It’s that time of year.
But I don’t believe in new year resolutions.
I believe in
It’s that time of year.
I am reliving the times of frustration, sadness, overwhelming happiness and achievement over the past 345 days.
I start to plan the future and digest the life lessons that I have received.
My mind jumps back to November.
Heart pounding, I crash into the spin studio at the gym. I’m late. By this I mean I have arrived five minutes early for the class, but a minute too late to procure my trusty spin bike. Nestling quietly in the corner in the back row, my trusty companion now had a new owner. My chance of back row, dimly lit anonymity had vanished.
The 90s House and Garage starts to pumps as the situation gets worse. The only bike left is at the front of class. The bikes reserved for the ‘Gym Fit ‘ Girls (GFGs). The type that run to the gym in Dry Fit outfits that colour co-ordinate with their Free Runners: gym hair (high messy pony) and perfect face of nude make up complete the uniform.
I am not her.
Nor do I want to be.
But the pressure and fear of sitting on that bike was real. As I mounted the pedestal bike, I could hear myself doling out the obligatory compliments, apologies and excuses for my presence and upcoming performance. Gripped with fear, I hear the pace of the music picking up. I approach effort level 11 worried about what I must look like compared to my GFG neighbours.
Rationally you can tell yourself “Nobody has the energy to waste looking at you!” And it’s true. But then we get to the Solo Sprints. The part of the class where everyone has to stop spinning and watch you, as your row sprint as fast as they can for 60 seconds. Even safe on old faithful, in my dimly lit corner, I’d fear this part of the class. And now, being in the front row, I had the honour of going last.
As I wait for our turn to “..show the class how it’s done!” my anxiety mounts. The Mexican wave of sprinting spinners descends on the front row like a tsunami. The buzzer sounded and instinctively I just closed my eyes. And then the most liberating thing happened.
I was alone.
I stopped worrying about what I looked like to others. Stopped worrying that I didn’t belong there. All I cared about was cycling as fast as I could.
I had stopped worrying about how I was perceived by others.
I remember the anxiety I first felt when starting to write my blog. The feeling of vulnerability and exposure and judgment. The concern of what my family and friends would think of my writing. My parenting skills. My questionable gym wear choices.
But the less I worry about other people’s perceptions – the happier I am.
Whether I fail or succeed, I am happier. I am free.
And that is my life lesson for 2015.