\ Walking Day Three: Norming and Distant Storm Clouds | Christina Brandt

2. October 2011

A little less fresh and enthusiastic, the group set out for a 20+ km walk today. Group dynamics being what they are, the norming has set in:  they’ve got the routine down…get up, eat, bandage/cream/lube up the feet, and pop on the boots.  Get water bottles and Camelbaks filled and pile into the van for a drive to the day’s embarkation point.  Find your favorite walking partner (iPod or human) and head out.  Be sure to sit in the same seat in the van, or at the breakfast table, too.

We’re such creatures of habit, believing there’s safety and security in a predictable routine.  When we get the least thrown off – having the group leader take away your pack and request that you walk without it for a half hour, or switch seats in the car – we’re flustered, confused and frustrated.

Our brains LOVE predictability.  They’ve got such a big job to do each day, sifting through billions of stimuli to find and focus on what matters to us.  When we throw them off by breaking out of a rut, it feels tough.  We even get headaches.

When was the last time you upset the status quo in your group (family, colleagues, friends, etc.)?  What do you believe will happen?  Are you sure it will?

Disrupting your group’s routine may generate some “storming,” but it’s well worth the calm and peace that come afterward.

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