I am so happy to be back on the stage at Recycle Studio. I really enjoyed my June, July and August tours of the NYC fitness scene but there is something about getting in front of a room of riders and motivating them to set new challenges and meet new goals.
What I especially love about teaching at Recycle is the fact that we set an intention for each ride. It is a way for us as instructors to give you something to motivate you throughout the class as well as allow you to make the connection that a ride isn’t just about a good sweat, it is about taking care of both body and mind. My intentions are usually drawn from something that is going on in my own life, and they also allow the riders at Recycle to get to know me a bit better.
As a student, I feel as though I have two “new year” periods on the calendar – September and January. These are the points when my schedule changes, when I start new classes and have to re-juggle the rest of my commitments to allow for labs, evening classes, and recitations. So it seemed appropriate that at 6am this morning, when I taught my first class of the week, that I set an intention about setting intentions.
I asked each rider, for the first time, to set an individual intention. It could have been about that particular class – faster sprints, tougher climbs – but it also could have been about taking more deep breaths during a ride, making more time for yourself or committing to specific wellness goals like a minimum number of days in the studio. It didn’t matter what the personal intention was; what mattered was that you took a second to think of something that was important to you and worth accomplishing in the final months of 2011.
These probably sound pretty familiar – like those things you set on January 1st as a commitment for the next year. But why wait until January to commit to a healthier version of yourself? We as busy people are constantly putting off the important things – postponed doctors appointments, overdue visits to family and friends and skipped opportunities to perform the exercise that could improve your health status and prolong your life – for meetings, conference calls and time on Facebook. When asked why someone hasn’t made it to the gym I constantly get the same response, “well, I couldn’t go one week. Then it was the weekend. Then another week went by and next thing you know I hadn’t been in a month.”
It stops now.
The benefits of physical activity are too immense to overlook. Better sleep. Increased energy. Improved cardiac function. Muscle tone. Weight loss. Improved mood.
And whatever goals you set for yourself back on January 1, 2011, you have exactly 103 days left to accomplish them. Did you want to sign up for your first road race? There are plenty you can still register for. Did you want to try a certain fitness class for the first time? Get on Groupon and pick something with a expiration date before the end of 2011. Was it time for a certain screening or age-related doctor’s appointment? Call and make it now.
Whatever you do, buck tradition and set your intentions for the rest of the year today. Other than that whole “new year” thing, there is no reason to postpone positive change. Make a choice, commit to it, and don’t question it at every opportunity. Set that alarm clock for 5:30am and don’t hit the snooze. You’ll thank me in the (early) morning.
- The Aspiring RD