These are the stairs to my place. Awesome, huh?

Sometimes yes they are (built-in workout!), sometimes no they are not (carrying tons of stuff).

The truth is, even though I climb them probably 10 to 12 times a day, I never really give them a second thought. Or maybe it’s because I climb up them so much that I rarely think about those 28 steps (plus landing).

I did think about them today, though. And what I thought wasn’t so good.

Post-leg-workout, I found myself juggling a heavy gym bag, two bags of groceries, a bag of dog food, a water bottle, and a dog on a leash …  oh, and let’s not forget the DD blackberry fruited iced tea I’ve recently become addicted to. 

Standing at the bottom of the stairs, trying not to let anything drop, I decided it was probably prudent to pay attention to what I was doing. Because, you know, #safety.

When I’m in autopilot multi-tasking mode, things tend to go wrong. I end up dropping the water (or iced tea) all over myself, one of the super-thin grocery bags rips, or the dog decides something smelled really good two stairs back and she just HAS to backtrack and check it out.

So this morning, before attempting the summit, I let the dog off her leash, rearranged all my belongings, and looked up to see exactly what I was dealing with.

And I was like: Woah. Those are some stairs!

Suddenly, climbing them seemed like it was going to be a lot of work, and I felt kinda bad for my little dog, because based strictly on the size differential, it takes a lot more effort for her to scramble up them than it does for me.

It was a little jolting, to be honest.

Perspective

Do you ever find yourself in a rut on autopilot, motoring along with your eyes straight ahead (or if you’re me, IN your own head)? When you’re in this mode, you don’t notice a lot of what is happening around you. And you might even THINK you’re seeing the entire landscape … but you’re wrong.

You think you’re safe, you’re doing the “right” thing, and that your path (rut) is where you’re supposed to be. But then … the universe announces that it has some significant other plans for you.

Plans you’re not so sure about.

I dunno about you, but at least for me, so far it’s been a wacky year. Until pretty recently I was just traveling along in my rut. I wasn’t necessarily happy in that rut, and I also didn’t know how to get out of it, so I just kind of numbed out.

But then things I never expected to happen have happened … and they’ve had an affect on me far beyond what I would have imagined.

Among other things, a family member died, and then another one passed away shortly afterward. Plus, a company for which I did a significant amount of contract work phased out a huge portion of its business, leaving me in a scramble mode. 

And, let’s face it, the world is just kinda weird right now, and it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s fake.

All of those things left me kind of reeling. They have forced me to step back and reassess … just as I did this morning, with the stairs … but here’s the thing.

They also made me realize that the eyes I use to see things with probably don’t see things the way they truly are.

None of us do. We see things a certain way because of how we were raised, our education, events in our lives, where we live, the people with whom we surround ourselves, and even our ever-changing biochemistry.

I remember one of my science teachers explained how there are things we know, things we don’t know, and there is even more stuff that we don’t know we don’t know.

And it’s that stuff that we don’t know we don’t know … the stuff we are too myopic in our daily lives to ever notice … that really goof us up.

Take a Fitness Vacation

What does this have to do with fitness/wellness/health/mindset? 

EVERYTHING!

You will not change … and neither will your physique or your health numbers … unless you get out of your rut … and out of your comfort zone. 

Do you do the same kind of workouts every week? The same resistance workouts, the same weights, the same cardio, using the same-old, same-old formula? What about your diet? Are you getting the results – the life-long results – that you want?

Or maybe you’re not doing any of those things, because you just can’t seem to get moving.

Here’s a radical idea. TRY SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT before the universe decides it for you. Intentionally knock your plan out of autopilot for a little while and see what happens. 

Try a different workout – a dance class? Hike a mountain? How about sprints at the track? Mountain biking through the carriage trails? Maybe do a stairclimbing workout? (Hehheh: important tip: never run DOWN stairs.)

Or maybe say: For this week only, every day I will go for a walk or do some kind of movement for 30 minutes, and I will see how I feel at the end of the week. One of my Facebook friends just did this with running, and he posted about how great he felt for having stuck with his goal.

Maybe you could decide to get rid of all sugar in your diet for a day or two, just to see what it’s like. You could tell yourself that for one week, no matter how much your mind tells you otherwise, you’ll eat at least one salad a day, or go without nighttime snacking, or replace your coffee addiction with green tea.

New Ways of Seeing

You know how when you go on vacation, you can get a helpful shift in perspective, because of the new things you’re seeing/doing?

Go on a little detour with your plan – try something different.

Be brave! Intentionally hop out of that rut and see what the landscape looks like. It doesn’t have to be a big “thing” or huge production. 

Mix it up. Because you never know when the universe is gonna decide to mix it up for you.

Let me know what you’re going to do to mix things up in the comments below!

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