I know some of you are thinking, “Um, Lisbeth, why did you make a coloring book?”
That’s what I would have thought a few years ago, too. I hadn’t colored since middle school (and doodling while on the phone with some utility company or bank didn’t count).
When I started to see these reports of adults coloring, I was a bit skeptical and a little amused. “Coloring? Now? Really?” I was certain I had better uses for my time.
But I went to my local bookstore, flipped through the handful of adult coloring books they had available, and I bought this one. I went home and found my son’s coloring pencils and had at it.
First, I just colored. It was okay. Then, I poured myself a little glass of whiskey, and hit Spotify for some tunes. And I resumed coloring a floral pattern with those pencils.
Somewhere along the way, my mind wandered and my hands kept working and Gillian Welch was singing “I want to do right but not right now” and … I was there. Relaxed. Just coloring and working and concentrating on the lines and shapes and the motion. In that state somewhat similar to when you’re in the middle of a hard workout or a mountain bike climb or a tenth lap in the pool where your body is working and you’re almost on auto-pilot but you’re here too.
That place. It really has no words to describe it, but we all know it when we feel it.
A place beyond time or reason or description. But we feel it. That zone. The one we go into and then, somehow, we come out just a little bit better for our journey.
Once I had that feeling while coloring, I realized I could turn to it whenever I needed to slow down for a moment and reset. A quick hit of de-stress. It’s kind of silly to talk about it like this, but all I know is it works for me.
I went back to that bookstore and bought a couple of other coloring books, but I found myself searching there (and online) for the adult coloring book I couldn’t find: one that had barbells and bumpers and women and words for motivation and inspiration. And when I couldn’t find one to buy, I realized I had to make one.
And that’s why I made my adult coloring book! It’s full of barbells and bumpers and kettlebells and women and men (and even a dog!) and sayings that perk you up and make you laugh. I added activity pages, too: crossword puzzles about the gym and deadlifts, word searches about the snatch and bodyweight exercises, and other word games, and a “Would You Rather” page where you make choices about training movements and you have fun with those choices. Everything in the book is centered on movement and training, and it’s all just darn fun. I had a blast creating it, and I hope everyone has as much fun completing it!
But, most of all with this project, I wanted to create joy. Because in a world that can seem dark and scary at times, it’s more important than ever to remember to take a moment, de-stress, and tap into your inner child. Except now you get to drink a little bit of whiskey too.
So, color your way to joy if you can. And then do some burpees.
P.S. Some folks have asked if there’s anything inappropriate for teenagers in this “adult” coloring book. I don’t think so. There are no cuss words or anything scandalous. And my teenage son helped me create it. But, as always, you be the judge. You know your kids best.