Conquering Fear

I am a bit of a scaredy cat.  Sometimes I am afraid to try new things.  I am more comfortable looking from a far.  I have a tendency to stare at people.  I am convinced it is because I am so enthralled as to what they are doing.  And I wish I could do what they are doing.  When I go to Gold’s Gym I catch myself staring at people doing weight lifting.  I am amazed as to how easy they make it look.  I love to watch through the window at the women doing the classes.  And I found myself wishing I could do one of the classes.

I have been a member of Gold’s Gym for three weeks.  I have a trainer who I absolutely love – Chantille Anderson – and works my butt off.  Before I joined I longed to use one of those weight lifting machines but I was too afraid to try.  I did not know how they worked and was afraid that I would hurt myself.  But every training session I have, I am getting more and more comfortable with the machines.  Chantille makes sure that I do not hurt myself.  And she pushes me to exhaustion which I love.  I am by no means an expert on any of these machines but at least I am overcoming my fear of them.

The other day, I found myself looking through the door of a Spinning Class.  It looked so hard.  It looked much harder than leisurely riding my bike on a Sunday afternoon.  Chantille on a couple of sessions had me train for a few minutes on the spinning bike.  I thought I would die.  And I felt I would never be able to do a spinning class.  But the other day I saw a woman my age on the spinning bike.  She made it look pretty easy and I thought if she can do it, certainly I can.  So this morning I gathered up my courage and went to my first spinning class.

Last night I woke  up worrying about the class.  Would I be able to keep up?  What if I fell off of the bike?  What if I was the biggest or oldest?  What if – what if – what if.  This morning I kept thinking I could just not go to the class and go for my usual daily walk.  But then I knew I would be disappointed with myself for not trying.  So I gathered up my courage, went to Gold’s Gym early and walked into the spinning class.  I introduced myself to the instructor and told her I was new.  She was so nice.  She showed me how to adjust the bike to my height and how to adjust the intensity control.  She introduced me to other spinners who were so nice.  They said to just go at your own pace.  I couldn’t believe it.  I have been wanting to do this for years but was always too afraid to.  There was absolutely nothing to fear.

The teacher then turned the lights off and put the fluorescent lights on.  She cranked the music up and started the class.  I found myself keeping up with the other spinners.  I even cranked up the intensity so I could stand and spin.  I have always been so afraid to do that.  I started to look at the other women in the class and I fit right in.  I was not the heaviest.  I was not the oldest.  For once I felt normal.  Like I belonged.  It was a great feeling.

Wasn’t it FDR that said the famous saying.  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  I have been thinking about that quote a lot lately.  My new goal in my weight loss journey (actually it is now my maintenance journey) is conquering my fears.  I am tired of being afraid.  I want to try new things.  Now I will never bungee jump or parachute out of an airplane.  I value my life too much. But using weight lifting machines and spinning on a bike is definitely the first step in the right direction.