I went to yoga today for the first time in a while. Turns out turning yourself into a human pretzel is good for body and soul.
As I was standing on my head, well, practically, I congratulated myself for being there.
You see, this move has exposed something.
I’m not brave.
Not like I used to be.
When I was young I was almost fearless about trying new things and exploring new places. The change made me happy. I loved all the new sights and sounds, they gave me energy.
But with age comes challenges and hardship, loss and grief. Somewhere between struggle and pain, I lost my brave heart.
Since we moved to South Carolina, and because I know so little and so few people, I’ve had to make a choice: stay home, where I feel safest, or venture out on my own and take the risk.
Home sounds appealing, like the feeling of a warm blanket wrapped around me…safe and sound.
But, I’ve made a decision, I want my bravery back.
Which is why I stood on my head today.
I knew most of the faces in the gym where I’d been a member for thirteen years. It was comfortable and easy.
Today, I didn’t know a single person.
This is true of almost every place I’ve been lately.
I sleep in an unfamiliar house in an unfamiliar neighborhood and shop in stores I’ve never even heard of. I’ve attended a church service with only my husband and daughter as familiar faces. I don’t how to get anywhere, thank goodness for Google Maps. Well, most of the time, sometimes even Google lets me down.
You get the idea, it’s ALL new.
I had to give myself a pep talk to go to yoga today. To sit in a class where no one knew my name and pretend to be braver than I felt.
I took a deep breath, walked in with my pink yoga mat slung over my shoulder and my pink backpack on top of the mat. Would it be too revealing to tell you I have a pink towel with red hearts all over it to wipe my face between workouts?
Sometimes I forget I’m so old and I like twelve year old pink things.
But, I did it.
Just me and all of my pink accessories.
And, you know what, it wasn’t that bad.
Everyone I came in contact with was friendly and one even asked my name. Pretty sure we’re going to be besties, she doesn’t know it yet though.
I’d made it such a big deal in my mind, I almost convinced myself it was too hard.
Maybe that’s part of the rocky road to bravery. Showing up, in spite of the fear. Swallowing the butterflies and walking in, even if it is on shaky legs.
When I walked out of the gym today, I was definitely on shaky legs but not because of fear, but because apparently the yoga teacher REALLY believes in our abilities.
Probably won’t be able to walk right tomorrow.
But, that’s okay, because I can be brave even with a limp.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.”
― Emma Donoghue, Room