In switching between radio programs this morning, I randomly heard a piece of news* that claimed our brains “crave novelty”. Those of us that respond to new things – events, adventures, life changes – with an open mind and optimistic attitude are essentially building on an innate tendency to seek these opportunities out. Even those who are slightly more adverse to change feel a rush from breaking out of the norm – it can be something as small as taking a different route to work during your daily commute (whether you walk, drive, ride, etc), or something as big as moving to a new city (that? Oh, yes, I’ve done that…).
*I use that term lightly, as this came from the Kane Show. Entertaining? Definitely. Educational? Not so much…
As evidenced by my inability to stick to any training plan 100%, or the fact that we’ve moved across the country twice, or the handful of entirely new workout “trends” that I’ve given a fair trial to in the past year, I crave novelty. I crave a challenge, and generally reject routine. I do like a few things to be the same each week; I usually run between 25-30 miles, go to yoga 2-3 times, and participate in quick mini tabata sessions at work (we have fitness breaks!). But, if I see an open door and an opportunity to run through it?
Well, why not?
Our time in Colorado introduced me to a new meaning of the word “adventure”, and I’m forever thankful for that. I met Yoga (and a lot of kickass people that teach in Denver!), Ryder bikes & had a brief date with Pure Barre. We sought out new trails, my glutes realized that riding a road bike has nothing to do with running-leg strength, and my lungs met 14,000 feet.
This year won’t be any different! So far, I’ve tried out two new yoga studios (Down Dog Yoga with Anne P, Boundless Yoga on U Street), found out I can hike in my ‘backyard’, and proceeded to use that knowledge to take our Saturday morning group for a 9 mile trail run that same week (i.e. 3 days ago).
Luckily Kate & I tackle quite a few hills pretty much every time we venture out for a neighborhood run, so the legs weren’t too shocked by this random gesture. But the group seemed to welcome the change, and we all got in a great workout for it. Success!
I not only crave novelty, but I remind myself to seek it. The muscles respond to new challenges with strength; they’re better for it. Your mind will embrace something refreshing, vs. treating a workout as the ‘same ol’ routine’.
What is something New that you’ve wanted to try? What’s a new challenge that you’ll add to your agenda?
Say it here, we’ll keep you accountable!