Over the last month, I’ve discovered a number of new loves. Some have been on my “Gotta Try” list for a while now. For instance, Zumba – a vivacious little sport I imagined as something totally different from the 60 life-giving minutes worth of serious breaking it down that it is. Or the Aerolatte Moo – a coffee lover’s dream. For twenty bucks I am now making my own organic cinnamon almond-milk lattes – better than Starbucks. Dreamy.
Other discoveries have never made this list. In fact, they’ve stayed as far away as possible from it. These are the things that just plain scare me. Ones I’m pretty sure I’ll be better off without. Like tasting fried chicken claw or moving to Alaska.
But sometimes it’s the things we want to do the least that wind up benefitting us most.
Background: I do not work out in the morning. Ever. Call me a wimp, but my body just doesn’t function at high capacity before noon. My brain – up and at ‘em. Give me a great book or an early morning writing project, I’m on it. Ask me to interact with 100 people before 8:00 – golden. But make me do 50 pushups in the morning? Not happening.
That…was last month’s thought process.
Enter Crossfit Beyond. A new friend just opened a Crossfit gym downtown and asked if I’d come visit. I was psyched. Working out solo in my chilly garage with Dad’s weights from 1972 is phenomenal when I get to hang out with Dad. Not so much when I’m flying solo. I need the community. New friends, new box, new fire under my butt to work out hard. I was in.
The issue: 6:00 AM. Apparently it was the only workout friends could make. Clearly, they do not know my history. They do not know my incapability to function at such high physical capacities at that hour – nor that a 6:00 AM workout scares me to no end. The fact that I might meet the puke bucket for the first time at 6:00 AM flashed like a Vegas hotel sign in my brain. I didn’t know it I’d even wake up in time to get to the gym! Or that I’d find the new place in the 5:45 AM pitch dark! And I was pretty positive this body would not be up for 7 minutes of burpees at that ungodly hour. But honestly – something inside me knew it was a challenge I needed to take.
So I went.
I push-pressed – and box-jumped – even did medicine-ball suicides. My little muscles fired faster than I imagined they could. I partnered with a pro boxer friend and worked my tail off – but avoided the puke bucket! My coach even complimented my 6 AM push-press form. The workout ended, and I sat in amazement. The glory of dominating what I legitimately thought impossible radiated from my sweat angel laying on the floor. And I drove home – at 7:15 AM – underneath an absolutely spectacular sunrise. Unreal!
Not only did I not hate it, but I felt like a million bucks all day. My morning was more productive and my presence more alert in conversation. I even had the mental tenacity to cross a few OTHER things off my list that day that I’d been avoiding for weeks!
I loved it so much I went back again on Friday morning – AT 6:00 – and paid for one month’s unlimited membership. Monday I was there again. Tuesday I met a friend at 5:30 AM and brought her with me. It’s been two weeks of steady awesomeness – I’m still in shock. Suffice it to say I literally feel myself getting stronger – both physically and mentally – by the day – ever since becoming a staple at the 6:00 AM class. Who knew?!
What’s your something that scares you? That crazy, hard-to-imagine-yourself-ever-doing–it thing? The said-you’ll-never-try-it-and-can’t-live-it-down thing? That thing that if I offered you a million bucks and a batch of raw chocolate macaroons you just might start to consider…?
Do it. And let yourself gasp as you call it a thing of wonder.
Do one thing a day that scares you - Lululemon Manifesto.
Opening image shamelessly poached from Ciona’s fantastic post.