I am learning how to be more comfortable with being a beginner. It’s not an easy thing for me to admit. I have perfectionist tendencies and I only like to move forward when I feel like I am armed with enough knowledge about something.
The place where I have been learning how to live with my “fish out of water” status is my local YMCA. I have gained a lot of weight in recent years and I decided to get my health in check by incorporating a number of new habits, one of which is working out more.
I started off on the treadmill and moved to taking some of the group classes, like Zumba. I enjoy Zumba because I love to dance, so it was always a good experience for me.
Lately, however, I’ve been wanting to branch out and try something completely different. Of course, a new class means breaking into a new culture, learning new rules, watching new groups, and being the new kid on the block.
I finally built up the courage to participate in a group cycle class after months of stalking it on the schedule. Folks are serious about their group cycle. There was no way to quietly slip in and blend in with the others. Dressed in my hot pink workout capris and carrying well over 20 extra pounds on my body, I stood out. I fumbled with the bike and hopped on and tried to pedal along with the others until class started. I heard a gentle voice speak to me saying, “I think your bike might be too low.” A regular class attendee redirected me to the instructor for assistance with setting myself up.
I asked the instructor for help and he taught me how to adjust my bike and find the proper height. He even brought me a seat cushion for the soreness he expected I would experience. I am so glad that he did. I was able to finish the class and really surprised myself.
How you welcome people matters. I was warmly received in this space and not judged for not knowing and it made the difference in my workout experience. Think about all the different places and spaces where we encounter strangers who are in need of a warm welcome and gentle guidance. Your kind reception can make a world of difference.