Do Something Different to Improve

How can you improve by doing the same thing over and over?

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Copyright Dennis Mitton

GluteousHere’s a weird one but it gets to the point.

My butt is killing me. Right at the top where my gluteus medius attaches to the top of my pelvis. It a smaller muscle right at the top of your rear that helps you balance and controls sideways movement of the legs.

The muscle hurts because I don’t use it much and now I am. I like running which, obviously, is typically a forward-moving exercise. So I don’t use this muscle much compared to it’s larger and more famous partner the gluteus maximus. The maximus helps to pull my thigh upwards when I run.  I’m doing a new workout now with more lateral motion that puts this comparatively weaker muscle in play. So it’s sore.

Doing something different is the key to any improvement. It’s obvious when you think about it – how could we ever improve doing x by only doing x? This is why marathoners do sprints. They need more than the long drudge of mere miles to earn their best times. This is why we do word problems in math. This is why we experiment with whole wheat flour instead of using the bleached white stuff. Different results required different inputs.

How do you want to improve? What are you doing now to maintain your skills? What do you need to do in order to improve those skills? Whatever it is, it will be awkward at first. What you are good at felt awkward once. But keep at it and the new habit begins to feel comfortable. It starts to feel right. And then you’re on the track to improvement and accomplishment.

So have at it. Do something different. Put yourself in a weird place. Do something out of character. You’ll be better for it.

Living Long and Happy. Learn to Work Hard and Be Uncomfortable

 

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