When we're kids, it seems like we have countless opportunities to try something new. Pretty much everything you do as a kid you're doing for the first time, but even so, the variety of activities children are exposed to is much greater than it is in adulthood. Think about some of the things you did as a kid. Did you play an instrument or two? A sport? Take dance lessons? Create a board game?
The road to adulthood is often paved through a funnel. What I mean by that is we start out with so much opportunity and possibility, but the choices we make slowly take us down a narrower path. Somewhere along the way, we stop seeking out new skills and knowledge. After the liberation of graduating from college wore off, I started to feel lost in everyday routine. A month after graduation, I returned from spending two weeks in Italy and Greece. Immediately after arriving home, I felt like I had grown and changed, but no one else around me had. I searched for ways to do something new and exciting in my hometown. I broke up with my boyfriend, who was content to do the same average thing everyday, and allowed myself to explore almost any new opportunity that came my way.
Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not off gallivanting on some new exotic adventure every week, although that would be fun. Instead, I've found ways to experience new and different things in my community. This list includes activities I currently do and some of the ones I hope to try soon!
1. Hot Yoga - Next door to where I work is a hot yoga studio. I saw that they were running a 2-week unlimited class special for only $30. I immediately took advantage of the offer as an opportunity to experience a new type of exercise. I loved it! I only made it to three classes in the 2-week period, but still felt as though I got my money's worth. I didn't stick with it since a regular membership is not in my budget, but I keep my eye out for more specials!
2. Adult Recreational Sports - This is one I wanted to be a part of ever since I graduated from high school, where sports are most prominent. I searched online, but wasn't able to find anything until I met my current boyfriend. He's part of several adult soccer leagues and a softball league. I knew these things existed, but it can be hard to track a team down. Most teams fill their rosters with friends of friends, so you kind of have to know somebody who is already on a team. You can send out the word on social media to see if any of your friends are a part of sports league or check out your city's parks & recreation website for info. Just in the past year, I've played soccer, volleyball, and softball. I enjoy staying in shape with sports much more than hitting the gym.
3. Tap Dance - I'm signed up to start this one next month! I actually bought tap shoes two years ago, hoping it would motivate me. Now it's finally happening! It took me a while to find a dance studio that offered classes for adults, but finally I found one offering 5-week workshops for adults for only $50! Can't wait to get my tap on!
4. Take Drum Lessons - I've always wanted to play the drums, but growing up I didn't really have the opportunity to take any instrument lessons. I dabbled in guitar for a bit, but wasn't passionate about it enough to practice. A couple years ago, a friend bought me a set of drumsticks to get me started, but I have yet to fulfill this dream. I reached out to a local drum school, but they never responded, so this is still on the bucket list for now.
5. Painting - A lot of these painting shops have opened up where you come in and learn how to paint a certain picture all in one sitting. Most of them also feature wine and a fun, group atmosphere. We've been going to these paint events for our holiday work party for the past three years. Each time, we learn a little more technique and come away with a masterpiece! It's definitely a good way to learn a new skill without being overwhelmed and having to purchase a lot of equipment.
6. Running a Race- A couple years ago, my boss asked us to join her in a 7-mile footrace that was happening locally. Without thinking, I agreed. I ran track and cross-country in middle school, but had never ran more than three miles straight. As the race drew closer, I began to regret my decision to sign up, but when race day actually came, I did really well! And I felt great afterward. I ran the whole time and proved to myself that I had an endurance I didn't know was there. This year I'm part of a relay race going all the way from Mount Baker to the Bellingham Bay. I'm competing as a runner in an 8-mile leg of the race. This year, I actually plan to to some training, though. We'll see if that happens . . . There are so many cool races out there now for beginners, such as The Color Run. Even with little to no training, it's fun to get out there with a group of friends and see what you're capable of!
This is just a short list of ideas to try out this year if you're looking for something new and exciting to break you out of the daily grind. Even if you're going it alone, finding a new activity will open you up to meeting some different people outside of your normal circle. What will you try this year?