry blossoms, and asparagus, and fireflies, and the many other things I love about the sunny season).
For me, spring re-inspires me. It stimulates me to challenge myself and try new things. Maybe I’ll change my running route/routine, wake up a little bit earlier for an early morning yoga practice and try tackling some new moves, plant something totally unfamiliar in the garden, etc. etc.
My advice: Use spring as an excuse to challenge yourself, both physically and mentally, letting the warm weather that’s hopefully soon to come be a motivator for you to be the best that you can be. Try a new activity. Rock climbing anyone? Or maybe revisit a forgotten one, like tree climbing, letting your inner youth freely flow out. Branch out and meet a new person. Maybe it’s the guy sitting on the bench next to you at the park. Or maybe you join a service organization and meet new friends while giving back to the community. Either way, challenge yourself to go out of your comfort zone, and approach the changing of the seasons by getting active.
In challenging yourself, do so in a way that keeps you present. Tune in to each moment and notice the subtle nuances that come with each challenge or change you might decide to take on this spring. Rather than letting your mind immediately jump to the next challenge or the next step of the change, embrace the transitions that lie within. Consciously keep yourself grounded into each moment. One of the easiest and best ways to do this is to simply take a deep breathe every so often. Whenever you notice your mind running away from you, leaving the task at hand, take a minute to stop. Inhale. Exhale. Release. Center your mind back to what lies in front of you, within the present moment, the only moment where you can really be.
Spring doesn’t last long, so make the best of it as you challenge yourself to blossom into your best.
More food for thought: As you start planning your next outdoor escapade/challenge, check out this NY Times article that says why you might really want to ditch the treadmill. Oh, and get a dog too.