Have you seen those fancy dog toys at pet stores?
You know the kind: “puzzles” designed to keep your puppy entertained in your tiny apartment so he doesn’t go crazy and wreck up the place? The salesperson says, “dogs need exercise and mental stimulation” and, of course, they’re right.
It’s funny, then, that so many people have much lower standards when it comes to their own mental and physical health. Even a Jack Russell with a fraction of your brainpower will get bored jogging on a treadmill for more than 10 minutes, yet many people regularly expect themselves to be satisfied with it.
If you complain about this to a conventional trainer they may tell you to ease the boredom by listening to uplifting music or watching something on TV. In other words, the solution to being completely disengaged from your workout is… to disengage further.
Boredom is a sign.
It’s a loud, clear message that you’re punching well beneath your weight.
You don’t have to power through boredom by adding more and more distraction. You need to stop doing what you’re doing. When your whole body is engaged in a physical activity, there’s no question of zoning out. You need all your focus, all your strength and all your concentration.
“Whole body” means your mind, too.
Cycling on a fixed bike boring you to tears? It doesn’t mean you need more willpower to force yourself to do it, it means you need to step things up a notch. Get yourself on a real bike and out there into the world. Weight training seeming monotonous? Don’t stop, just amp it up until it feels like a real challenge. Climb mountains, move giant truck tires and scale up ropes.
Unlike your dog, if you’re bored and unstimulated mentally, you’ll just stop and get fat, which could be better or worse than ripping the sofa cushions to shreds, I don’t know.
Next time you’re bored, don’t look at the activity and think “this isn’t enough”, look at yourself and think, “I’m not doing enough.”
What kind of activities keep you focused and 100% tuned in?