Arriving at the popular exercise venue, Soul Cycle, I noticed the lobby was filled with young athletes dressed in fashionable Lululemon workout gear that aggressively stretched against their bulging muscles. Realizing I was the only person of mature status in the room, I grabbed my daughter Jenni’s arm, and asked nervously, “Am I in trouble?”
“Mom didn’t you know, Soul Cycle is spinning on steroids.”
Now, I’ve never been fond of stationary bike classes. Peddling away in a hot, muggy room with sweat flying everywhere and going nowhere, as my rear end ached on the hard seat, was right up there with a root canal for fun. But, wanting to spend time with my girls, I agreed to go without first investigating.
“You can do this!” Lauren encouraged, as I began eyeing the exit sign.
“Maybe this isn’t such a good idea,” I whimpered. “I can wait in the car.”
Taking my hand, Lauren led me through the darkened room to an empty bike. “Get on. I’ll help you into the stirrups.”
Twisting my feet this way, then that, I was finally locked in place, my hands white-knuckling the handlebar.
“How will they get my body out of here if I topple over?” I cried.
“You’ll be fine.”
Suddenly, the room went darker as the chiseled instructor in her mico-mini outfit screamed, “Alright, let’s ride! And, when I say down, begin the pushups!”
“How in the hell do you do pushups on a bike?” my head now screamed. “It’s hard enough just moving my legs.”
“Turn the resistance knob to the right,” the exercise masochist roared. “Pump harder! No excuses!”
“If I pump any harder, my legs will fall off.” I hollered to Lauren.
“Hang in there, Mom,” she smiled back, as her little derriere bounced wildly. “The class is only forty-five minutes.”
While it was the longest forty-five minutes of my life, before I could say, “I’m so over this,” it was over.
“Atta girl, Mom!” Michelle sang from across the room.
Dripping profusely, I couldn’t get my feet out of the stirrups.
“Are you sure this isn’t called Soul Psycho?” I mumbled as all three of my daughters helped to detach me from the pedal’s claws. “I’m too old for this stuff.”
“You did great!” they sang in unison. “Why are you always afraid to try new things? Besides, you’re not that old.”
As we drove away, I found in their words a powerful question. Why was it I only allow myself to do things I already knew something about? Truth be told, if I’d done any research on this class, I’d have stayed home.
Then it came to me, fear is a story I’ve let take up too much space on the bookshelves of my brain, and each page always reads the same, “What if I fail?” “What if I’m not good enough?” But, my “Soul Psycho” experience made me realize, it’s time for some major editing.
So, I’ve decided 2017 will be different. While I won’t be stupid and try to climb Mt. Everest without preparing first; after all, you need cute, warm clothes for those heights, I do plan to be open to exploring new possibilities, whatever they are, especially if they involve my kids. This is my year of no fear!
While, I may look like a dork in the process or completely fail, I will end each day with a new chapter entitled, “At Least I Tried.” My kids are right; a life with regret is no fun and, at sixty-four, I’m not that old.
Ok, who’s up for bungee jumping?