I love theatrical improvisation, but this challenge had nothing to do with standing on a stage and trying to entertain people. It was all about forcing myself to do something spontaneous and fun. Each day, I set aside one hour to do something impulsive. Here is what happened:
Day 1: I’d been contemplating taking my writing sessions to the park for the past few weeks, but I kept finding reasons not to do it. This challenge was the perfect opportunity to throw caution to the wind. So, I grabbed my computer and headed to the park. While fun, the amount of actual work I managed to squeeze into that one hour of “improvisation” was laughable. But I didn’t care; the aim was to be spontaneous, not productive. So, in that regard, it was a smashing success.
Day 2: The book “Maybe It’s You” by Lauren Handel Zander had been at the top of my To-Read list for the past month or so, and now felt like the perfect time to finally begin devouring it. So, I grabbed my phone—I had purchased the audiobook version—and a notebook and headed to a park. The next two and a half hours were spent taking full responsibility for my life—both the good and the bad—and creating a detailed vision of my life in each of the twelve areas in the book. I then painted a vivid description of the current state of my life for each category and listed all the reasons I’d failed to achieve my vision of my perfect life. It was a sobering experience, but one I enjoyed wholeheartedly.
Day 3: I played Egg Slap with my roommate. In case you’ve never heard of it—which would make a lot of sense given the fact that we invented it—Egg Slap is a tennis/ping-pong-like game that requires neither rackets nor balls. Using a plastic egg we found during one of our walks, we use our bare hands to smack it into the air. The aim is to keep it from touching the ground, but it’s extremely difficult because the uneven shape of the eggs makes predicting its trajectory nearly impossible. It’s tons of fun and a great way to improve your reflexes.
Day 4: The plan was to spend the entire hour catching up on the online training I’d been putting off for the past few months, but fate had other plans. Ten minutes into my improv. hour, my roommate requested my help to retrieve a piece of furniture he’d purchased in anticipation of his upcoming move. While somewhat annoyed, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to embrace the randomness of life. The remainder of the hour was spent sitting in the car and carrying a bookcase up two flights of stairs.
Day 5: My final day was very similar to the second day. I continued listening to Maybe It’s You and completing the exercises contained within it. It was a fun, relaxing way to end the challenge.
As you can see, the things I did weren’t exactly revolutionary—or even passably interesting for anyone but me—but I’m glad I did this challenge because it reminded me that I routinely embrace the uncertainty of life. Also, it made me realize how much I miss my weekly improv. sessions. I can’t wait for the social distancing to end so I can get back on stage and make a complete fool of myself, lol.