The Importance Of “Cross-Training”

February 18, 2016

If you’ve ever been involved in competitive sports, you’ve probably heard all about the benefit of cross-training – for example, football players are told to try swimming, or runners are advised to cross-country ski. Why? I love how this article from Men’s Fitness explains it:

“We all experience plateaus, and to surpass them they need to be approached constructively. In order to grow, we need to reinvent ourselves and the things we do.”

And it made me think – it really applies to life in general, not just sports. To get out of a rut — or better yet, to take yourself to the next level — you need mix it up, try new things, and push yourself in a new or different way.

In a job where creativity is our currency, I spend much of my time tapping into my “ideas reserve” and you can start to feel like you’re unable to come up with anything new. So why not “cross-train” my creativity?

One of the fabulous benefits of working at Fast Horse is our “Muse It or Lose It” stipend – we get to pick something that will help inspire our creativity (within reason, of course!) and Fast Horse will reimburse the cost – so I decided to go for it.

I invited a friend to take a cake decorating class with me at the Edina location of Cooks of Crocus Hill.

Cooks of Crocus Hill

We both love to bake and spend a lot of our personal time in the kitchen, but decorating a cake takes a bit more creativity and skill than mixing up a batch of chocolate-chip cookies, so we signed up.

cooking school

Our “coach” for the day was acclaimed pastry chef Carrie Franzen, who currently teaches baking at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. I figured we were in great hands.

It was a fabulous morning of learning. Not only did we watch her make magic with frosting — we also got to try it ourselves. While it was clear I am an amateur, the tips and tricks I learned along the way definitely helped, and I am pretty proud of what we created!

Check it out:

cake

I highly recommend trying a class yourself, or let me know what you else decide to do cross-train your creativity. I’d love to hear about it as I look for new ways to stay inspired!