I went tram surfing again.
While traveling to give a talk, I had to ride the tram at the airport to get to a different terminal for my connecting flight. It was a short ride, and I’d been sitting already for a couple of hours on the first flight so I decided I would stand and “tram surf.”
After boarding the tram, the usual announcement came over the speakers, “Please hold onto the handrails while the tram is in motion.” Guess who did not hold the handrails?
I set my feet wide and staggered them slightly front-to-back. As the tram began to move I used me to stay upright. (Before anyone freaks out about how “dangerous” it is, note that I did hover my hand a short distance away from the handrail ready to grasp it quickly if I did need to…so keep calm and read on.)
It brought an inner awareness and physical focus for just a few minutes in what is commonly a mentally unstimulating and passive experience.
It would have been easier to sit or to stand and hold onto the handrails. By choosing the harder way to ride the tram, I delivered a few moments of benefit to my body and mind that didn’t overwhelm me or tire me out. And it was kind of fun. Join me in doing things the hard way.
What’s the Upside?
There are already an abundance of labor-saving, convenience-maximizing changes to everyday life. We are saving time, saving labor, while losing ourselves. And it’s taking a toll on our health and vitality.
What we are learning about health and wellness is that it is just as important to consider what you do outside of your workout program. These brief moments of doing things the hard – yet fun – way are great since they aren’t long enough or taxing enough to exhaust you. They just take a moment’s choice and a little shift in how you see the world when you step out in it.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- When you go out for a walk, balance on the curb, avoid/step on the cracks in the pavement – make the walk a moving adventure of interacting with what you encounter on the walk.
- Never, ever stand on a moving walkway. It is called a walkway for a reason.
- Take the stairs but abnormally…two-at-a-time if you can…or step up on an angle or sideways.
- Remember, escalators are still stairs – just moving ones. Moving walkway guidelines apply.
- Stand up whenever you take public transportation – and subject to your comfort level, try “tram surfing” as I described above (or “train surfring,” “bus surfing,” or whatever version best fits your situation.)
- Check out my videos for “The Walking Games” for more fun ideas alone or with a walking partner.
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