In my bathroom, I have a hairdryer.
I don’t like to dry my hair that often, but in the winter when it gets cold, sometimes it needs a little help if I don’t want to be walking around with a damp mop on top of my head all day.
Since the only outlet in our bathroom is behind a large cabinet, I leave an extension cord plugged into the outlet and the hairdryer plugged into the extension and then just let it hang out on the floor next to the sink.
Well, one day I noticed that the safety label says not to leave the dryer plugged in due to fire hazard. I guess I already knew that, but had never been too concerned about. However, in that moment, I decided I should probably keep the thing unplugged. Better safe than sorry right?
But then a small part of my brain went, “ugh, now I have to bend down and plug and unplug it every time.” Every time being, like, twice a week maybe. How lazy do I have to be to not want to spend an extra twenty seconds plugging and unplugging something twice a week?! But that’s how we are. I know I’m not the only one.
There are countless ways we make our lives more “convenient” every day, and they usually lead to less movement. We don’t want to reach up to the top shelf to grab our coffee, we don’t want to squat down to pick up that piece of trash or get our socks from the bottom drawer. “Why can’t all drawers be at waist height??” we bemoan to the universe. Or maybe it’s a time issue – I don’t have time to walk to the store, or cut up vegetables, or stir the oil into the natural peanut butter (that shit can be hard)…
Maybe you really are short on time. With all that movement you’re not doing though, you’re probably having to make time to go to the gym to get some motion into your day. Or make time to go to the chiropractor about that nagging back pain. Worst case scenario, you’re going to have to find the time to take several weeks off for that joint surgery that’s manifested after years of poor movement habits.
How about instead of making larger chunks of time to go the gym or the doctor’s office, we start allowing in more of those smaller chunks of movement time? Like squatting down to plug in the hair dryer.
Instead of thinking, “Ugh, not again,” thinking, “Yay, daily movement achieved!” I like to imagine a little gold star sticker chart in my mind, and anytime I choose to accomplish something in a more movement-rich way, I give myself a little gold star and a pat on the back. Sat on the floor to put on my shoes? Cha-ching! Gold star! Balanced on one leg to take the shoe off? BAM! Killin’ it!
Movement doesn’t have to be drudgery. Inconvenience doesn’t always have to be inconvenient. It could be gold star territory.