I really think I write about everyday life. I don’t think I’m quite as odd as others say I am. Life is intrinsically, well, boring and dangerous at the same time. At any given moment the floor may open up. Of course, it almost never does; that’s what makes it so boring-
Why do we become bored with cycling – running, our yoga practice – anything? Typically we immerse ourselves in rewarding and stimulating environment(s) – We have plenty of training apps and social media to keep us motivated, although, tracking performance or sharing memorable accounts of a recent race with friends, succeeds only in dividing our attention further from the inspiring moment at hand, perpetuating our boredom even more. Let’s honestly ask ourselves and reflect on how often we simply stare at our gadgets, with no purpose at all?
Why is our boredom hardly ever recognized, let alone less addressed and talked about openly?
What boredom does for me personally, is to pull open the blinds on some rather uncomfortable thoughts and feelings – Thoughts and feelings, I normally try to escape and block out with a flurry of activity. Case in point: Long bike rides, lets say 75+ miles, I often find myself bored, which means I spend more time looking up Stats and KOM’s with Strava. Rather than savoring the beautiful countryside flowing beside me. If you are ever unfortunate enough to attend one of my yoga classes? When some new-age hippie Wanderlust music starts playing fifteen minutes into class and you have been in down dog for 5 minutes? I have become bored and uninspired as a teacher. Time to hop on the old Hedonic Treadmill …
I find being bored so unpleasant, that I expend considerable time and energy trying to reduce it. The technological gizmos lying at our twitchy fingertips have put an infinite amount of “information” and “stimulation” at our disposal. However, oddly enough, this only serves to make “things” worse! How? Instead of just being we become stale to the world, seeking more stimulation and information … The treadmill rolls on.
When we ease into the comfort of our boredom, we develop a deeper relationship with our true selves rather than our technology/phones/gadgets. There is a simple, brilliant wealth of creativity waiting for us …
... The kindness of others is all they ever wanted, the laughter of neighbors prospering in the blue light of summer. Those of the small sputtering flame and the sudden white sprung hair, who feed off envy and grow old quickly, desire largesse. The role of poor relation evokes a lack they are not apt to admit, or unbearable pity. They prefer to penetrate the giver’s effortless knack of giving they perceive as vitality, a pulsating entity that rewards the kindness of others tenfold. This they have witnessed. This they have tabulated relentlessly. The generosity of others whose spirits, like their long-legged children blossoming into a progeny of orchards and fields, flourish. Those who have never known kindness drag into the privacy of their smallness the baskets of fruit appearing year after year on their porches, to be picked apart in the hushed posture of thieves. They peel skin, probe flesh the color of honey as if the seeds will yield something other than a glimmer of sweet air rising from the roots of trees and licorice-laced, half-opened leaves. Those of the small flame, who feed off envy and grow old quickly, live out their lives hungry, glaring at themselves across the table, wife of the cruel mouth, husband of the thin broth trickling like spittle. - Cathy Song
Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before-
Do you find it difficult to resist temptation related to physical endeavors?
Picture the difference between wanting to run a 2:30:00 marathon and not being able to finish one (runners are easily stirred up. If you like, pick something that resonates with you). Now imagine a plyo-band stretched between you and the “thing” you want to achieve, pulling evenly on you, drawing you close. We have a hard time staying in tension and resisting the pull. So we do things: we purchase the latest running gadgets, try new activities the day before an event to release the ever-growing tension.
The image I am trying to paint for you is that once we release the tension, we feel better.
However, out here in the real world? Reality is markedly different. Sure for a few fleeting moments we feel better … Then the morning of the event arrives and in a flash, second guessing creeps in, doubt shows up alongside you and we go back to feeling the same as before. Welcome my friends to the Hedonic Treadmill.
We relentlessly pursue things and experiences that we think will make us happier. But once we acquire them, we quickly return to our previous level of happiness. Then we start looking for the next latest and greatest “thing” … 5k-10k-1/2 Marathon-Marathon-Triathalon-Ultra events … The sweet new Felt carbon-fiber tri bike you’ve been lusting after? The first time you sling your leg over the top tube feels like good sex. You’ve dreamed of this moment all season long. Although, 128 miles later the bike feels like every other bike you’ve ever owned, saddle sore and all. What better time to start lusting after another new bike, another gadget. The Hedonic Treadmill patiently awaits your arrival …
When I work with folks away from this rambling blogging thing, I lament, nauseously about building tension. Breathing, muscle activation and willpower? What? Willpower … Willpower is mastering tension not always getting what we want, when we want it, releasing the tension we have patiently building.
Creating tension is a beautiful and empowering process, embrace it and be well today.
To be frugal is to return before straying-
Well you have done it once again. You have wasted yet another splendid week reading the ramblings of CultFit HQ. Bravo, dear reader(s)!
Like looking at the glorious pictures of others lives is extremely easy and addicting. The hedonic treadmill is awfully easy to hop onto as well. Slowly, each and everyday we begin to take our current lives for granted. Always trying to reach the next level of fulfillment. Try to understand that the hedonic treadmill is not a necessary part of living life. Can you keep a secret? It’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy what you have, right now – at this very moment. Look around you … That is enough!
**While we take a moment to water our parched and withering flowers outside. Punch “Hedonic Treadmill” into your Google Machine.**
This is without doubt the photo of the Olympics:
Hat Tip: Greg Bull of the Associated Press
Simply take a moment today and dedicate yourself to “yourself“. It very well may be the hardest thing you have done so far this week … We woke up early and peacefully went for a nice Walk and lost ourselves in a nice quite Yoga progression.
Be happy today and make it great! Over the weekend? Have fun, shop for some Poo Paper and ENJOY!!!