I have been doing a small exercise routine in the mornings. It’s a course that I bought last year and I’m finally getting around to it. The course has several parts to it; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. So yesterday I moved into the second part of the course. There’s not much difference–lots of the same moves, but less rest time and it’s a bit longer, because you do more sets. And even though there is barely a change from the day before, I found myself resisting.
I’m not a fan of change–most humans aren’t. We get used to things and that’s the way we like to keep them. Yesterday, during my workout I found myself trying to make a ton of excuses. “This takes longer and I don’t have time for it.” “I’m not in good enough shape to do these moves yet, I should go back to the easier exercises.” But excuses are just resistance to change.
I know that in a week, I will be acclimated to the new exercise routine, but right now my brain is trying everything it can to get me to stay stagnant. It’s a little disheartening when you realize that our brains don’t really have our best interests in mind. Although, that’s not completely true. They are looking out for us. It’s just that they are over-vigilant and tend to resist change. So we have to help our brains along with the change. It’s all very meta.
One way we can assist our brain in times of change is by questioning our thoughts. When we have a thought (“this is too difficult!”) we intervene on that thought, and we ask question it. “Why is this exercise too difficult?” “Because my body is not used to doing it.” “That is how your body gets stronger, by getting uncomfortable for a little bit.” “But let’s go back to the old exercises. They were easier.” “If we do that, we will just stay stagnant and we will never grow.” Etc, etc, etc.
The truth is, change is uncomfortable, and we love to be comfortable. But you can either stay comfortable or put in the work to make your life better. As Andy Dufresne says in The Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” That’s god damn right.