Lessons Learned From Lifting Weights and Speaking Swedish

September 28, 2015

I recently started lifting weights. To ramp up my efforts, I joined a barbell class three days a week.

I’m not the fittest person in BodyPump. I can’t do a plank. I can’t do lunges or squats due to knee problems. I can’t do a standard push up.

So I modify. I adapt. I ask for help in finding other moves I can do instead.

I show up. I belong there.

I am a weight lifter.

I will get stronger. I don’t allow myself to get into that headspace wondering if folks in class are judging me. (They’re not). Or that I shouldn’t be there because I’m not as toned as some of my classmates. I’m pretty sure not a single person there cares what weight I have on my barbell or my ass.

People in class are encouraging. We share tips, food finds and chat about fitness gear. They ask how my weekend was. We banter about how our triceps will be on fire for days.

The instructors know my name. They even ask for pictures with me and my medal after I did a 10K race in Stockholm, Sweden.

But that’s another blog post.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the fear of not being good at something; or "good enough". We too often freeze up and make no effort because of that fear. We think we don’t belong because we don’t “look like them.” We don’t want to be “bad” at it or dare risk making a fool of ourselves.

What is so terrifying about that? Really. Think about it.

I met one of my dearest friends by making an attempt to speak Swedish while in Sweden. Most Swedes speak perfect English but I wanted to try out what I’d learned. I’m not fluent. I wasn’t afraid that I’d be judged. I went for it and it paid off beautifully. Showing up led to a friendship that has changed the course of my life. This friendship would not have happened if I hadn’t been willing to suck at something.

When you decide to show up as whatever you are wanting, you put yourself in the game. You step in and become part of that, regardless of where your ability stands. You establish your power of creating and belonging.

Show up. Life as if. Your life is begging you to hit the play button.