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"Stretching in the Street...?!?" - Overcoming the Judgement of Others

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

During a session the other day, I spoke with a client about making time to work on stretching, mobility and generally just opening the body up to healthier movement. I don't do enough of it myself, so the discussion we had was a bit of an eye-opener.

The client mentioned that it's interesting how much time we waste while we're waiting for things in our daily lives. Even in the age of instant gratification brought about by the internet, we still have to wait for things to happen on a daily basis. Maybe we're waiting 20-40 minutes for dinner to cook, sitting on a bench waiting for a friend to show up for a walk, or (maybe more of a pre-covid thing) standing at a train station or bus stop waiting for public transport - whatever it happens to take the form of, we're still waiting for something at least once every day.

But what if we used these times of waiting to do something more proactive? I'm not going to do the maths, but I'm sure that adding up all those idle minutes of waiting around could add up to something pretty shocking over the course of a year. What if you decided to use those minutes to do something to help your body?

It's a bit of a wild notion when you think about it - would you ever get stuck into a mobility routine by the side of the road, in full view of everyone around you? How about doing it in front of the family in the living room while dinner's in the oven? The thought of jumping into some joint/muscle/movement work outside the confines of your normal fitness environment is very daunting, but imagine what you could do for your body if you used all that time spent waiting to work on your movement health!

Our main concern when confronted with an idea like this is the risk of judgement from others. We don't want to do anything outside the norm because we're scared of what others might think. Obviously judgement is very real and can slow us down in all sorts of areas of life, but it's important to challenge the judgement of others from time to time. Do something different enough times and you'll notice that most people won't even notice.

The client I was speaking with is a professional performer, and is used to being watched very closely by many hundreds of people at once. While this has great effects on confidence, it can sometimes lead to the belief that everyone, everywhere, is always watching.

This might be a little more of an intense feeling than most people get when it comes to the judgement of others, but the lesson is the same for everyone. When someone wants to watch a performer, they go out of their way to pay for or reserve a space in an audience. This way, they almost guarantee that the performer will have their undivided attention during their performance. Outside the performance, the person hasn't gone out of their way to see you do anything at all, so the likelihood of them wanting to pay attention to you is very low.

You might surprise people with the things you do, especially if they're a little outside the norm, but know that the chances lean very significantly towards them not bring interested or bothered by what you're up to. Plus, who's to say that they're not jealous of you for being so unafraid to take care of your body so freely?

Take a leap and do something a little different next time you find yourself waiting for something. Do something your body will thank you for, and don't think about the people around you!


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