It’s no secret that the gym is a favorite place of mine. Saturday, I rushed out to my gym at a particularly early 8:45 in the morning to make it to a featured master class, Body Vive. Inevitably, there will be many future posts on things I am grateful for pertaining to my gym, but on this day, I learned how thankful I was to be able to laugh at myself.
When trying new things, there is always a learning curve where mistakes will be made and perfection is not expected. Thank goodness! Growing up, I constantly felt the pressure to never make a mistake and carried the expectation to be perfect (now, I understand my parents’ intentions were to push me to reach my highest potential, not to cause me stress… yet another thing I am thankful for, in retrospect). This forgiveness to err that I’ve adopted towards myself was much called for during Body Vive’s 55 minutes of new steps and movements.
Regardless of my unfamiliarity with the class, I took a spot, front and center, directly face-to-face with the instructor, my Body Vive ball within reach. My first thought was “Gosh, I hope I don’t drop that ball and make a fool of myself!” Of course, the self-fulfilled prophecy that it had become, not only did I drop my ball once, but lost it a second time! Initially, I felt embarrassed as I chased the ball as it rolled passed other less-butterfingers-prone Body Vivers, thinking I was probably the only klutz that lost her squishy, purple ball. I laughed it off and fell back in to formation.
A few steps later, we were instructed on a new move that had us turning in different directions, in (what was meant to be) unison. My feet fumbled beneath me as I mis-stepped, mis-turned, and mis-Vived. Much to my delight, it seemed most of the room joined me in my confusion as we crashed into each other and bobbed when we should have weaved. At that moment, I unclenched my useless grip on attempted perfection and released it with a wave of laughter. Truth of the matter was, most people in the classroom that morning were just as new to the program as I was. I was NOT the only one making mistakes, stepping left when told to pivot right. But, I was the only one that thought my self-described epic errors made any difference!
After I realized the normalcy of my mistakes, I allowed myself to laugh at my missteps. I was able to enjoy myself as much as everyone else was enjoying the wonderful class and got an added ab workout from all the laughter. If I can’t laugh at my own mistakes, then I impose a sentence on myself to take life far too seriously. I guess you could say that on Saturday morning, in my first Body Vive experience, I learned a valuable life lesson to be grateful for the ability to laugh at myself, all stemming from dropping the ball- twice!