This is a story of me attempting to step outside my comfort zone.
I’ve been going to pilates at the Downtown Nashville YMCA at least twice a week. I go three times a week if I can. I am loving it. Going to a gym is already fairly new to me. Realistically, I went probably an average of 2-3 times a semester in college. We had an amazing rec center at UNT, and I definitely did not get my money’s worth. Group exercise had always appealed to me, but the classes cost extra. At the Y, they’re free with my membership, and the selection is incredible.
I’m already noticing a difference in my body after a month of pilates. I’m stronger, more flexible, generally tighter, and I’m pretty sure even have better posture. (Note: Andrew Krichels is the best Pilates teacher I’ve ever had.)
On Saturdays I go to a morning class led by a woman named Kim, who I think is incredible. After pilates, she leads a high impact class called “Dance Blast.” If you know me, you have probably never seen me do any sort of group choreographed/aerobic dancing (unless we did a musical together). This is because unless I actively avoid situations in which strangers will see me dance. I have long gangly arms that I have no idea what to do with. I have some curves but it’s more goofy than sexy when I move them. Don’t even get me started on hip hop.
So usually I stay away from “high impact” exercise, and certainly from cardio classes that include the words “dance” or “blast.” But yesterday, as I lay in child’s pose on my pilates mat (basically napping at the end of my work out), something compelled me to go to Kim’s second class. As if in a trance, I put away my equipment and headed next door to the high impact room, which was already filling up.
Dance Blast was excellent. I looked ridiculous, and was completely clueless. Several of the steps had me baffled beyond belief, and the moment I semi-grasped them, Kim had moved on to something new. I had not had enough water that morning, and I am also pretty out of shape still, so needless to say I was DYING.
Halfway through the class I pretended I had somewhere to be and left.
BUT the point is that I went. And I will go again next week.
One of my best friends Pari came to visit me this weekend. She has an internship with Southwest, and flew to my city on a spur-of-the-moment trip. She has adopted a new mantra, and I love it: the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. “How can you grow and become better if you’re doing the same things all the time?” she asks.
How can you save money if you won’t change your over-spending habits? How can you keep your body fit and healthy if you keep your same eating and exercise habits? How can you experience healthy relationships if you pursue the same men/women?
So this week, challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, even just once.
And when you do, you can imagine me shakin’ it at Dance Blast to make yourself feel better.