Anti-Stodgy Campaign

So I had the one week in January when I felt awesome.

Followed by two weeks of yuck.

I still made my word count every week (10,000 words). Though they were mainly non-fiction words, they were still “salable” — I finished off the next Business for Breakfast book, and started writing the script for the next workshop I’m going to teach (all about how to create covers).

This week, I’m finally better again. Did yoga this morning.

I am not going to a yoga class—I purchased and have been following along with the Nerd Fitness yoga videos—https://yoga.nerdfitness.com/

I used to do yoga all the time. I started as a beginner, and by the time I quit doing it regularly, I’d say I was an advanced intermediate. (I could do handstands, but not unassisted—was working toward that. Could balance for a bit on my own but not for more than a minute. I could also go from standing into a full back bend. But again, I couldn’t do it consistently, and I always needed a spotter just in case.)

I stopped doing yoga because I got injured, then I had a couple bad experiences at the yoga studio where I always went, and they moved. Plus, I’d reached that part in my training where I really needed the guidance of a good yoga instructor, who would tell me, “This is what you should work on next.”

Since that time, I’ve quit the day job, and I really can’t afford them any more.

I’m doing the intermediate (Fire) level Nerd Fitness yoga videos. They’re almost too easy for me. I figure if I can do them consistently for four-six weeks, I’ll move up to the next level.

Today, I did the second of the Fire level videos.

They introduced a “yoga” move that I’ve never done before. The Ninja pose. (There are reasons why I love the Nerd Fitness yoga videos. That they talk about the Mario Brothers Star Pose, or the Assassin’s Creed swan dive, is just part of it.)

The Ninja Pose is a moving pose, not static, shifting from one foot to the other. I found myself frustrated with this pose, mainly because I kept thinking, “I should be able to do this.” Plus, I didn’t understand the “why” of the pose.

After I finished doing the entire video and was able to think about it, I figured out why this was such an awesome pose. Doing it regularly is going to greatly increase my hip flexibility. I also thought of how I should move through the pose, the muscles that I should use, how to better engage my core, so I can do it better, next time.

And I thought about how awesome it was that I had a new pose to learn.

Why is learning something new so important to me? Even if I sometimes complain about it, or get flustered by it?

One of core concepts of my life is the “anti-stodgy” campaign.

There was a scientific study done once, that showed that most people’s taste in music, clothes, food, etc., settles when they’re in their late twenties, and then stagnates. Their tastes never change. They stop trying new things.

I read this study in my mid-forties. I made the decision right there and then to create the “anti-stodgy” campaign. I would try something new at least once a month. I would try a new food. I would eat at a new restaurant. I would take a class in something I’d never done before.

I would try a new yoga move, as I did this morning. I would learn something new.

Learning new things is uncomfortable. I sometimes get impatient with myself. It’s too hard. I’m too old.

But then I remind myself that it’s better to try new things than to stagnate. Learning keeps me young. It keeps my mind flexible and open.

Sure, there are going to be bad weeks. Particularly since I’m not a teenager anymore. I’m in my 50s.

I keep getting back up on that damned horse.

And that’s the most important thing I can do. Besides, you know, learning ninja moves.

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