I have a small confession: I do not enjoy exercise (almost) ever. I know I write for a health and wellness site, and I most certainly do value having an active lifestyle, eating well and staying healthy, but I’m just not one of those people truly has a good time raising her heart rate.
Unfortunately, this sentiment pertains to most activities that are primarily done for exercise purposes. For example, I only have fun going to the gym if I’m with a close friend and we can chat about our lives and catch up while working out. I only like spin classes if, again, I’m with a buddy and the music is distracting enough to ignore how badly my hips hurt. And I only think going for a run is enticing about once a month nowadays.
Part of this disdain is because I have this innate fear of embarrassing myself while exercising. I am always afraid I’ll fall, or be way more out of breath than the person I’m with, or that I’ll simply not be good at the activity (yes, I know this is silly because the only way to get better is practice). The other reason is simply because I usually don’t feel well while exercising; my hips often wind up aching and I have asthma, so I get out of breath kind of quickly. That said, I still do make sure I exercise vigorously multiple times per week and, since I currently don’t have a car anyway, I walk everywhere. In my opinion, I live a lifestyle that is overall pretty healthy.
However, one particular realm of fitness I have always been opposed to doing is yoga. I think it’s wonderful when other people are interested in it; they always seem so flexible, their limbs look leaner and longer, and — at least the day of taking a class — their minds are clearer, calmer and more collected. I want that, but goodness gracious, I absolutely hate doing yoga itself.
I took a class at the gym I used to belong to. I had prepared to attempt that serenity I’d see everyone else attain, but quickly realized that it simply wasn’t coming to me. I was unflexible, uncomfortable and just plain confused most of the time. I felt my face turn red constantly because I was so much less able to bend and pose like everybody else, thus inducing a whole lot of embarrassment. Of course, I’m sure instructors are used to people being beginners, but I get bashful and flustered very easily when I’m terrible at something.
Still, I wanted to learn, so I tried to do some yoga in my living room by watching a television show wherein a class was led. I thought I might be able to learn the basics so that way, when I finally felt brave enough to attend a class again, I wouldn’t look so silly. Instead, at some point, I slipped on my floor and hit my head pretty hard, Three Stooges style. I imagine it would’ve been comical to watch from afar; the only thing missing was a banana peel under my foot. That was two years ago.