Total Fitness – A Totally Humbling Experience

My husband and I joined a new gym recently.  I’ve worked out at a lot of different gyms and become a bit of a regular because of the preparation necessary for the exercise infomercial I just completed.  My experience, I must confess, has made me a little cocky – I suppose I am just quite proud of how fit I am becoming. Of course, life has a way of humbling us all – it keeps things balanced, I suppose – and last night was my night to be humbled.

This week was our first week at this gym, so I have only had the opportunity to attend a few of the classes. My performance in those classes went well, no traumatic experiences or any need for muscle relaxers after the workout. That being said, I decided that I wanted more of a challenge. Last night, I seized the day and attended a class called Total Fitness- listed on the schedule as an advanced class. I felt confident in my abilities, after all, I had just survived an infomercial boot camp – how hard could some group fitness class be?

I pranced into the class wearing my newest and, if I do say so myself, cutest little work-out outfit. I found my space in the room and got all set-up. That is when I began to notice that everyone around me was young…very young. I hesitated a moment and then thought, ok, I can do this.  I’ll show these kids what this mama can do!

That was a mistake, a big mistake, a biiiiiiiig mistake. After just a few minutes, my heart was pounding, I could scarcely breathe and sweat was pouring down me in buckets (and I do not sweat)! In fact, you should know, I do not like to sweat. I deducted from the responses of my body that the class must be coming to an end. I looked around the class and decided that now may be a good time to steal a drink of water – this mini-break afforded me the opportunity to glance at my phone – I was devastated. Only 28 minutes had gone by, not even half the class was over!!! I felt that I would surely have a heart attack if I were to continue…. Unfortunately for me, (or fortunately – depends on how you look at it) I remembered I have been on a regular workout routine, I have no history of heart problems, and I recently received a doctor’s approval to participate in intense physical activity. So, medically, I was qualified to continue participation safely, but truthfully, I was not enjoying these sensations associated with working this hard!

On the other hand, I know that this is one of those situations that health experts and gurus are always spouting off about, “….to get to the next level of fitness or you have to push beyond your limits!” I suppose that is true of anything in life… you have to get outside your comfort zone to achieve greater and greater things. I pep-talked myself into staying to the bitter end – I finished last in just about every part of the workout, but I did not quit!

After the “trauma” was over, the instructor came over to congratulate another “newbie” and me on successful completion of the class. She informed us that many newcomers get about halfway through the workout and disappear….or (ew!) throw up. I thanked her kindly and did my best to walk out of there with my head held high and mask the fatigue and weakness I was feeling all over my body, but let’s be honest, I wobbled out of there. As I hobbled and limped my way out of the facility, I began to ask myself why I had allowed myself to endure such pain. And the answer was really quite simple – aside from being very stubborn, I have a desire to change something, in this case, my body – and change sometimes causes discomfort. Actually, getting out of your comfort zone is almost always, well…uncomfortable! Nonetheless, it is absolutely the most effective way to move in a new direction and achieve success.

Are there things you want or need to change in your life? Are you willing to endure some discomforts to get there? It might be a relationship, your finances, or like me, your body. Whatever it is, you are going to have to be a little, or maybe even a lot, uncomfortable to really get out of your cozy, comfort zone and make some real changes! Finding the willingness to handle some discomfort is the first step in the journey to a brand new you! Come on! You can do this!! Make the change. Take the first step. Do the next right thing – today!


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