Remember the phrase, “Put a little zip in your step.”?
I’m confused about the zip.
Some mornings I will consciously tell myself I need a little zip. To walk with energy. Purpose. Motivation. I figure it makes me look younger.
Older people tend to walk slower. Shuffle from side-to- side. Like they’re not really going anywhere. Or if they are, they aren’t concerned about time.
Depressed people walk like that too. Side-to- side.
If you’re going to put zip in your step, you’ve got to intentionally do it. And you’ve got to want to do it.
And it’s not just about walking.
Some people inherently have zip. Think about your friends. Which ones have zip and which ones don’t?
A bunch of my friends have zip. A kind of energy for life. They’re positive. Curious. Able to be present. In the moment. They zip.
They’re slower to move. Cautious. Less positive. Less energetic. Living in the future or the past. They may be in a relationship with a partner with zip. But they’ve been zapped.
I want to be the one with zip. I think I can get there….but I’m also a most successful object at rest. I can wallow in ennui.
So I have to talk to myself. Motivate myself. Plant the energy in my head. Make myself be aware. I have to be on it.
Maybe to have zip, you have to be mentally or physically going somewhere. Which can be a problem as you age. You think of time as finite… as opposed to infinite. You consider yourself approaching retirement or in retirement. Things coming to an end. As opposed to understanding that you have a third of your life in front of you.
Younger people can have this same problem. Bereft of excitement for the years ahead. Stagnant. Short-sighted. And hence zapped.
Fitbit has a product, the “Fitbit Zip”. It tracks and measures the energy you expend in a day. They think of it as a sort of motivator to get you going. And keep you going.
Unfortunately, western society throws zip a giant curveball. Our lives are too stressful. Most of us are exhausted. We don’t sleep. Coffee is toxic and doesn’t really help. Multi- tasking uses us up. Guilt is a downer. Downtime in front of the TV makes it worse. We’re zapped.
Which brings us to “grounding” or earthing”.
Grounding or earthing is the practice of standing in the dirt barefoot. It’s apparently very good for you. The earth is full of electrons, which transfer to you. Bottom to top. You get zipped.
Studies show it improves blood viscosity, heart rate, inflammation, cortisol, sleep, balance and reduces stress. A simple barefoot walk on the beach.
A friend of mine is really into this. Always barefoot outdoors. Even has something he stands on indoors that replicates the effect. He has zip.
I think music can do this too.
Last Tuesday I was sort of galumphing around my house. No real energy to speak of. I had an appointment to have my hair trimmed at nine-thirty. When I went in, my hair stylist, Greg , was watching a Paul McCartney video from a performance in Japan. Great music. Cheering fans. He clipped. I watched. I can’t tell you what that music did for my happiness and energy. I was flying when I left that appointment. I had zip.
So, I’m going to listen to more music.
Tomorrow morning, I’ll put on my Fitbit and a pair of headphones. Crank up my tunes. Take off my shoes. And head out the door.
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