For those of you who have ever taken a spin/cycle class this word is probably met with a groan. This is the part of class that we love to hate; we know it will feel really good as soon as it is over! For those of you who have never experience hovering let me try to explain. To hover means that you are up out of the saddle (seat) of the bike and pedalling and your butt is “hovering” just over the saddle. It is different–and a lot harder–than pedalling while standing up and you really feel it in your thighs and glutes. The picture below is a good example: her hair hides the grimace on her face and tears streaming down as she begs for it to be over! [click on the pic for a bunch more info and hovering and spin class terminology]
So I am likening my life at the moment to hovering; It is really hard and I don’t like it. Now I should probably clarify that my whole life isn’t really hard and there are some parts (and people) that I do enjoy. However, this whole go-back-to-full-time-university-at-42-get-straight-As-work-and-be-a-mom-and-wife-thing is a lot like hovering. When you watch people in a spin class it doesn’t looks so hard, but when you are the one with sweat pouring into your eyes and quads, hamstrings, glutes and lungs SCREAMING at you to make it stop, it is a different picture all together. I guess this is the same with many things; you don’t know what you are in for until you are in it!
Aren’t some of the best things in life hard-won? Please tell me this is so! I believe it is. In fact, there is all sorts of research on motivation to support this; people are the most satisfied when the succeed at moderately hard, but do-able tasks. We don’t seem to get the same satisfaction out of succeeding at easy tasks. The trick is to be able to know yourself well enough to determine if something is challenging, yet attainable as opposed to so hard that failure is likely.
The thing is, sometime you just need to sit back down in the saddle for a couple of seconds and regroup. Sometimes the screaming pain is not because it is hard, but because there is an injury and unless you pause for a second to assess it you won’t figure it out until it is too late. (Like me tearing my plantar fascia last summer when I jumped over a snake and running on it for another 5 km)
I think many of us don’t put these pauses into our lives (guilty). The people who need these pauses the most are the ones who don’t have time for them. The danger is that if we don’t make the time our bodies and our mind have a way of making us make the time: physical illness, mental illness such as depression or anxiety, injury, all of these things are the body’s way of saying, “Slow Down and need a minute to regroup!!!”
Recently, I have come across a 10 minute mindfulness meditation that I really enjoy. The fellow who leads it, Andy Puddicombe (of course he is English with a name like that!) has such a calm and lovely voice. I have had a hard time finding 10 minutes out of the 1440 available to me each day, but when I do, I feel like I have added at least another 60 minutes for the ten I gave up. This mindfulness exercise makes my mind feel fresh and I am able to focus much better, plus I don’t feel as anxious about things and this too allows me to work more effectively. If you are feeling rushed and overwhelmed or like you are just not sure what direction you should take–find 10 minutes and give yourself the gift of mindfulness. It is one of those can’t lose propositions. You will feel stronger, more focused and motivate–just like hovering in a spin class without all the screaming!
What in your life make you feel like you are hovering?
Please go take ten minutes and listen to the meditation then come back here and post how you feel. (that next blog you were going to read will still be there when you are done!!!)