I’m going to try to get through writing this post without dissolving into tears. Luckily for you, you can’t see me sitting here pecking away at the keypad in front of me.
The last two weeks have been full of plunging into activities that seemed fun on paper, but in reality had my knees, literally, shaking.
The fact that I pushed through and pursued them despite my anxiety was big in itself, but bigger still were two moments that struck me and left a lasting impression.
As we were heading to our first ever Stand Up Paddling session, I was in the backseat freaking out a little. Okay, a lot. One of the poor suckers stuck in the vehicle with me had asked the seemingly innocent question about how I was doing or something just as innocuous, and I started my diatribe of nerves. I was explaining how I was just doing what I always do-freaking out about my lack of control of an unknown situation. I was panicking about falling in, not being able to get back up, what if I was the only one that couldn’t stand at ALL and so on and so forth. My friend Jay, the driver, immediately stopped me in my tracks with her words. She said, quite strongly may I add, “No, Tracey! You AREN’T “doing what you always do.” What you “always do” is get interested in something, but then let fear stop you from trying or going. This time, you’re HERE, doing it! Yes, you’re scared and nervous. But you’re doing it anyways!”
Wow. It hit me in that exact moment that she was completely right. The old me would never have been sitting in this van on the way to a paddling course in the middle of dragon boat racers and kayakers and who knows who else. She’d be at home sipping tea! My legs shook off and on the whole class, but I didn’t fall in once, and I stood up from my first try. I was tense almost the entire time, but I also really enjoyed it! I can see loving it, out on a lake with friends or family, just paddling away. I’d definitely do it again and again.
Next up was a fitness class with the infectiously exuberant Katie, at Saunders Farm. Again, I was nervous about what the class would entail, if I’d look like an idiot, if I’d be able to keep up. Again, I went anyways. I don’t know that the voice will ever quiet, and it’s a truly icky feeling, but still I make strides when I acknowledge the fear but push through. It turned out to be a fitness scavenger hunt and literally had me feeling like a kid again. Remember when fitness was just about having fun, running around with your buddies seeking adventure? That! We had to get clues all over the farm, and then bring them back to a central spot for our circuit round. After the hunt, we jumped on these huge bouncy pillows, running the length of them and showing off a “signature” jump each. I remember running at one point with a huge smile on my face. I quite literally caught myself in the moment and it made me smile even bigger.
On the way home, again with my friend Jay, we were talking about her new “Fitness Bucket List.” (which I think is totally awesome!) She was sharing all of the great activities she was interested in doing in the next while. Let me tell you, if you haven’t noticed from the above or previous posts, it’s often Jay that gets me to do these crazy events I’d never dream of doing on my own. I’m also signed up for the Graffiti Run with Jay and our girls, as well as the Army Race, and it was also Jay that encouraged me to try Soldiers of Fitness with her.
Jay was explaining how doing these new things also scared her, that her legs were also shaking at paddling, that she was also nervous inside, but that she now felt ready to try almost anything. She managed to stop me in my tracks for the second time in as many weeks when she said, “You know you’re now one of my “go to” people, right? If I think of a crazy activity, I’m like Tracey! Tracey will try it with me!” I was stunned and shocked! Cue the waterworks.
“I” am someone’s “go to” for trying new and scary, but fun, physical activities? Me? The girl who hates giving up control, who seeks perfection and hates messy mistakes? Who almost has a panic attack before attempting something new?
That might be the best compliment I’ve ever received to date.
I am committed to continuing to grasp life and all it offers, while I can. I share some of those “Fitness Bucket List” interests and I see lots of new experiences in my future, because I also believe that switching it up and keeping it fresh is part of what makes fitness fun!
What will I attempt next? Your guess is as good as mine. Jay mentioned aerial silks, pole dancing or burlesque, Kangoo….the list for a “Go To” gal is endless!