I’ve been talking about getting back to the gym. We are members at a great place, right around the corner from my house. I have the time to go. No excuses. Well, I have an excuse. It’s dumb, though.
The first time I went to this gym, my husband had been regularly going for quite some time. As I do when a situation is unfamiliar, I asked a lot of questions. Too many questions. Where do you park? After you park, which door do you use? Do I sign in? Is the sign-in thingy right there when you walk in? Where are the towels for wiping the equipment? Can you change the channels on the TVs? Do only super-strong people use the weights? It’s obnoxious, I know. I want to know exACTly what to expect when I arrive somewhere new. I’ve been known to do a drive by before I have to be somewhere, just to get the lay of the land.
In the same vein, I like visiting people’s houses, so if I talk to them on the phone, I can picture exactly where they are. It’s not stalkerish. I don’t want to know what you’re doing or wearing. I’d just like to have an idea of where you’re sitting. Is that weird? I’m not nosy. I’m curious.
Everyone has a bit of fear of the unknown. Talking to The Boy the other day, he confessed to being more nervous about starting high school next year than he was going in to sixth grade. That’s especially odd, given that he’s staying at the same school for 9th grade. He confided in me, and his reasons made sense. He’ll see. Despite the pressure that goes with planning for college, things start to level out in high school. I thought middle school was much more awkward. It was probably made worse by the girl who made fun of me for not wearing a bra and then snapped it when I finally did, but it’s all good now.
I asked my husband about any changes to the gym since I last stopped in. It hasn’t been all that long, but I don’t want any surprises. He gave me a couple of tips, like make sure you specify if you want a small smoothie, because they will give you a large one by default, but I’m not completely satisfied.
He wasn’t refusing to give me info, but he definitely wasn’t picking up what I was putting down. I want more!
My son seems to have inherited this somewhat annoying trait of mine. More than a need for specifics, it’s a fear of the unknown. The Boy, no stranger to performing, was asked to hand out programs at a performance at the Imperial a year or so ago. He didn’t want to. He really, really didn’t want to. He said he couldn’t imagine having to greet and actually talk to that many strangers, which made zero sense to me, considering how much time he’s spent on the stage. I told him opportunities like these, that might make us uncomfortable, have the potential to open the doors for more, even bigger opportunities. Just try. You know what? After his shift was over, he asked to do it again. I’m not saying Mama was right. Okay, I am. Mama was right.
Eight years ago, I got a phone call, asking if I’d try writing a column. No way. “There’s absolutely zero chance I can do that,” I thought. “Yes,” I said. I panicked. Who will read it? Will they hate me? What do I say? Will it sound stupid? All the questions. I put it off for days. A week and a bottle of wine later, I put a few words on paper and sent it in. Reading it now, it was terrible. I can feel my unease in the words, but I got it done. Those first 500 words became nearly as many columns.
What I say may not be for you, but I’m proud of my eight years. I very much left my safety net, and I’ve hardly looked back. I love hearing when you read. If you don’t like me, that’s okay, too. Cheers to everyone trying something new this week. Wear a good bra and ask lots of questions. If that doesn’t work, take a deep breath, do a drive by, and try again. You might find it’s not really that scary. After all, not only super strong people use the weights.