“Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”
– James Bryant Conant
I realized that a while a go, they’re a lot of things that I would have liked to be doing in life that I wasn’t… At first, the excuses readily started to pile up “I have no time”, “It’s not worth it”, “Maybe next time” were the famous appearances. But now, I try not to lie to myself as often as I used to before. So in the effort of trying to be more honest with myself I started to really examine why I wasn’t doing certain things that I really wanted.
Zumba lessons, yoga, pilates… they are all things that I’ve wanted to try but i just could never get myself through the doors of the gym and into a class. Playing soccer is another example. I love football. In high school, there was an inter-school sports competition and I was forced to join the team. I fell in love with the sport. I would love to take it up again. I would love to do sky diving, white water rafting, tango lessons, bungee jumping, living on my own, going to the beach without covering up, but when it comes to making an actual effort to do these things, I can’t. Why not? Well, it’s a tall cocktail mix of self-consciousness, anxiety, fear and laziness. What if I’m not good enough? What if people laugh at me? What if something bad happens? I’m self-conscious about my weight issues, so I hate going to places like the gym or the beach where you’re surrounded by beautiful bodies and your imperfections are on display. Honestly, it’s such an uncomfortable experience for me. It’s not even just the places, it’s the people too. Family and friends always look at you with judgment or pity in their eyes. And who do i have to blame for that? No one but myself. Hence the self-loathing and guilt. Why don’t I do something about it? I try. But as soon as it starts it’s finished. I’ve never been able to keep up a diet or a workout plan or anything that would remotely help me. And eventually, I started to accept that this was the way I was and there was nothing I could do about it… And that’s how it’s been for years since. Why am i talking all this negativity when i’m supposed to be spreading positivity? Because to know where you’re going, you must first know where you came from…. Everybody has a history. But their history shouldn’t define their present or their future.
I’m changing all of that now, even with the fear and anxiety and self-consciousness I PUSH myself out of my comfort zone and into the world, where all the magic happens. And once you get there, you realize it’s not as scary as you first thought. I realized I couldn’t wait until I felt “comfortable” enough to do these things. I just had to do them. It took every ounce of courage in me to get out my car and walk through the front door of my gym without feeling like a complete outcast. It reminded me of my first day at high school. I was TERRIFIED that I would end up a victim of a bullying ring. But just like in high school, nothing of the sort happened. In fact, I was loved in high school. I was different from everyone else, but that difference was embraced and loved. I had the most magical years of school. If I could get through the first day of high school I can get through the first day of zumba don’t you think? I walked in with my head down, up the stairs and straight to my class. Once I got there, I realized how varied the crowd was. They were mainly women from all ages and sizes and colors. Everyone smiled and welcomed me to the class and we started to dance. After it was over, I couldn’t believe how much time and energy I had wasted working myself up against this. It was amazing!!! I go 3 times a week now and I love it. I’ve also tried yoga and pilates and discovered that pilates isn’t for me. List I said in an earlier post, I have a checklist now. And with the life that I have, I’m going to make sure that I live with no regrets. So I urge you to STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE just for once. I completely understand how it feels, but life makes it so worth it. You will never know how amazing something can turn out to be. In the words of Coldplay “If you never try, then you’ll never know.”
So good luck to you. Stick your neck out!!!