On making time for fun, naming the “blah” we’ve all been feeling, and jiu jitsu

Happy Monday,

When I started skateboarding a few months ago, it wasn’t because I had big dreams to ollie a trash can or skate the bowls at the world-famous Venice Beach skatepark.

I was simply looking for a low-key activity I could do to get outside, move my body, and get out of my head.

The same is true when I shoot baskets at my local basketball court. When I practice my layups and free throw shots, I’m not trying to become the next Michael Jordan. In fact, I rarely even keep track of how many shots go in. My ultimate goal isn’t to be the best, but to use it as a way to take a break, get some fresh air, and mostly, have some fun.

(Both of these are perfect active rest day activities, by the way, as are activities like going for an easy hike, biking around town, and leisurely swimming.)

Because, while having big dreams and challenging long-term goals is great (I have lots, and encourage you to have lots, too), it’s also nice to have hobbies and activities that are low pressure and just plain fun.

That’s what skateboarding and shooting baskets are for me. I use them as a way to get some fresh air and low-grade movement, to get into flow, and to stop thinking so dang much.

For you, this might mean dancing to your favorite song. Or playing with your kids (human or furry kids) at the park. Or playing tennis/soccer/ping pong/frisbee with friends.

The activity itself doesn’t matter; the goal is to have something goal-less where you can relax, get out of your head, and have a little fun.

What I’m reading (article)  —

There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing by Adam Grant in The New York Times

If you’ve found yourself having less motivation and feeling less zest for life, you’re not alone — many of us are feeling this way during COVID. It turns out there’s a name for this: languishing.

Writes Grant:

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.”

So what can we do about it? Seek out activities that get us into flow, set aside uninterrupted time, and focus on small goals.

What I’m reading (book) —

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

This is my third time reading this beautiful, short philosophical classic on learning presence, love, seeking out lifelong learning, and breaking out of our perceived limits. It’s great as an audiobook, as well.

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.“

What I’m listening to —

Dr. Peter Attia on Perfectionism, Self-Discovery, and Emotional Wellbeing on Finding Mastery

Dr. Peter Attia is a physician focusing on longevity.  He also does archery, drives race cars, and once swam the Catalina Channel after learning to swim six months earlier at age thirty-one.

I enjoy following him on Instagram and also really liked this interview with Michael Gervais talking about how his lack of any obvious natural talent in any one area helped him learn the value of hard work.

“I like slogging away at things that you can get better at with a lot of work.”

A quote that inspires me —

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” — Edmund Hillary

What I’m training this week —

Side control escape to back control to rear naked choke.

I’ve been training Jiu Jitsu for about six months now and am really enjoying the challenge of something new. If the world opens up a little more, I’ll probably start trying to compete later this year.

Three new workouts from last week —

12-Minute Medicine Ball AMRAP Workout (12 minute, medicine ball)

Kettlebell Strength Workout (12 minute, kettlebell)

Outdoor Bodyweight Sprint Workout (Challenge, equipment-free)

And here’s a Plyo box workout I posted on Instagram.

Remember, you can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete (this is WAY cheaper than joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer! In addition, you’ll be helping to support the site and making future features to the app possible.).

As always, I value your feedback, so please feel free to reply directly to this email if you have any questions or comments (yes, I am a real human). I get a lot of emails and messages, so I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read everything you guys send me!

Here’s to making time for some goal-less fun,

– Krista Stryker


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