by now you might know that i absolutely can’t dance or move my body in any way besides stiffly and awkwardly. and as i’ve mentioned in previous posts, my athletic capabilities are slim to none. so how i ended up jumping around, boxing, kicking, and halfway dancing in a room full of strangers, i’m not really sure.
well, to be honest, i do know how i got there… like everyone else, i just showed up.
what you should know is that i was in a room full of seemingly nice strangers, all motivated to work on their health and fitness, and all spanish speaking. you should also know that i don’t (yet) have the courage and confidence to be there, and that half of the sweat i worked up was due to the nervousness about the stumbling around i was doing and the embarrassment of slowing the class down because of my lack of rhythm, coordination, and inability to complete the movements. you should also know that i don’t speak spanish and that that made it all the more difficult to understand what the instructor wanted me to do. so anyway, there i was, shaking hips that didn’t want to move, bending and kicking as robot-like as you can imagine, and trying to remember any and all of the spanish i was taught six years ago. five different classes and five days later, i’m still showing up.
i heard once-or may have read- that 80% success is just showing up. i don’t think they said what the other 20% is, but i think its about showing up and trying your best every step of the way. i also think an important distinction to make is that you don’t have to be the best, you simply just have to be your best. today was meaningful because i showed up, and more importantly, showed up again. the first time to attend the class wasn’t so bad because i didn’t know what to expect or what i would (or wouldn’t) be able to do…it was the following classes that were the hardest, and i’m not solely referring to physically challenging. it is mentally challenging. and personally challenging. it seems that sometimes it requires more motivation to show up because i know what’s coming and i psych myself up over the dance moves and coordination i don’t have. so in the midst of not wanting to go, i put on my shoes, fill up a water bottle, and walk there anyway.
in no way am i suggesting or assuming that the people there are judging me- or even noticing me for that matter-because i understand that it is likely that they are not. in fact, i’m not particularly concerned with the way others feel about my moves (or lack of them), what i am concerned about is my comfort zone. for someone who genuinely doesn’t like to dance, it is hard to dance in front of people i don’t know and subject myself to awkwardness and physical pain. on the other hand however, i secretly like the classes because they are something i normally wouldn’t do; so why not try them? it even makes me smile and laugh thinking about it; and if you know me, the visual image of me trying to mix dancing and athletics together might make you laugh too.
for whatever reason and in whatever situation, sometimes we hold ourselves back. we hold ourselves back from having too much fun, for laughing too hard, or for taking advantage of the opportunities we want. we hold ourselves back from success because of our fear of it, and we hold back because maybe we don’t want to try that hard. of course in certain situations, holding back may be a good thing, but other times it may not. in this case, standing there awkwardly and in everyone else’s way would probably not have been a good time to do so. i’ve also learned that stepping outside of my comfort zone has always led to personal growth and that trying new things generally makes me happy. so in the spirit of growing and throwing myself outside of my comfort zone, i have went to a different class everyday. aerobics, kick boxing, high and low impact, butt and cut, and some sort of latin dance to be exact. yes, the instructor has slowed the class to get me caught up and to position my body correctly. and yes, i wanted to stop on several occasions. but instead, i flung my arms in every direction, kicked as high as i could, and pretended to be Shakira.
i did my best, put a smile on a few people’s faces, and worked up a sweat. i consider that to be success in some form or another. i also consider it to be a good day.
why not challenge yourself to try something new today?
to do something you normally wouldn’t?
to show up and be your best?
true, you may end up not liking it…but then again, you just might :)