I found Misty Copeland’s commercial for Under Armour over the weekend and it could not have come at a better time. Self-doubt has started to edge its self back in to my mind. I can tell it is fear, my pessimistic self dwelling on all the ways that I could fail. I have always been paralyzed by a fear of failure. I am sure many of you have as well. My thoughts have always preceded my actions– this can in some instances be a good thing but there is no room for overthinking when embarking on a new and/or difficult journey.
Health, Fitness and Wellness is no different in this way. I have glanced over a new program and thought “Gosh, that looks so hard!” and psyched myself out plenty of times. Or a change in my schedule causes me to get so anxious and nervous about logistics (Should I pack a change of clothes? Will all my necessary machines be available? Is it possible for me to workout in the time I have between the end of work and dinner with the girls?) that I forgo my workout altogether.
I was trying to explain this to my boyfriend Friday night, that feeling of anxiety and nerves that I was sure would hold me back from working out on Saturday. He simply shook his head and responded “You are making up excuses.” No, no, no! I clamored. In my mind that was not the case. I went to sleep thinking he just did not get it because he does not work out. When I woke up the next morning, I asked myself what was stopping me from just facing the anxiety and nerves head on? That feeling of going into the gym an hour later than usual and having to do a different exercise than I intended because the squat rack is taken is a very real and overpowering feeling for me but what about that scenario or any other scenario made me so fearful that I gave up on my goals?
For a long time I have allowed this background noise to play in my head. It tells me I cannot do it. It reminds me of all the times others have told me to be realistic when creating goals. It continually yells IMPOSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE.
And then I found Misty Copeland’s commercial for Under Amour. Up until this weekend, I did not know who Misty Copeland was. Misty began dancing at the age of 13, and despite enduring multiple pressures as an African-American woman has become the fourth African-American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theatre. In interviews, she touches upon wanting to give up but pushing on despite the pressures and setbacks.
Watching such an incredible athlete talk about her journey into the world of Ballet made me realize that fear–the fear of failure– will always be there to hold us back. The morning after my conversation with my boyfriend, I decided fear would no longer be my mistress. I strapped on my sneakers and headed out to Central Park. Instantly, I started to overthink it. “It’s too late to workout! Won’t it be too hot to run outside with the sun beating down? Should I run to Central Park or run in Central Park? What if I can’t finish a full mile? It’s probably filled with people! I forgot my pouch, how do I carry my phone?!” Gosh, how tiring to dredge up every possible setback! I encouraged myself to let all of that go and to simply take the workout as it came.
Not only did I get in a good sweat but it reminded me that my mind is a powerful thing.