Amid such chaos then, I have found great comfort and growth in athletic consistency. The trains may not be on time, the tourists may slow me down, the Fairway line may mess with grand plans and that damn elevator will certainly take forever, but having a workout I need to be on time for — that is a comforting non-negotiable.
And then, as it tends to happen — things change. Tailwind is closed for 2 week while moving, my running buddies taper for Boston and my swim class goes on hiatus between seasons. Even Spring is supposedly coming. So. With everything in transition I see two options:
- Stay the course, whatever is left of it OR
- Fully embrace a period of irregularity.
Not without courage, I chose the latter.
I took to the Interwebs to find out what people were doing when not — like me — spending countless hours at Tailwind. We have some observations about interval training, class and gender but in the week since Tailwind closed to move shop — I have taken a boxing class, ballet class, rock climbing, some TRX thing and perhaps the most bizarre of all… Aquacycle. (That’s biking in water. Clearly.) Coming up are classes in punk jump rope, lightsaber etiquette, more boxing and the requisite spinning experience. There’s probably more.
Some early lessons that I think helpful for all types of athletes with all types of schedules:
- Humility: It is not without courage that I have walked into a roomful of strangers to do something that is pretty much guaranteed to be… awkward. I had never thrown a punch in my life and still I taped my hands, put on cartoon gloves, and hit some hanging bag. To do this, over and over again, I need to embrace what it means to be a student. And not a college student with some swagger but the humility (and awkwardness) of grade-school. Some of these classes have been great “workouts” but the more significant success has been simply doing it. Because it is all not so simple. These are reminders of the humility I aim to bring to life and to any familiar physicality.
- Community: I might think it’s the consistency of a training schedule that warms the body and soul, but I have done other athletic endeavors with consistency. When I was on a yoga journey, it was not unusual to walk into the studio twice a day. Sure maybe I was avoiding writing a thesis. And sure, maybe I was never the star student. But I was clearly committed. What I never had though were “friends.” Because for me, yoga was never a community. From the people who run Tailwind to the regular faces in classes, Tailwind is a shared commitment to one another. Forgive the Hallmark sentiment but walking into classes this week as a solo operator has taught me that Tailwind is as much about US as it is about any individual FTP.
- Fun: I was anxious to change my routine. Rationally (as any self-help columns will concur) change holds as much opportunity as disaster. But who wants opportunities at 6 in the morning. I wanted a routine I could count on. But the more I did these classes — the more time I spent outside my comfort zone — the more I came face-to-face with “opportunity.” These classes and my unavoidable nascence with them, has been FUN. It is fun to explore, to be curious, to be bad, to be uncoordinated and to be confused. For each of the classes, I discovered a new way to be a complete fool. Not a bad lesson to bring back to life and sport. Because we all should be having fun not just when we’re great, but when we’re a hot mess as well.