Speed bumps are simple actions we use to reset our habits. They make following our nourishing routines easier, and help us get closer to balance in our lives.
Splendid Spoon team member and dancer, Alex Hagney, recently ran her first half-marathon. Today she shares how she keeps moving, finds balance, and resets her habits.
Splendid Spoon: Hi Alex! What does a typical week of movement look like for you?
Alex Hagney: Hey! Now that the weather’s warmer, I bike to and from work: it’s the perfect way to get my body moving before and after sitting all day [Try adding some mindful movement to your lunch break! Here’s one way to do it. — Ed.]. Sometimes I walk in, and if I do, I use the extra time to call my mom :).
Besides my active commute, I dance with DanceWorks two nights a week, and head to pilates or yoga, or run, two-three times a week. You’ll also find me dancing around my kitchen every weekend. I can’t sit still for long!
SS: Do you have a routine around your movement habits?
AH: I’ve always been a schedule person, so I like to plan my movement routines in advance. This also holds me accountable! But, if my body starts telling me to slow down and rest, I listen to it.
SS: Speed bumps are small, simple actions we turn to when we need to reset and come back to our good habits. What’s your go-to movement speed bump?
AH: A restorative yoga class or Gaga for dancers class. Both are grounding experiences which allow me to flow and settle into my body at whatever pace I need. If it’s a busy week, I’ll improv around my apartment or set up a mat and move through some yoga. Tip: These speed bumps are more effective when you put your phone on airplane mode ;) .
SS: How did you approach your half-marathon training?
AH: My colleague Hannah, an avid runner and my self-appointed running coach, put together a custom training schedule catered to my go-to exercise routines! She even included alternative training ideas for when I was on vacation (how sweet!?). Having a schedule to follow and someone to ask any and every question made training less intimidating.
SS: What drove you to keep training?
AH: I often set up my long runs so they ended with brunch at my friends’ homes. The smiles and stack of pancakes that I knew were waiting for me kept me going! All jokes aside, I was never a long distance runner, nor have I ever sat (or ran) with my thoughts for a significant amount of time. I wanted to push my body and mind, and prove to myself that I can do anything. A combination of this internal fire and my friends’ and family’s support kept me going.
SS: What attitude do you take when you’ve gone off track and need to reset?
AH: A positive one. Happy hours, picnics, work events…things come up. It’s important not to get down on yourself when you stray from your routine. If I’ve gone off track, I kickstart with a heart-opening movement class to get those addictive exercise endorphins flowing.
SS: How are you keeping yourself moving now that the race is over?
AH: Believe it or not, I still get up early and run before work two-three times a week. I also go to classes, and try to get into as many dance studios as possible. I just signed myself up for another half-marathon in September; let the training commence!
SS: How does mindfulness help your relationship with your body and movement?
AH: For me, it’s more that movement helps my relationship with mindfulness and my body. To me, movement is the fuel my body and mind need to stay grounded, positive, and focused. Movement helps me be more mindful of my body and thoughts, and has reduced my stress and anxiety.
SS: If we want to create a movement speed bump, what should it consist of?
AH: Ask yourself what type of movement makes you feel most at peace. Once you’ve got your answer, start incorporating that into your weekly routine. If you can’t think of one, try something new, and see what sticks. When you know, you know.
SS: Are there any speed bumps you want to develop to help other parts of your life?
AH: Yes! Living in NYC has me constantly in go mode. I’d like to practice what we preach here at Splendid Spoon and start incorporating a mindful eating practice into my dinner routine. I think it’s important to treat dinner as a time to decompress and invite new conversations into your day. Having a friend over for dinner or acknowledging what I’m fueling my body with helps me slow down and find a restful state.