I remember once a few years back an acquaintance of mine invited me to a boot camp at a gym, where the workout is free the first time. I immediately scrambled for any excuse I could find not to go. I mentioned my sore (insert some body part) as the reason I couldn’t go.
When a friend invites me to work out, take a class with them, or do anything fitness related I would begin to mumble.
Excuses start in my head first. They rumble around in there until the best one I find pop’s out of my mouth. It only takes a few seconds to make a great excuse.
Then the feeling of relief follows. Whew! Made it out of that situation without committing to something new that I’m scared to try!
I then reinforce the excuses, I come up with even better ones.
Oh that gym offers free first time boot camp classes? But it’s way to far. Why go to the first class when I know I’m not going to drive that far every week?
Oh you want me to join you for a class? Look how fit everyone else in the class is. If no one else is in similar shape to me then I will end up being the chubbiest one in the class. That is fate worse than death. Unacceptable.
She wants me to go on a hike? Then I’ll only be holding her back. At some point she will want to run up a hill and I will be red faced, huffing out air, with my hands on my knees and I’ll look up at her and know she is wishing we could keep going.
Most of these terrifying scenarios involve other people and what they will think or feel about me. What is crazy is none of it is true. If I have to drive farther to participate in something, that extra distance will strengthen my commitment.
And when I’m the most out of shape person in the room, it’s only my own choice to be embarrassed about it. The truth is people are rooting for me. They are supportive and proud of the changes I’m working towards.
That friend on the hike? Nothing makes her happier than being a part of my struggles and my triumphs. There is no victory in avoiding pain, discomfort, or embarrassment.
I’ve learned this past year that the battle is already won if I just show up.
I’ve done hikes, I’ve exercised. Maybe not enough. I still don’t feel that I’ve pushed myself physically as much as I know I’m capable of.
But I have learned one thing. The annoying excuses disappear after a few minutes. That all I really have to do is just show up. The rest will fall into place.