Last month, I decided to change. In addition to doing my usual activities, I added Duplicate Bridge and Iyengar Yoga to name two.
I dread going to both. I’m fair at the bridge, but the other hundred people in the room are experts. They also never smile, so the air is thick. Doing my best still leaves me feeling stupid. Plus, in my second game, a woman came to my chair and said, “Are you wearing perfume?” I said, “No, are you?” A shy man at the table said, “Why did she ask?” I explained some people are sensitive to scents. He said, “Well, you do smell good.” His comment created an awkward moment, but then I said, “Well, thank you.” A subculture for sure.
Being told yoga could improve my balance, I paid for one month. At the end of January, I visited the chiropractor four times. Neck, back, arms, toes, legs, to name a few, hurt. It is exhausting and expensive: Mat, belt, three Mexican blankets, and two yoga blocks??? I am NOT buying the yoga bolster — whatever that is.
Yesterday, she had us on our knees, and our knees pressed up against the wall. It sounds easy. It wasn’t. We crawled our fingers up the wall to get a good stretch, and my thighs were burning bad. I rested my forehead against the wall trying to hold the pose through a few more seconds of pain, and the woman next to me said, “Oh, that feels great!”
I turned my head to see if she was serious, and she was. I laughed and said, “I need an attitude adjustment. I’m over here dying, and you think it feels great.” To add insult, she is probably five years my senior.
Oh, life makes us humble, but if we never step outside our comfort zone, we miss out on lessons, growth, memories, wisdom, and belly laughter.
I have innate tenacity, and by golly, I am not quitting. I will proceed, maybe not succeed, but perseverance is in my DNA. My bridge partner and I scored second in Thursday’s game, so I feel a little less dumb. As for yoga — I ask for courage to carry the bulky equipment into the building, open the door, roll out my mat, sit on my blankets, and fold my legs into the first awkward (instructor says beautiful) pose — all the time praying for the hour and thirty minutes to fly fast.
What moves you to the edge of YOUR comfort zone?
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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