On having more than one interest.

This past month, after a long break, I wanted to get in shape so I started working out again. It’s difficult to motivate myself to do anything, especially exercise, so this time, as I was looking for a new work out routine, I laid down these minimum requirements that had to be met:

  • Any workout has to be group-based because I lack self-discipline.
  • Classes should be held in the evening (and not coincide with prayer times) because ain’t nobody gon’ wake up at dawn.
  • It also has to be held somewhere between the office and home so that I drop in and drop out quickly, and get back home as soon as possible to wash up and lie on my bed.

So instead of getting a yearly gym subscription and wasting it (see point 1 above), I opted for a monthly fitness membership that gives me access to various studios and gyms. I’ve tried different workout classes before so I know my favourites—I like kickboxing and muay thai to get the heart pumping, and I like yoga for stretching out tight muscles and days I want to take it a little slower—so I zoomed in on those specialised studios.

After signing up, I also gave pilates, zumba toning and HIIT a try. I really enjoyed them, so I’ve settled on a weekly routine that’s a mixture of all the classes I liked. For a single workout package, I’m super happy that I can change it up according to what I feel like doing that day.

Exploring the different exercises made me think about creative dabbling. Just like how I’m interested in many types of artistic expressions, it seems I approach fitness the same way. Instead of doing one type of exercise, I have zumba on one day, then muay thai the next, then pilates on the following day. Nothing is on repeat and this keeps me interested. I get excited when I can personalise and choose what I want to focus on in a particular week.

I’m discovering that this explorative style works well for me because I prefer some flexibility within a structured framework. And even though I am dipping my hands in many buckets, my exploration doesn’t take away from my original intention, which is to keep fit and take care of my body.

The same can be said for my creative endeavours. Underneath my desire to write, paint, photograph or make videos is a simple yearning: I want to tell a story. A good one.

And my far-flung interests may seem random and disjointed, but there is a singular motivation that driving us to keep poking, to stay curious. The reason may not be clear immediately—I sure didn’t figure that one out in a year or five years; it took a really long time— but I guess our job is to follow the breadcrumbs and see where it leads, and have fun along the way.

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