Today I did my usual 20 minutes of yoga. The Sadie Nardini DVD I use has about 20 sections of varying lengths, from 5 minutes to 17; I do the same 2 sections probably 5 days out of 7.
That annoying and nagging voice likes to pipe up some days: “Doing the same thing over and over isn’t going to get you stronger or more toned, Robin. You need to change it up.” Sometimes I sheepishly nod in agreement; other days I give it the mental stink eye and want to tell it to shut the fuck up.
Changing up my morning workout DVD kind of (okay really) feels hard to me a lot of mornings. There is comfort in the familiar. I find Sadie’s voice calming. I like that it is low impact (and so do my joints).
AND it’s something I can easily do consistently (and generally look forward to doing, on some level — I know the exercise time helps my mood for the day and the sections I do feel mentally doable for me).
And I know there can be benefits in changing things up sometimes. My body does like a change, now and again. If I’m being honest with myself, sometimes I get tired of those 2 sections.
At night, it’s easy to tell myself: Yes, I’ll do a different video tomorrow. It’ll be fun! However when the alarm rings, I don’t always agree with that assessment. I’m like: Ah, yeah. Not sure who thought that was a good idea. I’ll put on the yoga DVD. I like that one.
So here’s what I’m thinking with all of this.
First: The fact that I’m doing exercise consistently is a WIN. Seriously. If it’s doing the same DVD every day that gets me out of bed and moving, then awesome — give the video and myself the shiniest gold stars that can be found. 5+ years ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d be getting out of bed every single morning and doing some exercise. In those days, mornings were spent dragging my butt out of bed with my head in my phone, starting to answer work emails (yes, Boss — I’ll get right on finding out why those filing cabinets you can’t stand got ordered) and stressing out mightily about how much I hated my job and knew I needed a change but didn’t know how or what to do. And exercise? Sure, I should do something every day but who had time for that (and then I clearly sucked because I didn’t make time — YOU ARE A FAILURE, ROBIN. GO CRAWL IN A HOLE SOMEWHERE.)
Second: Changing up my exercise routine doesn’t have to be done in one go. I know I do better with baby steps rather than all or nothing, strict black and white boundaries or “do this right now” decisions. I’ve experienced a lot of success with baby steps quite a few times now; not so much (I don’t think actually ever) with a “make this sweeping change right now and then do it like this every day going forward” method. So, I’m welcome to keep trying to “change this all right now,” or I can try a little more gently. It’s totally up to me. I know what is likely to be successful for me.
This morning I added 10 superman raises, 25 jumping jacks, 20 jump ropes, and 20 (I think, I may have lost count) squat and jumps to my yoga. It took about 2 extra minutes. And you know what? Humongous win for me. I did do something different today. It’s okay that it wasn’t a whole other kind of workout. It was something different. I did not do the exact same thing as yesterday. Yes, it helped build up a teeny tiny bit my confidence muscle that I can do different workouts — and thinking about my morning exercise still felt doable to me (so I didn’t run in the other direction and ditch it all).
If I think of where I’ll be 30 days down the road if I add a little something different each day (and who knows — maybe I’ll even feel more inspired to try a different video a few of the days), huh — my morning exercise will totally have some new stuff included. And that sounds like that’s where I want to be. Hmmm…I may have my answer on how to get there.
MOVEMENT: Looking for something new to try? I came across Erin Stutland a year or two ago and really like her work. I have several of her DVDs (they are ones I might do on the non-yoga days — they are quite good). She combines cardio (dance, kickboxing, and other forms) with mantras. I found this short workout on YouTube — maybe give it a go if you want something different (and short).