Looking Bad to Look Good

Today’s blog post comes from Lara Zielin, who teaches indoor cycling at the studio. She talks about how scary trying out indoor cycling was at first, and how tempting it was for her to stop working out, especially when she knew she wasn’t very good at what she was doing. But she didn’t let the journey stop there. Here’s the story in her own words:

Since many of us are making New Year’s resolutions (and trying to stick to them), I thought I’d tell the story about the first time I went to an indoor cycling class. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution per se, but it was definitely part of my plan to get in shape and try something new.

Can I just tell you? I WAS SO SCARED. Holy crap.

I mean, I really didn’t want to go. And also? I didn’t have a friend to go with me, so I was winging it solo. And having never done this before, I didn’t really know what to expect.

We all know that Ypsi Studio is a really community-oriented place. Well, imagine being on the OUTSIDE of the community and walking into a space where everyone knows everyone — except you. YOU are the outsider. And you are here to do something you’ve never done before.

Holy fishsticks, I was petrified. I was going to look like an asshat. And be on the outside of a tight group of people while I did it.

I’d love to tell you I didn’t look like a struggling newbie that first time on the bike. But I kind of did. I mean, everyone looks like a struggling newbie in their first ever indoor cycling class. But that’s kind of part of trying something new. You’re going to not look like a total professional for a while.

I’d love to also tell you that I was accepted into the fold at that first class and everyone wanted to make friends with me. But that wasn’t true either. I slunk in and out of the class, and it wasn’t until I’d gone a few times — and made the effort to talk with some folks — that I started making friends.

These days, I’m part of the fabric of Ypsi Studio, and I teach indoor cycling classes there. But the reason I’m saying all this is because it’s easy to think that just because I do those things that I never struggled with it. But I did. Big time. It took a while for me to get into the grove of the workouts, the people, and to find something I loved doing and wanted to stick with.

So when I do half marathons or teach classes or whatever — just know, I’m not a size six (far, far from it — in fact, double that number) and this stuff didn’t/doesn’t come easily to me.

So maybe our New Year’s resolution shouldn’t be to lose the weight or get to a certain fitness level, but rather to just keep on keeping on (“just keep swimming” as Dory would say) and to keep going back, again and again, even when we think we’ll never master whatever it is we’re attempting.

It’s okay to look like an asshat.

Just don’t stop there.

[This post originally appeared on larawrites.com]