Growing up I wasn’t very athletic and I was never comfortable with body; my weight was always a struggle. When I got into working out in my early 20s, I became a gym rat but I still didn’t think I looked fit enough. And even when I fell in love with cardio kickboxing, pushed hard though the hour and a half classes and perfected my jabs and hooks, I still carried my body insecurities. For the next 15 years I sought out the cardio kickboxing and then the Les Millls Bodycombat classes with every new gym. I repeatedly got mistaken for an instructor but I didn’t think I was thin enough or that I could keep up my stamina in front of a class.
So, I held back, continued to be a star pupil but couldn’t face my fear and insecurities to take that step to lead. This year, I decided this was something I wanted to do. I was finally ready to take the step I’ve been contemplating for 15 years and become a Bodycombat instructor. I’m 43 and in decent shape. If not now, when? I signed up for the certification training. From what I had heard, it would be two brutal days to complete the training and then I’d have to film myself teaching to complete the process. I was so excited about finally taking this step; my sister and my daughter seemed so proud of me when I finally signed up.
The problem was, I wasn’t being honest with myself and listening to my body. I’ve suffered with back pain for the past seven years. It first started after a severe depression when my daughter wasn’t well. For the most part, I’ve managed the pain, first with physical therapy and then continuing to keep up my workouts and specific exercises. But, over the past few months, the pain has returned full force. I got a little overzealous with my kickboxing workouts and pushed just a little too hard. I was ignoring the increasing pain radiating in my hip and down my leg. I pushed through my classes but I couldn’t really walk through a store without wanting to cry.
A few days after I signed up for the certification, I realized I was in such pain I couldn’t even practice the routine I would need to perform at the training. Then I got the flu; I guess somebody was trying to tell me something. I regretfully cancelled my training. It might not sound like much, but I had waited so long to take this step. My head is finally in a good place, I’m more accepting of my body at this age and I feel I would be able to pass along my love of Bodycombat to other people and inspire them the way so many of my favorite instructors inspired me.
As I write this, I am trying to come to terms with the fact that what I want to do is not necessarily what’s good for my body. It’s a hard pill to swallow. I am working on finding the willingness to embrace other things, like the Pilates class I took this morning. But Bodycombat will always be my first love and even if I can’t teach, I will cut back enough so I can occasionally go punch at the air and kick butt!
The lesson I learned from all of this is to take opportunities when they come and stop waiting for things to be perfect. My body was fine 15 years ago and I let my fear and insecurity get the best of me. We can talk ourselves out of so many things, we tell ourselves we’ll do it later, this isn’t the right time, we’ll wait until we lose 10 pounds. If there’s something you’re waiting to do; until you get thinner, get better, have more money….don’t. There is no “better” time, do it now!