As I travel along on this road to fitness and better health, I’m learning and growing all of the time. It was very important to me, from the onset, to really embrace new knowledge, to accept new challenges, and to be open to support and encouragement.
I’m an extrovert, mostly, and I really thrive when I’m working within a framework of social gathering. If you can make an activity that is going to be a struggle sound like it somehow will be FUN and I’ll get to chat and laugh? You can almost guarantee I’ll be there.
As I’ve opened myself up to these experiences, I’ve also opened myself up to many new friendships with people all at various stages on this same path I’m plodding. Actually plodding sounds heavy and lead footed. I digress: this path I’m elegantly leaping and cavorting down. Ha!
I’ve come a long way, baby, but I’ve got some miles still to go. However, I also remember “Day One” of many an activity and how I felt, whether that be at BootyCamp or running or SUP or Zumba or Yoga! The friendly faces that pulled me in gently, that encouraged me, that gave a WHOOP! and a WAY TO GO when I accomplished something? Those are what put the smile on my face, the joy in my heart, and made me feel like I could pretty much keep on tackling whatever it was that I wanted to tackle. (okay, I’m a praise junkie. I admit it!)
All of this to say, I think it’s really important to never forget those shaky, nervous, hand twitching times. When I see someone just joining in for the first time, maybe a little shy or unsure of his/her abilities, I want to be that person that makes THEM feel like they can DO IT. A little WHOOP passed on!
I know people who have travelled this path and consider themselves rockstars now and don’t want to discuss or even know anything more about those just starting a struggle at the bottom of the heap. It’s like they’re above that now.
I want to be the girl that slows my pace to make sure everyone has someone to run with, or who agrees to take a class that I’m maybe not that into if it encourages someone else to try. I want to be that girl that makes someone else feel a little safer and a little more included in a time when every fiber of their being may be telling them to go home, to give up, or that they don’t fit in.
I’m by no means “finished” my journey. Are we ever, really? I still need hand holding and cajoling and pushing and prodding. I live for the praise, remember? I am, however, ready to give some of that praise out to someone else.
It’s never too early (or too late!) to pay it forward.