Out of My Element : the Decision to Change

2 year progressionI knew I should have worn a cooler outfit, this one totally says “Hey I’m a Mom, I’m completely out of my element, yes I drive a minivan full of cheerios and half eaten french fries do you need a ride somewhere or perhaps we could make a macaroni necklace.” I stood outside the weight room of the YMCA nervously looking around. My trainer had already entered and stood there coaxing me in. She had told me to pick a goal and since I wasn’t going to be running any marathons, I had chosen what sounded like the lesser of two evils and very naively selected a bodybuilding competition.

The YMCA that I had been a member of was huge and consisted of a beautiful serene upstairs full of brand new machines and a dingy, dark dungeon downstairs where the free weights were located. Very few women ventured downstairs and even fewer members (3-4 men) were competitors. I was entering the great unknown, but I was determined to push myself beyond the comforts of my Rep Reebok Group Class.

With a deep breath and a feigned fearless look I walked into the weight room. A few minutes passed while Heather taught me how to properly dead-lift and to my surprise no one was surrounding me chanting out how silly I looked. After several successful movements it was finally time to use the barbell- this was it, my first real experience in bodybuilding. As soon as my hands gripped the bar and performed the first fluid motion I knew I had lit a fire. I felt empowered, alive and for the first time ever I felt strong.

That day in the weight room changed my life forever. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. I made a decision to change that day, I took a chance at looking stupid and it has paid off every day for almost three years now. Listen to that nagging little voice that whispers “Just try”.  Every single person who is now proficient in any field of choice was once a beginner that took the chance at looking silly. Don’t let your fear of looking stupid hold you from who you might be.


One thought on “Out of My Element : the Decision to Change

  1. I started my lifting at a downstairs dungeon at the YMCA/YWCA (Westfield NJ) in the late 1960s. To show just how much things have changed, you had to go through the men’s locker room and through a small door at the back to arrive at the holy grail.

    Peace ~ Bear

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