This post is coming to you from the spectacular editor of this blog! I work behind the scenes to ensure every article you read is comprised of perfectly punctuated prose (okay, I do more than just that, but you get the idea!)
I have been so inspired by the progress that Josh has been making, and decided to get myself back on track as well. I reactivated my ClassPass (www.classpass.com) and immediately went looking for dance classes around Manhattan. I signed up, excited and ready to shake it like a Polaroid picture.
With my first 24 hour cancellation window closing in on me, I cancelled the first class, deciding not to work out the day of my birthday party. Then I cancelled the second class, with the excuse that it was the morning after my party.
Week one back on ClassPass and I’ve made it to ZERO classes. Thinking that third time would be the charm, I looked for a class during the week I might like, but kept find myself finding reasons not to reserve the class.
It was time to be honest with myself. I wasn’t being lazy. I was hiding my reasons for not wanting to go. “Gymtimidation” may have gained traction as a term used to get people to sign up for places like Planet Fitness where they promise a judgment free zone, but it IS a real thing.
My fears? What if everyone has been in the class for weeks? I’ll be the only one not knowing the choreography. What if it’s not a class for beginners? What if I overheat and have an asthma attack or just can’t keep up?
I psych myself out. And I’ve let it happen for so many years that I’m becoming too old to follow my dream of dancing professionally in even a small way.
So what can I do?
First, I recognize that my anxiety is based off a fear of being judged or not being good enough. Second, I ask myself what matters more, random people judging me or learning to be the dancer I dreamt of being for 26 years? Third, I book a class that I know won’t conflict with work, school, or my birthday. (Also, ClassPass does a wonderful job telling you what classes are beginner friendly and judgement free. So I look for those specific terms.) Finally, I force myself to show up. Go once, and it makes going the next time easier. Whether it means a new class or going back for more of the same routine, I’ve gotten over the hump.
Feeling too heavy, too small, or too weak to go to a gym is a large reason why many people choose to stay in a rut. But I challenge you to be willing to put yourself out there a little and try just one day. Most gyms offer a free week anyway. You’ll find people are so worried about themselves, they don’t notice you. Or if they stare, rock it for an hour, and try somewhere new. Show them how proud you are to be changing your life. Most likely, the people you meet will be supportive. We all want to be better than the last time.
Anyway, I guess I have to hold up my end of the bargain…I’ll let you know how class goes!