A friend sent me a video clip from the comedian Brian Regan. It was hilarious and addresses the very things that often keep us from exercising. We don’t want to look stupid or feel out of place. What if we are out of shape and might be the last runner/swimmer in? The fact is that if we don’t get out there and start we will never get in shape. If we can just get through the seemingly embarrassing start… it seems silly to worry about what other people might be thinking of us (when we will probably never see them again in our lives).
Everyone starts somewhere…I remember the first time I went to the pool; after I mustered up enough courage to set up a time to go swimming with a good friend (and a good swimmer I might add). I even went on my own before we met up to “practice.” I felt all the anxieties of trying something new, after all it had been years since I had swam (like when I was a child in swimming lessons). Oh such fond memories of clinging to the side of the pool with blue lips and hoping it to be over soon so I could get out and warm-up.
During my attempted practice – I could not even make it to the other end without stopping and “coming up for air.” (In running you can breathe whenever you want to). I entertained the thoughts of canceling with my friend, but didn’t want to be a flake and went anyway. After meeting up with my friend, I realized that I just needed to keep doing it to get better. Since then I have improved tremendously and do not feel at all awkward at the pool. I am not perfect at butterfly, or any of the strokes. But I just get there and work hard to improve my form (the only real way to get faster in my opinion). It is not easy to try something new, but exciting to stretch your bounds and challenge yourself to a new level. Who knows what is really possible when you just give it a try? After all, each race begins with just a step.