SARAANN73
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Finding guides and coaches everywhere...

Friday, July 17, 2015

It takes courage to open a new door or step onto a different path. Now that I've made the decision to make health and fitness central to my life, support and guidance are crowding in from unexpected sources. Not just the places I expect--like my wonderful husband and best friends.

I'm a pretty introverted person, though most people don't realize it because... at age 42, I've managed to develop some social grace and grow past my previously painful shyness. Still, walking into a new hair salon or coffee shop is HARD. Starting at a new gym? Joining a food co-op? Clumsily hitting a bike trail for the first time? I wanted to DIE.

And yet, I am finding people are more receptive (and more welcoming) than I could have imagined. It's made getting outside my comfort zone is a little bit less scary. Everyone on the bike trail smiles and says "good morning." People in cars--people I don't know--wave when I'm jogging down my road. Total strangers on Spark leave encouraging messages on blog posts... messages that make my whole day! (And so I've started doing the same for others... contributing to the positivity feels great!)

Last night was another great example. I joined a gym... really a converted barn down the road (but man, they have EVERYTHING there!). Actually I got a 6-month membership free through my husband. I was INTIMIDATED. The gym is called "Diehard Fitness" and the people who own it and work there are... diehard fitness fanatics! But I've learned, the more time I spend there, that they're also incredibly generous and caring. I took a class last night that happened to be taught by the owner's brother (a 50-something woman in incredible shape). Not only did she remember me from a single class 4 months ago (which I never returned to--what was I thinking? It was 5:15 in the morning!)... but she was so friendly and welcoming. Turns out it was just me and one other woman in the class, and it turned into an hour and a half hands-on tutorial on how to use a bunch of equipment that had intimidated me... including a long stretch out with the foam rollers (which I've been curious about). I felt fantastic, guided by this friendly woman who genuinely cared about my workout.

Anyway... a big part of this adventure for me is to keep pushing at the edges of my comfort zone. Trying things I never thought I'd try and making myself get out there... the first time is always the hardest. And it's also often the most exhilarating. If I'm going to make this happen--I have to grow into a new set of competencies. As a lifelong learner (just a naturally curious person); this is WAY more appealing than I ever would have thought.

Mostly, I'm just grateful to have encountered so much goodwill and friendly guidance on the path so far.
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  • TAKACSREB
    What a great story! I, too, have been intimidated by "fitness" people but agree with your newer assessment. Of course there are jerks everywhere, but I feel like fitness forward people LOVE to see a new convert! My clever and chubby sister gets daily atta-girls from the regular runners on her new walking path, and I get lots of encouragement from the (much-more-fit) bikers on my local bike paths, too! You should be really proud of all those challenges you've set and met. Way to go!
    1686 days ago
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