Long hours in front of the computer, air-conditioned offices and concrete landscapes: the everyday of a city dweller. Not many are lucky to live in the country; or maybe the comforts of a city are too compelling to leave behind.
I swapped a megacity for a smaller city and with easy access to the Peak District, its bracken hills and coarse gritstone edges means life is good right now. But spreadsheets and meetings, video calls and deadlines are inevitable, and sometimes even three days of that make me feel trapped.
Here is my list of best lunchtime remedies for soothing a wandering mind and a restless body:
Sneakers on, watch set on a timer, I like to challenge myself and see how far from work I can get in fifteen, or even ten minutes. It really feels like escaping and running away; not towards something but just taking random turns and not thinking about the route, ending up in unexpected places. Just remember that going back is harder…
Rail Balancing or Slack-Lining
Every climber knows that balance is uber important, but heightened awareness of the body, stronger core muscles and the ability to concentrate and trust yourself are useful in any sport. Slack-lines are cheap and easy to put up and take down, but sometimes there isn’t enough time even for a quick rig. A humble rail of any sort can be a great alternative. Entertain yourself and passersby by learning to walk, turn and squat on narrower and narrower rails. It’s almost embarrassing at first, but becomes very normal (and really fun!) quickly.
Finding new places is super easy since I’ve just moved cities, but how well do you know your surroundings? If you’re someone who always follows the same route between the station and the office, go for a wander! Try finding a new view, or maybe a detail that you haven’t noticed before, and document it with your phone camera. Get to know if you can go to the roof of the nearest tall building; maybe there’s a garden with a view? Explore a little.
Straight from an air-conned office to an air-conned gym; no, thank you! I’d rather jog in the park, use a bench for box jumps, a curb as a stepper and maybe even sneak into a playground to use the bars for some calisthenics. If you lack inspiration, or don’t believe that a city is as well equipped as any gym, just open the internet and type in ‘street workout’.
Challenge and adventure are closer than you think. Happy escaping!