While in Cincinnati this week, I had one night where I simply couldn't get outdoors early enough to walk in the park. I had to use the hotel "gym", which consisted of two treadmills and a scale. Two things were not cool about this. The treadmill, and the scale. I used their scale which said that I was an astonishing 25 pounds heavier than mine at home says! Now, I didn't let this bother me at all because I have weighed myself in numerous locations, and they never match up, but they're all in the same range. Also, I know that regardless of what I actually weigh, I have lost 45 pounds and that's for sure. BUT, it did leave me kind of irritated. I have since checked a couple of scales that put me back where I thought I was. I calibrated that scale at the hotel, but it obviously was still way off.
The second thing was just having to walk on a treadmill. I used to LOVE the treadmill, so I was fine with that. When I got on and started going, I found that I no longer enjoy it at all. I've become so accustomed to walking in nature, and being mindful while doing so, that I really enjoy that connection I get with nature. So I mustered my mindfulness training and pushed forward. I didn't want to watch TV or listen to music, which would possibly take me away from myself, so I tried extra hard to stay mindful. Instead, I kept catching myself worrying too much about how long it was taking, how many calories I had burned, how many miles I had been. Since the treadmill was about all there was to look at, I enjoyed it less and less as I went on.
Finally, I pulled out my iPhone4 and fired up a slideshow of all the beautiful pictures I had taken in the park the day before. I put it on play, and sat it on the tray of the treadmill, then pretended I was walking in that park. With the images, it made it so much easier to enjoy the time. I found that once I focused on the pictures of nature, I was able to be mindful and focus on the things I normally give gratitude for when I walk.
Was this cheating? Did I use a tool to help me avoid reality in order to then be mindful? I'm not sure, but I know that it not only made the no-fun situation more bearable, but it also helped me be MORE mindful, by distracting myself! Strange. Not sure what to make of that, but it worked.
This also brings up another item. I posted almost 24 hours ago for people to just ask for a free app code and haven't gotten a single response, although I have had a lot of traffic. This makes me wonder if anyone who is currently reading this blog is an iPhone user or not? Let me know, I'd be curious.
Have a GREAT day!