This week, I did something that was a little bit hard to do. I pulled on a baggy shirt, shimmied myself into some yoga pants, moved my orthotics from my boots to my athletic shoes, tucked my tail between my legs, and skulked back to the exercise class I once regularly attended. I haven’t been there since before my son started kindergarten. I’ll do that math for you: more than three years.
It’s one of those group exercise studios with a monthly membership, and I quit, cold turkey, as plans for other fitness routines filled my good intentions. I would branch out, lift more weights, contort myself into more yoga poses, and most importantly, I would self-motivate. Except, I didn’t.
Why? Oh, I don’t know, it was always something. Class times weren’t convenient. Then I needed to protect my work time while the kids were at school. Then there was the knee injury. Then the physical therapy. Then the plantar fasciitis. I could continue, but the truth is, it’s all excuses. A pile of big, fat excuses that led to big, fat…well, you know.
At first, I bought some online deals and worked some trades, but my knee got worse, not better, and along with it went my motivation. Even after the physical therapist fixed me up, I still felt this weird need to get myself in shape before I could go get back in shape.
“I have to work out before I can exercise,” I thought to myself.
Seriously, what is that?
Finally, I had to bite the bullet. After several years of vowing to do it on my own — and not doing it — I had to face the music. It was time to go back to the tried and true aerobics classes that had once been my addiction.
I walked in and paid my dues, then slid into the back of the class. I was undoubtedly rusty, and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. See, the classes are made up of dance routines, and I lack a certain… coordination. I positioned myself where I would be least likely to injure anyone. I spaced out so the only one at risk of being kicked or punched in the eye was myself.
It was hard not to be self-conscious as I tripped over myself, struggling to move in unison with the class. Sometimes I failed, other times I almost made it. Whenever I messed up, the whole class turned around and pointed at me, howling with laughter. They called me names. They snubbed me and booed.
No, no, that’s not what happened. The truth is, nobody worried one bit about what level I was at. The only one comparing me was, well, me.
As I bumbled around, I watched the instructor hop around. She was light on her feet and full of energy. I, on the other hand, felt like I had lead soles on my tennis shoes. Watching her, though, I remembered what it feels like to have spring in my step, balance and coordination and energy to burn. For the first time in months, I felt helpful I might be able to return to that.
All this time I’ve spent procrastinating was wasted. All this worrying about being “good enough to start” was ridiculous. It was just a matter of convincing myself — you’ve gotta start somewhere. It might as well be where you are.
Overland Park mom and 913 freelancer Emily Parnell blogs at mom2momkc.com.