Wise ol’ CS Lewis said “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another “What? You too? I thought I was the only one“. This is the KEY to making mama friends. It’ll take a little bravery and candor on your part but when you tell your next door neighbor you let your kid eat mac and cheese seven nights in a row – suddenly best friends. Tell another mom at the playground you’ve turned down the volume on the baby monitor just to get a minute of peace and quiet… you’ve found your mama soulmate and probably a friend to do happy hour with. Recently I discovered another admission that brings along a lot of “me toos” – I have serious group fitness anxiety and it is very very rare that I’ll attend one without having a full blown internal panic attack.
Why you ask. A number of things cycles through my head for the entire 60 minute class:
- Why do I sweat so much more than every single girl in here?
- Why am I bright red when they all still just look bronzed and beautiful?
- If I fall, do I laugh and own it? Or hope someone will come help me up and then kill me because the embarrassment is just too great.
- What if my hair tie snaps, I can’t possibly do these moves with hair in my face.
- Were these girls all on the drill team in high school? How do they pick up choreography in 30 seconds??
- I should have had a bigger snack
- I should have had a smaller snack
- I have to pee
- Is anyone else in this room uncomfortable humping the floor or is it just me?
- Who thought a move that looks like a dog urinating on a tree was a good idea for a group fitness class?
- Why is everyone in here best friends?
I was able to avoid most of these group fitness classes and stay relatively in shape thanks to the fact that I like to run. I know it’s annoying but I genuinely enjoy going on a run. However after a few hot summer months in New Orleans when the feels-like temperature was way over 100 I realized I needed to give in to indoor workouts. Ugh. Thankfully I had made a great friend (and fellow Mama Fix founder) who loves workout classes. After a few years living in LA where workout studios are on every corner she was a pro.
And to my surprise it was a lot easier to get past my one million worries (oh yeah, that list was just the tip of the iceberg) knowing that if something went wrong, we’d laugh about it later. Just to be clear, this isn’t one of those stories where all my fears were in my head and I loved the class. Things HAVE gone wrong. Just last week, in one of Romney’s Blast Megaformer classes (definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, including pushing a child out of my body) I saw in the mirror during a compromising position that I had a hole in my pants. But not just anywhere, right along the seam at my butt (what I get for buying workout leggings at Costco….). I finished the class, butt in the air, with a hole that only grew with every move. Following class, we got a good laugh out of it. No one had even noticed it (or if they have, they pretended not to). That’s what has finally pulled me out of my anxious state and into a place where I can occasionally go to a class alone – no one there cares about you, but in the very best way. They are there for the same reason you are, to burn off last nights indulgences and then go about their lives.
If you are like me and get the hives just thinking about a Soul Cycle class, mention it to a friend. Either she loves group fitness classes and you’ll have someone to guide you through or she hates them and you are in it together!
Top image via Romney Studios (where you can find me from time to time in my holey pants…)