If you’re still waiting for that perfect time to start coming to classes, here’s a news flash: there is no more perfect time than right now. Many of us keep waiting for changes but do nothing to make that change happen. For example, if you’re waiting until you are in better shape, but do nothing to improve the shape you’re in then waiting serves no purpose. It just makes time tick past us. Most of us do not have any kind of magic wand that will suddenly endow us with traits we haven’t got. Also, we cannot go back to a past that might have looked different. A quote that is often attributed to Albert Einstein goes something like “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results”. Until you take a different approach, nothing is going to change. Or change may happen but it may not be what you want. For example, when it comes to movement, the less you move the more difficult movement becomes. Then all of the consequences of not moving (muscle atrophy, listlessness, difficulty in accomplishing simple tasks) can begin to become evident or, worse, increase. So the less you move the harder it becomes to move and the more likely you are to suffer associated health consequences.
Overscheduling can also be an impediment. You think “after this or that event I’ll have more time”. This, too, is an illusion. It’s easy to fall prey to the perception that you are just too busy to take the time for a class or other exercise. Among the flaws in that line of thinking is that somehow we forget that each of us only has so much energy to expend in any given day. Many of us are guilty of expending all of that energy in the service of others. This is noble, but when we act as if this energy supply is endless we can become depleted, exhausted and maybe even a bit resentful. We all need to take time to replenish our energy supplies. As I’ve said in other blog posts, taking time for yourself is equally – if not more! – important than the time you devote to others. You can’t give what you haven’t got. Try thinking of your “me” time as a gift you give to those around you.
At some point we all need to face the reality of where we are right now. This day, this moment. It may not be ideal, but there is probably more good than bad if you really take the time to think about it. Maybe a perception adjustment is required. Whatever your current physical condition, if you can move and breathe you may have more capacity than you think you do. Perhaps you will never again ski in the Alps, run a marathon or compete in a gymnastics competition. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some kind of exercise that works for you. Get creative! Explore some new ideas. Find out what your friends are doing. Sometimes we can be so busy focussing on something we think we want that we ignore some of the other ideas that are right in front of us. And if you’re still worrying that you’ll look funny trying to do something new or different here’s something to consider: you will probably be anxious if you do nothing so if doing something also makes you anxious then either way you are going to experience anxiety. Might as well choose the active path. If you hate it, you can always go back to doing nothing.
And perhaps in the end that’s the most important truth. Nothing is permanent. No matter what you choose to do there is no rule that says you have to keep doing it. You can change at any time. Trying something doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it forever. But you will never know your true ability if you don’t try. With classes I always suggest that you try a few times before you give up. Practice always makes things more accessible. But there really are no hard and fast rules. Just the rules each of us establishes for ourselves. It helps to remember that those rules are of our own making and we can unmake them any time we want. We all have the ability to make choices. It may not always be easy, but it can be done.