Very shortly after we are born there are a lot of ‘firsts’.
Our first big breath, our first cry, our first feed. Then it is our first smile (genuine), first step and our first word. We actually have hundreds and thousands of first experiences in our tender years. Then there is our first friend, our first exam, our first kiss, our first car, our first job. By the time we hit our 30’s those firsts really start slowing down. A lot of the experiences that we encounter become variations and in fact, when we have a ‘first’ experience, it is usually more challenging to deal with.
I am now in my 40’s and recently experienced a ‘first’ which has really challenged me… in a good way. I am a beginner again and what am I beginner in?
Believe it or not, I am a beginner cyclist. One of my other new year resolutions was to start riding to 90% of my weekly commitments. So far, so good, but what a challenge. It actually has been really humbling having other cyclists whiz past me effortlessly up hills when I am clicking down to my lowest gear so that I can crawl up the same hill (which looks like a mountain). Huffing and puffing, I feel my thighs burning, my glutes struggling and sweat dripping down my face and when I finally get to my destination, I am comatose for 15 to 30 minutes as I try to pull myself together.
What I find fascinating about all of this, is that it has brought me back to what it must feel like to do that first workout, whether it be on the gym floor, in a group exercise class or in a PT session. Those first horrible weeks of getting used to something different and convincing myself that it is all worth it -what it is like to be a beginner again. It feels like I have started 2013 with a renewed appreciation of what it is like to be a beginner and I am truly in awe of the beginners who take that huge leap of faith and courage to start a process that will be uncomfortable while they watch others breeze through their workouts. I am still trying to work through what I can say and do to encourage these brave beginners, but what I do know now, is how it feels.