When I step out of my comfort zone, there are always those first few instances where the situation isn’t 100% comfortable. The first time I try a new group fitness class, I feel like I am constantly 5 steps behind and everyone can tell. When I first started working out with free weights, I felt like I was in a “girl free zone” and I was entering man territory. Yet with both of those situations, after a time or two, the “gymtimidation” was gone. It wore off quickly. I was comfortable. I knew what I was doing and I knew nobody was paying any attention to me anyhow if I didn't. The only time I haven’t gotten comfortable quickly and easily is with swimming laps.
First and foremost. I love swimming laps. I love being in the pool and the workout I can get . If could guarantee that I’d be alone in that old olympic-sized, I’d swim laps every day. But drop one other body in the pool and I start convincing myself that the workout is less enjoyable. Drop another body in the same lane as me and I quickly start trying to convince myself that my workout is over.
Your probably thinking I learned how to swim late....but you'd be wrong. I grew up with a pool in my backyard. I was definitely a water baby. Most of my first memories are in the pool. However, I never learned proper stroke technique. With two big brother’s (who ridiculously enough were on the swim team), I was of the “drop her in and see if she can do it” school of thought. I learned young, but I never learn right. For nearly two decades I could hop in the pool whenever I wanted and I never had to think about how I looked, if I was in someone's way, or if people noticed how frequently I had to take a break.
My entire life I have swam under water. Only in the last year have I learned the proper techniques for freestyle, backstroke, etc. And let me just say this, they are a lot harder than swimming like a fish. While I try to convince myself that just like in group fitness classes, nobody cares enough to pay attention to how ridiculous I look…I cant make myself believe it. That’s part of the reason I have to set weekly swim goals – because I know if I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t go…and I’d be missing out on a great workout and an opportunity to improve.
When I'm unsure about something new, I usually just jump straight in (metaphorically and physically). I'd rather just get it over with, than feel the cold water on my toes and have the opportunity to chicken out. But that doesn't mean it's any less intimidating the next time.
How do you deal with low self-esteem when it comes to sports, workouts, or anything else for that matter?
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