Small Change, Big Difference

I try very hard to push myself to get into better shape, and I will have to admit, the struggle is real.  Getting older, slowing metabolism and a lack of routine in my life from being on the road has thrown me off a healthy regimen. Not excuses, but the reality I face and that I try to deal with to get into better shape daily. That being said, I am still trying, and won’t stop.  Sometimes though, I talk about how good of shape I was once in and hear myself like I am Al Bundy in “Married With Children” talking about his athletic accomplishments in high school.

Ugh…I need to stop that.

But the other day I walked into my gym and was warming up by walking around the track, and saw the new spin bikes the club had just purchased.  Here was the bike:

Now the bike was not that much different, but if you notice, there is a little tray added above the handlebars.  This simple modification caught my attention.

I got excited, took my iPhone out of my pocket, went onto YouTube, and found the first spin workout on the site, and 25 minutes later, I was dripping sweat from the hardest workout I had put myself through in years.  It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. My mood lifted, and even though my legs have been sore for the last few days, it is because that one workout led to better ones throughout the week.  As someone who had played team sports for years, I was reminded how much harder I worked when I am “coached” and pushed, which led to a great workout via someone pushing me on YouTube.

But what made the biggest difference was not the bike, but the cheap, little tray at the top. Being able to place my iPhone and watch a video is something I had wished for, and now it was here and made all the difference.

This is why I write about innovation being about “mindset”, in  “The Innovator’s Mindset“.  When many people think of innovation, they think of some massive idea like “Uber”, or inventing the “iPhone”, etc.  When this comes to students, the simplest tweak in any idea can make the biggest difference to a student.  I remember one student who could not focus on anything, but when she wore headphones, she was in a total zone.  It was incredible to see the difference. For some students, this would do more damage than good, but for her, it was everything.

Sometimes the smallest change can make the biggest difference to our students and ourselves.  Being innovative in education doesn’t mean you have to change the world, but sometimes the innovation, is by changing their world.

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