Change of pace

Photo courtesy of Liesel Elliott (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Liesel Elliott (Creative Commons)

Just as the sky begins to lighten up, I am out running. Most days anyway.

I love running that early because it’s cooler, I see more birds and creatures, there’s less traffic, and it’s quiet. Makes it possible to have a peaceful, prayerful run that jump starts my day.

But recently, I had an injury, so I had to substitute gym workouts for a few days while I healed. What a change of pace!

I decided to take advantage that weekend and start my days a little slower since there was no need to get to the gym so early. I made a little extra coffee, and headed to the porch. What a treat – birds singing and fluttering about, quiet (well, except for the neighbor’s air conditioner), comfortable. Time to write and dream a bit.

Did I miss my long run that week? Absolutely. But I embraced the break from running as well. It felt good to change up my schedule as well as my workout.

Do you change the pace in your own work and life periodically? While there is great value in routine and habits, I do think it helps your mind and your body to switch it up periodically. Going away on vacation is one way, but I often find that vacations just provide stress another way – and how many times have you commented that you needed a few days to recover from your vacation?

We pack our days and lives so full and work at warp speed so often, it is important to stop that cycle every once in a while. Cross training your body is healthy because you utilize other muscle groups at a different intensity. Altering your schedule or your focus is healthy because you expand your mind and explore other interests. And get a break from the usual.

What if you had your next staff meeting at an offsite location? I bet you might spur some new ideas that way. Maybe your family could have a movie night at home one weekend evening, complete with popcorn, instead of each doing their own activity. Or plan a day at the park or a museum as a way to bond.

None of this is new information. I know I should be cross training instead of running every day but sadly it takes an injury to jar me out of my routine. Don’t wait to be injured or burned out to change things up.