The angles.

the angles | kourtney thomas

I was in the gym the other day, and because I pretty much hate ab work, I decided to switch out some different exercises than those written in my plan. It had been forever since I had done one of my all-time favorites, the cable torso rotation.

I’ll never forget the first time I was introduced to this exercise when I very first started working in a gym. My manager demonstrated, and my eyeballs just went wide, like, OMG WHUT. And then I was sore for days. It instantly became one of my favorites for a lot of reasons, one of them being that there are so many variations of it that serve the body in so many different ways. Weird, then, that I hadn’t kept this move in my repertoire or done it in so long.

As I started on my first set, I was immediately reminded why I liked this exercise so much. I usually start with the cable at chest height and do a straight rotation. But then, I was reminded of the variations and got excited about trying them again too. I switched up the angle from low to high and got really enthusiastic. All of a sudden, I felt powerful and athletic, moving in a way that I hadn’t in ages. Next set, I switched it up from high to low and felt totally different. A little more challenging, a little better burn in the obliques.

With each angle, I felt my body move in different ways. I felt different muscles engage. I had to think about how I was performing the exercise unique to each pattern. With each angle, my perspective and awareness became just slightly, or sometimes considerably, altered. And, next day, I knew I had spurred some new progress and results.

It instantly got me thinking about angles.

Really, it got me thinking about how often we fail to see or use the angles. So many times, life presents us with a challenge and we only see one way to overcome it. Or we determine a priority or set a goal and can only see one path to achieving it. Or we end up in a familiar situation and see just one choice to make.

But there’s never really only that one way, that one path, that one choice, is there? There are always angles. And how we choose to see and use those angles makes all the difference.

Think of the things we tend to come up against, or the situations that come into a lot of our lives that involve choices and processes and action steps – transitions like getting married or having kids or becoming an empty-nester, making changes to our health, pursuing new jobs or careers. Now, think of the ways we usually tend to address those situations. There are some stock answers there, right? Some default choices and paths.

Getting in better shape could look like going to the gym three times a week for an hour. Pursuing a new job could look like surfing online job sites and applying for a million things that remotely make sense. Getting married could look like planning a big thing in a big church with a big party and a big dress.

But what if it didn’t look like all that? What if those straight-and-narrows, conventional options, limited outlooks, don’t feel so right? Or, what if you’ve tried the usual angles and they don’t lead to the results, or the direction, the progress, or the life, that you truly want for yourself? What if it’s about seeking new perspective, awareness, unique and different ways to engage?

So, then, what angle can you go at this from? What are you not seeing? What are you not working? What might shift the process? What might shift the outcome?

Because the angles do exist. Even if it’s only one tangent, it’s there. Even if it’s only one degree on that tangent, it is there.

Getting in better shape can slant to a fifteen minute walk every night immediately after dinner. Pursuing a new job can slant to asking existing connections for referrals and personal introductions to companies and industries and specific influencers you have targeted and identified. Getting married can look like a civil ceremony with two strangers as witnesses and all that extra money used to buy a camper van.

There is an angle.

Which, admittedly, can sometimes be difficult to see. Ever had an a-ha moment in talking to someone else about a problem or issue or crisis you’re having? Yeah, me too. That’s new awareness of an angle, and that’s a big part of the reason why I think it’s important to have a great support team around you. Even if we’re soul sisters, I can guarantee our life experiences and philosophies, or places within them and their timelines, are just different enough that we might see other angles for each other. Sometimes it’s just about getting outside the world of your own brain and getting that reminder that you do know of other angles to try.

Keep in mind, too, that it’s not necessarily always about changing direction or doing it totally differently because you’re stuck. Yes, that’s definitely one way to use angles. But you can also use angles when things are going great. You can use the angles to enhance your results, progress, and life.

So what’s the angle you can open up to today? Where can you shift your gaze? Where can you listen a little more? What can you allow for that you have previously resisted? What can you invite in – or block out? How can you engage differently? Reposition? Shift gears or lanes or tracks entirely?

What’s your one degree?


I’d love to hear the angles you’re considering, and I’m always happy to give a little outside perspective. Feel free to reach out if you need a little reminder today. And always more angles, weekly, by signing up here.

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