Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and see what happens.
…tell that to my deltoids circa 10am EST tomorrow morning (no doubt I’ll be feeling muscles I haven’t felt in years)…
In the spirit of the new year, new outlook on running, and frankly an attempt to get out of the cold, I ventured pretty far outside of my comfort zone, put on some boxing gloves and had a blast this morning. For someone like me, who loves her routine and certainly sleeping in on a chilly Sunday morning – this was a big deal – I met a friend of mine at a boxing gym for my very first boxing class.
While this sounds like a fairly predictable Sunday workout routine for most – this was a big leap for me – for a couple of reasons:
1. This was the first time I had met my long-standing Instagram friend Chrissie in real life (from what I can tell this is a real thing “IRL”) – it’s amazing how social media can work in incredible ways to introduce you to people that you honestly felt like you’ve known your entire life and bring so much happiness/laughter into your world. We boxed, we laughed, we spilled water, and we brunched – it was the perfect start to a Sunday!
2. This was the first time I boxed – despite playing sports my entire life, I have to admit that I’m pretty uncoordinated. I even got a few snickers as I proceeded to have my hands wrapped before class – even more laughs when the bag came back at me and the teacher told me to “step forward! go after it!” But let me tell you that the feeling at the moment when it “clicked” was incredible and I felt like Mohammad Ali this morning.
3. This was the first time this year I let go of body image concerns and anxiety about trying something new and just said “let’s do this” – the biggest deal of all
It’s not something I generally broadcast, but after something Chrissie had said at brunch, I thought – well it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows in the world of blogs and glossy Instagram posts. Behind every smile, there’s a story – good, bad or otherwise. I live with anxiety and behind the smile from today’s boxing class is a HUGE sigh of relief.
So many of us know that living with anxiety manifests itself in so many ways – for me, it’s the incessant need to have the day scheduled out (like completely scheduled out), the house tidied up nearly all the time, the laundry done everyday, and even the pillows put back on the sofa in the “correct” order every time I leave… Order becomes a way to beat that torrent of butterflies in my stomach before facing “new” situations and while it serves to catapult me forward in my career, it’s definitely a struggle in my personal life.
This morning, despite my nerves about trying a new class, with new people, new moves that I would clearly mess up, meeting a “new” friend, and putting myself out there, I left all of the normal anxiety-fueled activities behind at home and just went —- and wouldn’t you know, the world didn’t end (insert my best shocked face here). I won’t sit here and preach that “beating” anxiety is a matter of signing up for a new class or running away to brunch, but today it was a conscious effort to say “ok – just for right now, I’m going to leave this just as it is”.
Anxiety isn’t a nasty habit or a city that can’t be built in a day – it’s an ongoing partner in your life that you either learn to accept or learn to confront. Some days it’s an acceptance while others it’s a full-on confrontation. Today’s confrontation was a breath of fresh air and I’m over the moon that boxing turned out to be amazing (albeit I’m positive I only performed the moves correctly 50% of the class) and meeting Chrissie was like meeting a friend I’ve known my entire life – I felt completely accepted and understood on this arctic Sunday. Anxiety took a backseat for just this day and it felt fantastic.
What is it you can do to challenge yourself or your anxiety? Can it be as small as leaving dirty dishes in the sink for just a few minutes longer? Meeting new friends? Trying a new class?