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Dabbling in Fitness - By Tara

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Hey There Catalyst!!!

Today, I’m sitting here at my weightlifting certification seminar, and as they so often do, my
thoughts are drifting to all of you.

A lucky few of you have been my captive audience listening to my anxieties over signing up for
this specialty class. I feel overwhelmed, out of place and intimidated. Just walking in the door
was panic inducing as I instantly saw my coaches for the weekend lifting 300 plus pound bars
above their head. I feel like I’m dabbling where I don’t belong.

I realize I am not alone in this feeling. We all feel required to exercise and move our bodies in
whatever form necessary to maintain our health, livelihood, mobility and ability to be a
tolerable human being. Sometimes, just acclimating to a relatively non-threatening gym can be
a challenge. It doesn’t matter if you have a low key, one on one personal training session ahead
of you, or a small group session with an unrelenting coach barking at you to swing on the pullup
bar and pick up that despicable barbell over and over again. Oh, and by the way, let’s work
on making it heavier or run a little faster in between the reps. Like it or not, this has become
your new fitness routine. Sometimes, I can hear you question how this happened. The barbell
is intimidating and you have never been asked to become such intimate friends with it. The
exercises I ask you to do in group are challenging, technical, complex and exhausting. You
probably feel like you are dabbling too. I want you to know you all belong. Dabbling is fine.
Dabbling is how you find what you love even if it’s something you never expected to try. You
are all thriving and becoming stronger every week whether you know it or not. 

There are upsides to dabbling outside of your fitness comfort zone. The most significant upside
is you get to take advantage of the day to day variety. If you didn’t like the workout today, the
next day could look like something completely different. You don’t have to go to the Olympics
with these moves or outlift your Best Buddy. You only need to be better than what you thought
you could be. The confidence you will take away from this will carry over into the rest of your
life. Plus, you may just discover this is your next big thing.

The only requirement I ask of you, as uncomfortable as you may feel, is to give it an honest go.
Make room in your life for these new kinds of workouts so you have the opportunity to grow in
them. When it gets hard and frustrating, it is so easy to get discouraged. Especially when we
have always heard things like lifting big weights is only for an elite class of athletes that doesn’t
include ourselves. Think of it this way: All the same rules you gave your middle kid when she
decided to play the cello apply to your fitness routine. At least the kettlebells don’t make noise.

So, give yourself permission to suck. I would love to say you will only suck in the beginning, but
that’s just not how it works. Just like learning anything you will grow, become better at the
technical moves, fail, be frustrated, discouraged and sometimes just plain suck. Today, my
seasoned, salty weightlifting coach said I was doing something in a lift that was just flat out
weird. He had never seen it before, and he wasn’t sure how to fix it. Weird. Seriously!!! How
could I be doing something that far off? He eventually drilled it out of me, but there were
moments I wanted to crawl into the corner and stop pretending I had the mental capacity or
physical capability to be playing with the cool kids.

Catalyst, the important thing is to show up, start, put your soul into what you do and keep
doing it. Do what you can with what you have, and do not worry about what you can’t do.
Chances are what you can’t do is only what you AREN’T doing, and if you aren’t doing it, then
one day you might just realize that what you once possessed the potential for no longer exists
in you and now you can’t do what you once could have. So, just try it. It’s the only way you will
ever know what is inside of you.



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