I’ve been running.
For a long time. This doesn’t mean I am especially good at my strides or particularly fast (at all). However, the routes I take are very metaphorical to me. What I experience with my running shoes translates into real life.
I try my best to take new routes every time, even if it is the same path with just a slight difference. This teaches my brain to continually look for new ways of doing things. Humans get comfortable, very easily. And when this occurs, We fall into the pattern of performing the same tasks daily, until they are almost mechanical. They become autonomous and we even do things out of habit, without thinking and being present with them.
I don’t want my routines to ever resemble robots (which they actually have-In the past I have definitely driven my car to my office job and arrived completely unaware that I had even made that journey). I believe there is value in routines, however I also believe daily routines shouldn’t be completely identical.
Some variance, or different running paths if you will, should be incorporated not only for the sake of avoiding boredom but also to stimulate the brain. This keeps the brain (and not to mention the heart!) active, alert and able to react to change with more confidence.
If you are a runner, try taking a new running route next time your feet hit the pavement or dirt forest trails. Your brain will thank you next time it encounters something unexpected/-such as the global pandemic none of us could have ever dreamed up 🙂