I've been going to the gym and hitting the weights a little more heavily than usual, swapping out my usual 20 min pre and post workout cardio sessions. I still do my pre-cardio, actually, but I've tried a few classes that are offered at the gym- cycling (which I now very much enjoy) and boot camp with weights. I usually abhor classes that are crammed with people, which boot camp and classes like zumba tend to be. I am not comfortable being surrounded by so many people and generally enjoy working out in solitude. However, the cycle classes are pretty small (biggest class I've been in so far had less than 10 people in it) and the one boot camp class I did was fun, but I'll probably only participate if it just happens to coincide with my schedule. Too many people makes me feel... itchy. I don't know, like in my brain- a tugging anxiety and unreasonable annoyance at the existence of others.
But I tried the class anyway. I took this personality test thing online (personalysis, but the free version at http://www.tonyrobbins.com/disc-profile/ if you want to try it out) and it was kind of hilarious how accurate it is. Basically, I'm extremely people oriented and extroverted, like leadership positions and being acknowledged, enjoy structure and rules and prefer work settings that allow me to do my own thing, travel, and blah blah blah. It goes on to say some more things that are all pretty much true, but what it also did was remind me of my weaknesses- things I have to be aware of that could come around to bite me if I'm not careful. There are a few that I already knew, like I tend to trust people to do what they say and tend to go out of my way to help others without thinking about myself, but one that I didn't think about was that I also tend to shy away from things I don't have excessive information about (i.e. if I'm not in control, I won't do it).
This is something I do see often. If I feel out of my depth and uncomfortable due to lack of something or other, I'm pretty good at finding ways around it.
So I've decided that along with my weight loss and detox, another thing I want to add into my life is to do more things that I know are really good for me, but freak me out and make me crazy anxious. Not in the bad way, mind. I'm not going to suddenly induce myself to have panic attacks by forcing myself to sit in shark infested waters or anything like that, but I want to put myself in more situations that make me uncomfortable but will make me a better person.
I know, some people are thinking- girl, you lived in a developing country for 2 years without total knowledge of the language and culture, without family and friends. You got a degree at a fancy university, leaving your parents for the first time in your life, and joined a sport you never played before, a TEAM sport on top of all of that even though you're a creature that craves solitude and distance. How much more uncomfortable can you get?
And honestly? Only some of those things were uncomfortable for me. By far, the most anxiety producing thing of all those things was joining rugby. Being around people made me twitch back in high school. Joining the tennis team was my first step in trying to become a better person- I made friends, grew into a more social creature, and started to become active. It would lead to a bigger drastic change- a sport that required me to not just play nice with others, but to have full contact with people, both aggressively (no problems there) and supportively (big jump out of my comfort zone). Once I got the hang of people hugging me, I kind of liked it (it only took like 4 years to get used to it...)
Joining the Peace Corps after all that wasn't actually that difficult for me. I know, that's kind of a dick thing to say considering how hard it was for so many people to make that decision, to those who are now currently making that decision. But it just, wasn't. I had no concerns about the language, the culture, the people, even my things. Ok, I was a little worried about my things because I couldn't get a straight answer from anyone ("It Depends" became a recurring nightmare), but I was mostly just really excited and had no other expectations.
You know why? Because that's stuff I was good at. Chatting up people, struggling academically with language, figuring out how to navigate around a place I didn't know, all of this didn't induce as much anxiety as it might have. Actually, figuring out combis was a little worrisome cause I was convinced I'd die each time I took one outside of my community, but it all worked out in the end.
But what I realize is that the thing that freaks me out the most more than anything else is being unprepared. Walking into something without a clue, without the opportunity to do massive amounts of research and then have previous experience to compare it to, makes my heart skip 12 beats. I, for example, didn't think I could do the boot camp class because I've never taken an instructional course for anything fast paced before. I was confused during the thing, but it involved a lot of movements that I had done before with my trainer and my usual workouts so it wasn't so bad. I think zumba was give me a heart attack, because I have never taken a formal dance class (besides when my mom put me in tap dancing and ballet when I was so young, I barely have any memories of it).
So I've decided that I need to do more things that freak me out. Which is why, at my internship, I say yes to anything the boss asks me to do, even if I have no idea wtf he's talking about. I say yes, I nod exuberantly, I take a look at the data or file or whatever, and then I tell him I have no idea what he wants and he's going to have to explain it all to me step by step. Thank God boss man is a totally awesome teacher who's always willing to take a few minutes to explain things to me.
I've now also decided that once I start school in August, I'm going to do one more thing that gives me a punched in the stomach feel just thinking about it. I'm going to take a capoeira class for the 2 years I am there. I want to be on my way to becoming a capoerista. If you don't know, capoeira is like a brazilian dance/martial art combo thing that looks amazing. I won't be able to do all the fancy shmancy high paced twists and flips and amazingness that I see on youtube and blogs for a long long while, but I'll be on my way! Mind, this freaks me out b/c again- it's dancing and I don't know dancing, I'm not at all a one-on-one kind of aggressor (definitely passive aggressive and damn good at it), and I can't do a solid pushup, let alone a handstand... all of these things and my fear of failure will be working against me, which is WHY I know I have to do this.
Also, I would prefer it if you're reading this, to never ever bring up capoeria with me EVER until I actually join the class. I'm not kidding about being freaked out, and talking about it will make me more scared. I need to get to that point where my anxiety is balanced by my excited enthusiasm... right now, mind clawing anxiety is 97.6% of my decision, and the enthusiasm is about 2.0%. The remaining 0.4% is blank space and white noise... I'm pretty sure it's actually a visual representation of my anxiety that I don't want to categorize as anxiety cause 98% is too damn high.
Alrighty, that's all for now! Oh, except today I had a craving for chocolate so I ate 1 Hershey's dark chocolate piece, 2 rolos, and 1 Easter Butterfinger egg. That's a lot of chocolate and it was heavenly cause they were all melting from the 95 degree heat today (at 7pm), but I probably won't be happy about it tomorrow. Whatever, it was yummers.
OK that's all for now for reals. I'm going to finish reading this book called "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg (very interesting read about powerful women leaders in the workplace) and then try to sleep! Nighty night, sweet dreams <3 div="">3>