It's amazing what several months off of most exercise can do to your mind. Yes, your body is impacted negatively, but your mind seems to snap back into habits faster than you can blink.
My ankle injury and extremely slow progress with its healing has given my mind plenty of time to reform old nasty thoughts. The ones that say “no, you can't do that.”
Do I think my body won't physically be able to handle things? No. I am putting an automatic block up because I am afraid of looking dumb. Or being a newbie in a class. Or having people at the gym stare at me and assume I went missing due to lack of willpower rather than an injury. It's really maddening.
I am thinking back to the times when I first went to the gym, first tried Zumba, first did a half-marathon… and I wonder how I got the balls to do those things then. Perhaps a deep desperation for a different life or for new experiences.
I bring this up because I have been thinking about taking some private yoga sessions. I told myself I wanted them private so I could find modifications to do to help ease me back to activity after injury and also to help find adaptations for any poses I might not be able to do because of my size. The instructor emailed me and asked what she could help me with — what my goals are with the private sessions.
In my unedited response, I noticed I used some variation of the word “intimidation” three times:
- I want the private sessions so it's less intimidating for me.
- I don't want to be intimidated by classes and not being able to do things.
- The thought of starting a regular yoga practice without help is intimidating.
I re-read my answer before hitting “send.” Is intimidation the ONLY reason I'm doing this? What about the origin of wanting to explore yoga more? I want to feel centered and strong in my body. I feel disconnected, frustrated, clumsy, and stiff. I want to feel comfortable in the body I have now.
Let's hope in getting back into a workout routine that my mind remembers the freedom that comes with trying new things, even when I'm intimidated.