Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reunited and It Feels So Good

We all know what it's like to love something, right? We incorporate the things we love into our daily lives and they become familiar. Comfortable. And then sometimes for what could be a variety of reasons, the things that we love go away. If this happens, at first we miss it, but then eventually we find other ways to fill our time. We move on. We learn to love other things. Basic human nature at work. And then occasionally when all the planets are aligned just right and the wind is blowing out of the West, the opportunity arises for that thing that we once loved to waltz right back into our lives. Today was my day for that to happen...
Yes...I'm speaking of Step Aerobics!!! Too dramatic? I think not. Back in the day, I was a religious stepper. Since I played sports in high school, I had at least one PE course each semester (after the invention of the microwave, who needs Home Ec. anyway?) and Body Sculpting was my class of choice during my last two years. That meant Step three days a week for 45 minutes at a time. And honestly, I loved every minute of it. Of course shorty after graduation I moved to college and my main form of exercise was walking to the cold section in the back of Wal-Mart to pick up a roll of cookie dough. So, needless to say, I replaced my love of Step with a love of cookies. Again, basic human nature at work. One semester in college I registered for a 1-hour Step Aerobics class but I had to drop it because it required more written work than an upper-level psychology class. Ridiculous. Or perhaps that was just my excuse and I couldn't forsake the cookies. I've actually worked out reguarly since college but when I moved the Athens, the gym that I joined offers a bazillion different kinds of classes a week so I decided that in order to get my "full money's worth" I would take advantage of some of them. That was in August. And today, May 27th, I finally took my first Step [class]. Why did it take me so long to do something again that I once loved? Oh...there is a whole slew of reasons. First, I had the excuse of class at night. Weak considering they took up at the most 2 of my nights per week and they ended by 7:15. Secondly, this body is not what it was when it was 17. No, I'm not old, but things just start to hurt so much quicker now 12 years later. It certainly doesn't help matters that every young and tanned skinny minnie at UGA also are members of my gym. Finally, the truth is, I'm shy. Almost to the point that it's painful. I know, hard to believe if you know me, but I hate being in new situations when I'm all by my lonesome without a buddy. Nor do I like it when attention is centered on me in an environment where I don't know everyone. So I decided a couple of weeks ago that I was going to finally go to Step class, and since that decision, I've been psyching myself up for today. The big day. Last week, I made sure I was at the gym during the class time so I could observe while I was on the treadmill. Just to make sure I could do it. Um, I just ran a half-marathon but I was totally doubting my ability to do 30 minutes of Step aerobics? So, today I verbally committed by inviting my friend at work, Erin, to go with me. Unfortunately she had plans, but because I said that I was going to do it, that sealed the deal. I had to go. The closer it got to 5:30 the more anxious I got. What if the class was team taught by Jane Fonda and Denise Austin? What if the instructor asked for all first-timers to stand up and from somewhere in the back, a nice deacon brought me a jar of jelly as everyone had ample time to size me up? Hey I went to a new church once and it happened. Who would have thought you got jelly at a church? I suppose it could happen at a gym if it was sugar-free jelly. What if I couldn't keep up? As I'm turning into the parking lot, I'm praying to the dear Lord baby Jesus that I don't roll my ankle or tear an ACL or drop dead during basic right. Of course my anxiety level dropped as I walked in and heard someone ask the person next to her, "have you ever done this before?" The response: "No." Victory! So long story even longer...it was great. I'm definitely going back next week because it turns out that I still love Step Aerobics after an absence of over a decade (um, you know you're getting old when you can use a decade as a reference of time). But I'm most proud of the fact that I made myself step outside my comfort zone and do something uncomfortable. Did I survive? Of course. Did I remind myself that I am potentially missing out on so much because I prefer that which is comfortable and familiar? Yes. Will I remember this the next time I get "something new and different anxiety"? Yep. So...all that to ask, what is something good that you are missing out on? What's standing in your way? You? Well, it's your lucky day then because you can change that!

4 comments:

Joni said...

I'm so happy that you made yourself go to the step class. That is a great story with a happy ending - and many more classes to go! I've gotten jam at a church before, too. Only in the south I suppose.

Jenny said...

We are so much more alike than I ever realized.

Heather said...

Yep. It's actually something that I have suspected for quite some time now!

Suzanna said...

I think I was with you the day we got jelly at church. And remember the church that gave out that great bread? I think I was a first time visitor there a few times

I just realized that I managed to comment on how much I love food in your blog about exercise. I may not be a good gym partner, but I'll always be here if you want a snack. :)