A few weeks ago I took a flying trapeze class. Not only was it the toughest physical workout I’ve completed to date but also, maybe even more so, one of the most challenging mental exercises of my adulthood. Before beginning the class, the instructor greeted each student upon entry and prepped us individually for what to expect. He asked me “Are you able to follow directions?”. I answered “yes” but had I known what I was getting myself into a “maybe” probably would have sufficed. :/ He continued with “This exercise is all about timing. If you follow my direction at exactly the time I call it, you’ll be able to execute”.
Lesson #1: Timing is everything so stay ready for your opportunity.
Boy was he right. For the first 5 tries I hesitated and missed the landings. Upon try #6, I decided that this man probably knew what he was talking about so listening would be wise before I missed yet another try.
Meanwhile, my classmates (mostly other amateurs) seemed to be catching on more quickly. Even if they were a bit hesitant in the beginning, they seemed to land just right at the end. While I was determined not to give up, I did feel a bit discouraged. Even though I was not following his direction as I should have been, the instructor kept encouraging me. At one point he gave me a very valuable tip intended for the exercise yet very valuable to life at large. He said “Don’t worry. Everyone gets it in their own time. For some, the most challenging part is climbing up to the platform. For others, it’s the initial swing. But everybody gets it in their own time. Don’t worry about what level your classmates are at”.
Lesson #2: Do you.
Had I kept worrying about my classmates being ahead of me, I may have been too defeated to even make step one. After the advice of “do you” was embedded in my brain, the exercise became easier and I was finally able to make the land. My classmates, a group of strangers, cheered me on. One classmate even said “You’re getting better each time”. This made me feel better considering I thought I had went from bad to sub par at that point. (*sigh*) But none-the-less, I did it!
And I have a message for those of you reading this post who may be thinking the following: “I could never do that” or “She makes it look easy”. Trust me, I pushed myself way beyond my comfort zone. Not to mention it wasn’t as glamorous as it looks. My entire body ached for days. I couldn’t lift my arms over my head for a week. Bruises spotted my legs for days after. (Thank God it’s winter!) And I didn’t reach the ultimate goal for “catching” the instructor at the end.
Bonus Lesson: Your comfort zone is unique to you. Keep pushing yourself at your own pace. As long as you’re striving to push beyond it.
In the end…I came, I saw, I conquered and most importantly, I remembered to do ME!