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Breaking from the Routine

“If you wanna fly you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” – Toni Morrison

It’s simple, really. You decide what to be and go be it. But then the excuses begin. The commitments. The stuff to do. The comfortable routines that drag you back to reality (the reality you choose) and keep you right where you were yesterday and where you’ll be tomorrow.

Habits are a path to fitness, wealth, knowledge and power. But habits are also a path to sloth, financial stress, mindless binge watching and low agency. The choice, friends, is ours.

Do you really want to fly? Then break away from the things that hold you down (Morrison put it more succinctly). That might be stuff, mortgages, and relationships, or it might simply be habits. More likely it’s a combination of both.

There are very legitimate reasons for not traveling right now. But no reason not to explore. To get up early and ride or walk to places nearby that you’ve never seen before. Burning calories and firing up the imagination.

The pandemic either jolted you free of the routines that held you back or boxed you more tightly in. The fitness world exploded last year even as it imploded. You couldn’t get a bike or kayak or pair of snowshoes to save your life. But you could walk out the door and keep walking until you reached your goal. You don’t need stuff to fly. You need courage to break away.

I picked up one of the barbell plates stacked neatly on the weight rack and walked around with it for a while. It was exactly the weight that I wanted to lose. Exactly what I was already carrying around with me with the excuses for not losing it. It was a wake-up call. A reminder of what I’ve drifted away from lately. Of what I’d drifted to.

If you want to fly, you can’t be weighed down with shit. This applies equally well to anything that matters: reaching peak fitness, accumulating knowledge, reaching peak earning power, and efficiently exploring the world.

I put that weight plate back on the rack and then walked around without it, looking at the accumulation of stuff in the house, thinking about the accumulation of obligations… and recognized that the routine was quietly killing me. Something had to change. Someone has to change. And I took the first small step.

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