Doing All The Things That I Hate

One of the kicks I get out of my job is tricking people to enjoy a skill that they had a mental block about. This is the most rewarding part of my job. It means that, not only did I help them overcome a mental hurdle, but I’ve managed to show them they can actually enjoy something they previously believed they hated. I’ve turned around many students who thought they hated science or math.

We all have our own personal biases and often believe that we might never ever like something. So I suppose I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I am actually enjoying things in life that I previously thought … well, were completely stupid.

Here’s a short list of some of those things:

  1. Meditation – Really, how boring does this sound? Meditation is something that dreadlock-covered hippies do. What a waste of time! The question is, what won me over? A good ol’ TED Talk by Andy Puddicombe and the scientific proof of all the advantages that come with meditating. Having previously burned out once on a teaching job, I was also curious as how this would be good as preventative mental health care. It’s has done wonders for me in the past three months! Going too many days without it, I find I crave the feeling of zen after each session.
  2. Yoga – Back in university, a good friend, B., and I, started taking yoga classes out of curiously. It was new to us but it was boring in many ways. The movements were unusual and novel, but it didn’t make us sweat. Often, we’d fall asleep in savasana. Then heated yoga became all the rage at the time and we ended up paying waaay too money for the thrill of a heated room at the Moksha studios. And without any knowledge of Ashtanga or the 8 Limbs of Yoga, it continued to be a huuuuuge snore for the next 10 years. It wasn’t until I uncovered a secret world of arm balances and inversions on Instagram in 2014 that my practice became meaningful and has transformed my health.
  3. Weightlifting – For meatheads, boys and butch women. But whaaa … coming across hashtags like #fitchicks and #girlswholift, I couldn’t help but get curious. I also saw a few female friends begin to lift. And when I began plateauing in many of the yoga asanas, I realized I needed to increase my overall body strength. Having no one to guide me, I turned to Krissy Cagney on CodyApp for guidance, purchasing Beginner Strength. The thought of cardio? Like an embarrassing story you told about yourself as a naive teenager. The rest is history. This was a real life changer at the age of 32.
  4. Learning languages – This one blew me away. I always thought learning languages was immensely difficult and this is probably what stops a lot of people before they even make an attempt. I hadn’t found any effective way of quickly picking up a new language until a coworker, A., introduced me to the Pimsleur method. Then my friend B. asked me to go to Turkey with her. I didn’t even know where Turkey was, nor did I care at all about its culture! I actually didn’t know anyone who was of Turkish descent and I now realize how completely ignorant I was. Then, for fun, I studied Turkish for 3 months and found myself having a pretty good time making small talk on my trip. Wow, learning languages is a skill that you can  develop after your teens. Yes, we can. And yes, you can too!

I’ve learned that just because I’m not into something at first glance doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable.

What are hobbies or skills that you initially weren’t interested in, but later discovered that it was fun?