RAISED ON A DIET of American self-help books in my teens probably had something to do with my relative weirdness.
Tony Robbins had me believe I could walk through walls. Wayne Dyer convinced me that my limiting thoughts had created the wall. Richard Bandler made me doubt whether the walls even existed.
Of the school leavers in my secondary school, 90% went to study at Queens University in Belfast – the de facto safe choice for many because of it’s proximity to family, friends and home comforts. I was the only one in a group of 100 that decided to move to Dublin and start afresh.
My twenties were littered with examples of lifestyle choices which opposed my families wishes and was at odds to my friends journey. Quitting (five) jobs. Starting my own business. Solo travel (x3).
Now, halfway through my thirties, and apart from the occasional job or country change, my focus has been on ways to increase the quality of my life – physically and mentally.
Some of the odder ‘trials’ I’ve taken on in the last few years alone include:
- 5 day water fast – no food (success)
- 100 Push-up Challenge (failure)
- Nanowrimo (success)
- No phone for a year (success)
- Cold Showers daily (success)
- No-Fap for a month (38 days – success)
- Lucid Dream experimentation (failure)
- Teetotal for a year (success)
Currently, I’m engaged in a couple of little experiments for shits and giggles. I was inspired by this article to start sleeping on the floor. For the past year, I’ve had some light pain in my lower back. Reading the article reminded me of a passage I read in Andre Agassi‘s autobiography about how he found lying on the floor much more comforting to his back than a cushioned mattress. I prefer to field-test these things instead of analysis-paralysis and have been parked on the floor every night for two weeks now.
If that wasn’t enough, for the past week I’ve been taping my mouth shut before going to sleep. This means that I’m breathing through my nose at night. Apparently, there are a multitude of health benefits from nasal breathing, not just at night but during the day too which followers of Buteyko proclaim. I’m still new to this, but it’s been interesting so far.
What’s next? Yoga is something I’m seriously contemplating because I’m super-tight in my lower body and would love greater range of movement in my hips. Going to a class will be top of my priorities as soon as I complete the small matter of the Belfast marathon in four weeks time.
Pain appears to be my constant companion in these trials. A psychologist would have a field day with me.