So, it’s January, the month of self-improvement. The season where we all slouch towards better versions of ourselves. Resolving to go to the gym, or organize our pinecone elves, or tidy up the moldering piles of not-sure-what-exactly in the corners of our rooms.
As I was contemplating going to my office gym yesterday (I didn’t, I’m still stuck in contemplation mode….) it occurred to me that every journey begins with awkwardness.
Should I work out at lunch? Yes. But God, then I’d have to lug a dufflebag of gear with me, and what if I see someone I know? And I’m in spandex leggings? No one wants to see middle-aged thighs in spandex. I’ve worked hard to cultivate a certain dignity as a skilled professional — do I throw that all away when someone witnesses me doing a lunge-squat? And showers! Have we thoroughly considered the entire pain-in-the-ass factor of undressing and dressing mid-day? Under fluorescent lights? In a shared space?
I folded like a cheap card table. Okay, it’s decided! I’ll just sit here at my desk and avoid the Awkwardness of the Gym.
If you think this blog post is going to twist and build to the conclusion that, oh no! I overcame my dread of gym awkwardness and now I feel unconditionally loved and accepted in spandex…. you would be wrong.
It’s still awkward.
All new shit is awkward. Even the things we used to do well once upon a time, and got kind of rusty at (like dating since the Clinton administration) can be paralyzingly fraught. And that is the EASY STUFF! Putting headphones in and lumbering on the elliptical to ABBA? Agreeing to a low-stakes coffee date? That’s amateur awkward! Olympic awkward is going to your first parent teacher conference as a single parent, or class assembly, or other obvious Public Intact Family Together Events. That kind of awkward fuels opiate addiction and mommy-needs-wine memes.
So today’s Friday challenge is to tell me how you pushed past the awkward and accomplished some new firsts. Was it as awkward as you feared? Worse? Did you fall flat on your face? Did you lunge squat forward anyway?
Inquiring dufflebags of gym gear want to know.