Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stepping out of our comfort zones!

Since I've turned 50 (sometimes I still can't believe it) I have entered into a new phase of self-awareness. The first realization is that aging does mean things to our bodies. The words; droopy, saggy, wrinkly, achy, sleepy, forgetful and squinty come to mind. Like Snow White's seven dwarf's evil doppelgangers. It's like my body is changing without my permission.

Another realization is that I love where I'm at mentally and emotionally. There is a level of confidence and peace that I've reached . . . finally. I used to get intimated and frustrated by other people. I don't let things like that get to me any more. Maybe because I don't have the energy to put into it or hopefully because it doesn't make sense to worry about stuff like that.

I've also realized that I still have a lot of growth ahead of me and potential to do amazing things. I'm not done yet . . . In fact, to some degree, I'm actually feeling like I'm entering my best years creatively speaking. Maybe it's that last push before I reach that next decade milestone that is driving me to not be afraid to try new things and dare to achieve goals and dreams.

One example is the fact that I've been teaching exercise/aerobics since I was 22. I just turned 51, so that's 29 years. I started teaching when aerobics first started, the leg-warmers and barefoot years, I survived the horrible and disgusting thong leotard years, and am still going strong. The young girls who are starting to teach are less than half my age! I've been teaching longer than they've been alive!

I'll be honest, last summer I was beginning to think that maybe it was time to hang up my Nike's and headset and let nature take it's course. Then I discovered a new fitness craze called Zumba. (This isn't a shameless plug for Zumba, but if you haven't tried it, you should.) Anyway, I started going to classes at the gym where I teach and absolutely fell in love with it. I have never worked or sweat so hard! I loved it so much that last October I decided to become a certified Zumba instructor. And the best surprise of all was that I wasn't the oldest person at the certification class. I now teach three Zumba classes a week and can keep up with even the youngest participant in the class (except for jumping - bearing children does scary things to one's bladder).

I don't say this to brag and make you think I'm some specimen of health, because I'm not. But here I thought I'd retire at 50, because, frankly, people were kind of expecting me too, and let's be honest, who wants to go to a class taught by an old, wrinkly instructor? But I didn't let that stop me. And now I'm teaching more than I have in 10 years. Even though my feet and knees ache sometimes, I am so glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and dared to go for it.

What have you been wanting to do that you haven't dared try? Is there something you've always wanted to accomplish that you've pushed aside because of what others might think?

I want to give you a challenge today, to step out of that boring old comfort zone and see what you are capable of. The possibilities are endless. The only thing keeping you from make those dreams happen and achieving those goals is YOU!

Do it!

Go for it!


Anonymous said...

Okay, so I'm totally not trying to kiss up here, but you look GREAT for 50 (51)! I hope to be energetic enough to take classes at your age, let alone teach them.

As far as stepping out of my comfort zone, I've been doing more and more of that lately. And you know what? I love it all. I'm growing and progressing so much more quickly by doing things I'm scared of. And I find out they're not nearly as scary as I imagined.

Thanks for the great post!

Lynn Gardner said...

I think turning 50 is great! It does give you new confidence, and people don't seem to expect quite as much of you so you can expect more of yourself and feel good about it. Turning 60 didn't hurt a bit, nor did 70. You still have many decades of good things to accomplish. Live it up, lady, and enjoy every minute, even the creaking, aching knees. :) Lynn