Routines.

I'm someone who enjoys a routine. I'll be the first to say that I love my weekends as unstructured as possible, but when I'm all Type-A going about my week? Yeah, I like routine.

I wake up at the same time every weekday morning, I usually have 1 of 3 of the same breakfasts (smoothie, oatmeal, or toast), and get my workout in every day. I aim for 2x Pilates or Yoga and 3x Cardio (it's always SoulCycle so let's just call a spade a spade and start referring to my cardio as SoulCycle).

I always go to the same instructors at said workouts of choice because 1) I like them, their style of teaching and the way they run their classes and 2) boutique fitness is expensive man... I don't want to gamble with my $30+.

Sometimes sticking to your routine is a great thing - it provides a sense of structure and familiarity, it builds good habits, it increases efficiency (I can make a smoothie in like 2 minutes flat at this point) and it takes will-power out of the equation. I don't have to talk myself into a healthy meal or a workout during the week - it just happens. It's habitual.

But sometimes, it's important to stray from routine and to push past it - even if it's just a small step outside the box.

The other night for example, I went to a  SoulCycle class taught by an instructor I'd been to once before, years ago. Frankly trying something or someone new can be a bit of  a crapshoot- Will I like their style? Their personality? Their music? Their method of teaching? Will it be too easy? Too hard?

SO MANY FACTORS.

Then the instructor walked into the room and it was just... presence.

You can't teach that. The guy just had it.

The class was, for lack of a better description, LIT.

I rode my ass off, I tried harder than I've tried in a while, I pushed myself and I listened. 

Sometimes the message in class resonates with me and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, especially on a Friday night or when I'm tired, I can sell myself short, but make it look like I'm there 110%. Not honestly give it everything I've got, but make it look like I am. I'm pretty sure that's called bullshitting and I'm pretty sure I can do it well at times. (For better or worse.)

That's when the instructor called it out. And I checked myself. (Long before I wrecked myself.) And had this - what the hell? moment. I paid, I showed up, what was I gaining from not going all out?

I walked out of class just... READY. Mostly for a glass of wine and dinner but ready nonetheless.

November is my birthday month and while I'm not one for a month long celebration, it matters to me to be my best self moving into the year ahead. (And getting a head start on actual new year goals - see you in January, suckas.) So I committed to myself in that moment that I'd stop the bullshitting, I'd stop playing small, and I'd start showing up, 100% for myself. 

Had I continued with my routine (that works just fine for me), I may have had that lightbulb moment, and I may not have. And I'd never be any the wiser.

But taking the smallest of steps outside the box showed me something entirely new.

For that, I'll gamble with $30 any day.