What's Your Rhythm?
Life has a rhythm. Sometimes it’s upbeat and snappy; other days it’s a slow methodical grind.
I lead several group exercise classes each week as a Spinning Instructor. One of the critical elements in facilitating a cycling class is establishing a tempo that appeals to the “mind-body” connection of a workout. Participants will be any or a combination of visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. Choreography, music, and tempo are important.
For example, while the music of the theme song to “Rocky” blares in the background I might instruct the class to:
“Put on light gear...In 15 seconds we’re going to do a 20 second sprint…Visualize a flat road and feel a light breeze…Match the beat of the music you hear with your cadence…Let’s go!”
Now that you’re either invigorated or worn out, how do we apply rhythm, cadence, and beat to our days?
For as long as I can remember weather has held a fascination. Highs, lows, barometric pressure, dew points, and backdoor cold fronts became common to my lexicon. When the Weather Channel launched in 1982 we had a new addition to our home. The segueing and transitioning between the On Camera Meteorologists revealed their unique personalities and…rhythm.
My favorite was Dave Schwartz. He is no longer with us, unfortunately, succumbing to cancer a couple of years ago. I would describe Schwartz as a weather artisan. Besides being an adept weatherman, he was a master of wordsmithing, sentence construction, and flare.
Here’s one example:
That’s one segment to not only put a chill in your bones, but a smile on your face as well.
Several years ago a movie came out that depicted the attempts of a young girl in her efforts to compete in spelling competition. Akeelah and the Bee shared the story of Akeelah Anderson and her eventual ascension to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest. Akeelah’s competitive advantage was her ability to harness a certain beat, or rhythm to how she spelled out words.
What is your tempo? Is it generally the same every day or does it vary, even vary within the course of the day, as it does for me?
Oftentimes we’re frantic: appointments to get to, deadlines to meet, children to transport. It doesn’t seem like we have time to catch our breath. That’s when it’s especially important to consciously remember to breathe. Deliberately dial back your speaking, lower the tone of your voice, slow down the gait of your walk, be mindful of your surroundings, the beauty of the earth, the feel of the wind, the chirping sound of the birds.
There will be times, too, where that lackadaisical sensation settles in. Even rolling out of bed takes some degree of considerable effort. At these times, start with one step at a time, one sock, one pant leg, one shoe. If you maintain a “To Do” list select an easy item such as “accept so and so’s dinner invitation” and respond. If the energy level is still low, take the dog for a walk, call, or text a friend. At work make a conscious effort to do one thing different than you did the day before. If there’s someone you have an opportunity to “pay forward,” here’s that chance…now.
Finally, remember music to stimulate your auditory senses and put you in your best rhythm. Enjoy this day!
The Seed Sower