Travel is great since it provides you perspective via a different environment.
For example, when I was in Baja Mexicos this past January, bolted upright in bed the first day with 21 things running through my head.
For a kiteboarding trip, this is pretty normal as I fly straight up out bed and look at the window to see if there is a leaf moving to indicate wind. The first 10 minutes of conversation always revolves around the plan for the day and wind forecast. – Just ask my wonderful wifey who can vouch for this.
However, in La Ventana, the wind is thermal induced, and it does not turn on until noon or 11 am at the earliest as the sun heats up the surface of the water.
I bolted upright and realized I was stressed. “Hmm, just the travel,” I thought.
I find my stress (and ditto for my clients) is higher due to travel. To combat this, I work to keep part of my daily AM ritual and even expand it out more depending on the location. This is easy to do in beautiful locations like Baja.
I sat at the end of my palapas (concrete, small rooms) porch and started to meditate. This day, I opted to start off with the Zen “stare at a tree” style. Or in this case, a cactus was subbed in for the tree.
I did a quick body scan and realized my shoulders were off and my breathing was fast and shallow.
I spent the next 15 minutes working on my breathing and relaxing. I could feel my brain searching for things to be stressed about.
“What if the internet does not work like yesterday?”
“What if there is no wind today?”
“What are they serving for breakfast? What if it sucks?”
“I think that bird on the cactus is mad and is giving me the stink eye.”
The typical scramble of stuff that my bundle of neurons generates.
I realized that since I was in a completely different environment, one where I should be completely relaxed, I could feel the difference in my body.
I am not sure I would have noticed it in my normal environment. The contrast from the warm air, beautiful calm water, the photogenic cactus forever held in the stick up –give-me-all-your-pesos pose was massively different than my usual.
My goal was to build up enough contrast so that it would carry over to when I returned home.
I set the intention to do 20-30 min of meditation each day followed by a short run (no gym anywhere around) and take the first hour of each day just for myself. I would hit that at 90% compliance.
After 8 days there, I hit my goal for all of them, although it was much harder after a late night in Los Barriles….ha ha. I have carried on the ritual and this year I am averaging 11 minutes and 32 seconds per day. Yes, I am a nerd and track new habits down to the second via function on my Garmin watch.
My point of this rambling is a question for me . . . and you.
Are their places along your fitness journey that you need more contrast?
Contrast builds awareness and awareness is the first step to change.
If you are a coach, how can you add more contrast for your clients? What awareness are they missing that they need to reach their goals?
Hit me up with what you are thinking!