Funny how things just tasted better when we were young.
Funny how things just seemed so easy when we were young.
-Dolores O’Riordan, When we were young
Lately, and as usual, I’ve been thinking a lot. And one thing that’s been on my mind is how easily we forget that we are still young.
Of course, if you ask a 20-year-old they might think differently. For them, someone young would be a 15 years old. But if you ask someone ten or fifteen years older than you, they will for sure tell you that you are still young. And there’s a pretty good chance they will tell you there’s still time.
So why do we keep looking at our past as our best time? Why do we still keep thinking that we are too old to try something new?
If you stop and think about it, you might realise you have been doing this too. Maybe you’ve seen that new class at the local community centre, maybe it’s hot yoga, pilates, Spanish, whatever it is that you saw, if you are anything like me, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve talked yourself out of going because you thought something along the following lines:
”I’m too old for this. I probably won’t even be able to follow.”
”It’s been too long since I’ve done a Spanish class or any class for that matter. It will be too hard.”
Or my favourite: ”I should have done this when I was younger. It’s too late now.”
Any of this sound familiar?
If not, great on you for not letting your self-talk preventing you from trying something new!
Trying something new: Aerial Silk
A few months back, I was in Dundee, Scotland and I wanted to go to a yoga class to help me remember some of the movements and get some motivation to do my morning workouts on my own. I did a good old Google search and found a studio not too far from my friend’s flat. I was about to book a session when something caught my attention. There was an Aerial Silk course starting the next Friday. It was a four-week session, and I happened to be at my friend’s for a month.
My first reflex was to think, wow this looks amazing. And four weeks would actually work perfectly with my travels plans. But as soon as I started looking into the pricing and eventually signing up, doubts crept in.
I hadn’t really been working out as much as I would have liked. I felt out of shape, and although this would be a good opportunity to get back to exercising, I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it.
And would I even be able to go to all 4 weeks? I had friends to catch up with, and it was on a Friday night. How realistic was it that I would actually make it?
And surely aerial silk would require some upper body strength, something I was clearly lacking now.
I was well on my way to talking myself out of even trying when I finally snapped out of it. Fuck it, I told myself. I quickly grabbed my wallet, got my credit card out and paid for the course before I would change my mind.
It was now too late. I had just spent a decent amount of money. I had to go and give it a try. And if I wasn’t good at it, it didn’t matter. I was going to learn something new, something I had always wanted to try.
The class was starting a few days later and I had managed to get myself to look forward to it.
On the Friday night when it was actually time to go to the class, I was having coffee with some friends and having a good time. I seriously considered not going, but then I realized I would probably hate myself afterwards for not even giving this a try after spending money on the course.
I said goodbye to my friends and headed towards the studio. The studio is located in an old church, a pretty clever second use of the building if you ask me. But that’s not what I first noticed when I went in. I was a bit early, as usual, so I went in the changing room and got ready. And soon I could see that everyone joining me were all in their early 20s, so much younger than I am. And definitely looked in much better shape than me.
Shit, I thought. What was I thinking? I can’t do an Aerial Silk class… I can barely follow a normal yoga class. But I was there now, I couldn’t really walk out. That would be even more awkward.
I had a quick chat with myself. I was going to give the first class a try, do my best and would evaluate afterwards if I was going to come back.
The teacher got all of us 8 young-ish women to stand in a circle. We would play an icebreaker game and introduce ourselves to the others with an adjective defining us, followed by our name and an action. I seriously considered running out again, but before I knew it, it was time for me to come up with something.
Oddly enough, everyone had used adjectives that started with the same letter as their names. All I could think of was adventurous. And while not really groundbreaking, it was actually rather accurate. So I blurted Adventurous Andrea. I now had to add an action. Some kind of movement. I couldn’t think of anything. Like every time when the spotlight comes on me and I am not ready, I froze. The teacher, quick on his feet and obviously used to this, did a ”looking out at sea” kind of movement. I could now breathe again as it was someone else’s turn.
I was getting pretty certain this was a bad idea by then. But we started warming up. And next thing I knew I was smiling and laughing. Some of the moves were very silly, and it helped remove all the tension I was feeling up until then. I decided to give it my all, do my best, try to enjoy it and go from there.
The class was actually very demanding, and before we even got to use the silks, my whole body was shaking. But thanks to the endorphins now running through my body, I was now relaxed and happy.
He showed us our first move on the silks and it looked truly impressive. I didn’t think I could actually do it, but when I looked around and saw the incredulous faces of everyone, I knew I was not the only one thinking I couldn’t possibly manage to do that. No one wanted to be the first one to admit it, so we all swallowed our pride and gave it a try.
And it worked.
I was clearly not elegant, but it didn’t matter, I did it.
And it was fun.
Quickly, everyone started encouraging each other. We were all unsure we could even attempt to do any of the moves, but we all could see that all that was necessary was a little encouragement and the guts to give it a try.
The class was over before I was ready for it. I was physically exhausted, my whole body was shaking, but it almost felt like I was high. Which in a way I was. I was high on exercising, there was a lot of endorphins released that evening, but mostly I was high on not giving up, and managing to actually do some of the movements and poses that looked impossible from the first try.
A week later, I was back at it. I didn’t have to talk myself too much into going because I remembered how much fun I ended up having the previous week. And although it was even more difficult physically, and some of the moves I really struggled to do, my mind was in a different place. I was now happy to just give it a try. It sure helped also to see that it turns out I wasn’t that out of shape. Although I was not the most flexible, or the strongest, I was still better than quite a few younger women. It was a great ego boost!
And I was really happy I had talked myself out of leaving and had given Aerial Silk, and myself, a chance.
This story was a good reminder to me that every day we are still younger than we will ever be, so it’s never too late to give something new a try and you never know, you might discover your new passion!
What is the new thing on top of your bucket list?
If you are ever in Scotland and want to have some fun climbing on silks and spinning around, the Heart Space Yoga & Bodyworks studio is located in Dundee, and they also have a sister studio in Glasgow.