to rouse to an emotional response stimulated by simultaneous fright and excitement
I’m a cryer.
I could make an extensive list of things that turn on my water works, including:
- little kids in Halloween costumes who politely ask if they can have two pieces of candy
- the “positive peddlers” on the California AIDS Ride
- reading the book I Like You to Dave at our wedding
- the scene in When Harry Met Sally where Harry runs through the streets of New York on New Year’s Eve (New York on New Year’s Eve, people!) in his crappy sneakers and dumb blue jacket so he can get to Sally before midnight
- when someone wins both showcases on The Price is Right showcase showdown
Just thinking about them now makes me a little misty.
I also cry when I’m frexcited, a condition in which I’m extremely excited and painfully apprehensive at the exact same moment, like…
- meeting Mr. Mike Ness
- learning my book was going to be published
- attending the first Spartan 300 workout this summer
And, it turns out, doing forward rolls on the mats at CrossFit Central.
All signs were pointing toward things going as planned: Everyone at the class was supportive. Randal gave us great instruction. I was ready to try new stuff and tell my inner critic to shut up for the day. Then suddenly… bam! I was 15 years old, back in my high school gym, last to be picked, slowest to finish, fattest in the room.
The tears didn’t last long, maybe 5 minutes. But they were hot with shame and frustration and self-doubt as they rolled annoying past my waterproof mascara onto my cheeks. Carey and Jeremy and Randal were the perfect blend of kindness and matter-of-factness (thank you, superheroes.), and by the time Randal was explaining the next roll, I was back in line at the mat. I was embarrassed — but if I stopped trying to do things every time I was embarrassed, I’d never do anything fun.
That nasty ol’ demon who sits on my shoulder had a fucking banner day today. “You don’t have to try that,” he whispered. “You’re not going to be any good at it anyway. Who cares if you don’t try? Who would blame you? You’re not an athlete. Sit this one out.”
But I wouldn’t let myself quit — mostly because I didn’t want to spend the rest of the day (the rest of my life?) explaining to myself why I didn’t try when I had the chance and was surrounded by people who were literally ready to catch me if I fell.
And even though I wasn’t super rockstar at any of it, I wasn’t super suck either.
Some of it was really fun. As usual, it wasn’t the things I expected to be. Walking my feet backwards up the wall into handstand position: awesome. Hanging from giant rubberbands on the pullup bar and doing handstand pushups: totally rad. Who knew?
The Danskin triathlon tagline used to be “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Brilliant! Whenever I want to give in to my conditioned response and say “I can’t,” I try to remember that phrase, then I take a deep breath, wipe away the tears, and give it a shot.
But tomorrow, having tackled a whole bunch of new stuff today, I’m indulging myself and lounging around the house in my squishy clothes and watching a movie or two.
Right after I go for a 6.5-mile run – for the first time.
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