Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me to join her at a kickboxing class at her gym. I was very hesitant. I couldn't really figure out why. I'm a little afraid of being judged in classes, so maybe that was it. I also could have been worried that the class would be too difficult for me (the website, which I checked thoroughly, promised a very intense hour).
But then I realized what it was that was holding me back: my routine. I am such a person of habit, of routine, that when it changes, I get incredibly anxious and overwhelmed. I also plan ahead, and I don't like surprises. I have had my Monday planned since Sunday. The new kickboxing class was at 7pm, and that changed my evening plans, which were to go to my own gym for Zumba at 6, come home and cook dinner, shower, read, sleep. The 7pm time was just enough to mix things up a little bit. It was a minor change, but enough to make me hesitant, and enough to give me a little anxiety.
Once I realized what was holding me back, I sat down and wrote up a new schedule for tonight, making sure I could fit everything in that I wanted. I decided that instead of eating dinner before kickboxing (I hate eating a big meal and then working out, I always feel sick), I would prepare my dinner so that it would be ready when I returned home, and eat a small, healthy snack before the class.
So I registered for the class on the website and spent the rest of the day pondering what the class would be like. Another thing about me: I don't really like to go to new places. I get worried that I won't know where to go or that I will look silly. At the same time, I'm afraid to ask questions. So I usually just sort of silently suffer until I either figure it out or flee the situation.
Upon arrival, I was intimidated by the gals with six packs and ripped arms. It seemed that most of them were pretty "elite" athletes. When my friend arrived, the instructor helped me to wrap up my hands and put my gloves on- and then it was go time.
It was the hardest hour of my entire life. Not only are you moving your hands and punching the bag, but in between rounds, you do things like pushups, mountain climbers, squats, ladder climbs, etc. There is no rest period, no breaks. After about 15 minutes, I was already exhausted. I work out almost every day, but my workouts are simple compared to that intensity!
I have to admit, I enjoyed the actual boxing part- maybe a little too much. Yes my arms were sore and I wasn't sure I could hit the bag one more time, but I'd get this burst of energy where I could hit it hard, and that made me keep going. I used it as an opportunity to let out all my aggression, emotion, and fear.
I had to walk out with 10 minutes to go- the room was hot and I thought I was going to throw up. But I'm proud of myself. I did it. I changed up my routine and I did something new, went to a new place.
So the next question on everyone's mind: would I do it again?
Probably. I am kind of curious if I would be able to keep up more next time. But, I prefer using my own gym, mostly because since I pay a membership fee I may as well use it. So I will have to check and see if they have a similar class.
Now that I have tried this, I have confidence in trying Yoga. My first class is Saturday morning at my gym.
Sometimes we need to do things that scare us, to help us to see that while they may be hard, it is possible to do them. The feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes after performing a difficult or scary task is more than worth the worrying and nervous feeling.
Let's make 2014 the year we do things that scare us a little. Let's stop fear from getting in the way of crushing our goals. Let's understand that change is okay, and that our lives will not fall apart if we change up our routine a little bit.