Morning workouts…I’m a convert! I was already a morning person, but I usually used that time as free time to do whatever I wanted, usually not anything productive. I’m more than happy to give that up to get my run in, beat the crowds at the gym, or spend some time with the cool people of November Project.
Not too long ago I wrote about wanting to get over my fear and out of my comfort zone and engage with my local running/fitness community.
On Friday I did just that when I showed up at November Project Vancouver’s pop-up workout for the Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon. I did my very best impression of someone who isn’t the most socially awkward person in all the land, and I generally went unnoticed, but not ignored. I still gave and received a ton of high fives, but was not forced to hug anyone, nor was I called out for being a newbie. And I got my shirt tagged! So I’m in, right?
After the workout, there was a group photo, and after that, they invited everyone who wasn’t running the half marathon the next day to come out to the 5 km hydration station to help out and cheer the runners on. I felt comfortable enough with my experience that I looked forward to this, especially since I had some friends running the race. However, as I got on with my day my inner dialogue kept questioning whether the invitation really was an open one, even to someone as new to the group as me who had only been to one workout. But I kept brushing those thoughts aside. Of course I could go, if not they wouldn’t have invited literally everyone that was at the workout that day! To make sure I didn’t chicken out I texted my friend Cathy who was running to let her know where to find me to get a hug or high five. There, now someone would be looking for me. I had to go!
And go I did. And it was totally fine! Of course it was. It was fantastic actually. I got to hug and congratulate three of my friends who were running, and I met some new people who I’ll be seeing on Wednesdays going forward. I even ran into a former co-worker! I hadn’t seen or talked to her in years. it’s good to know that on days when I might be feeling a little anxious at least there will be one familiar face on Wednesdays.
Friends, social anxiety is highly irrational but real. Because I had a wonderful experience that day and at the Friday workout. Nothing negative happened. I jogged home afterwards smiling the whole time. I had some rushing around to do that day to get out to the suburbs for brunch and then back home, so my mind was preoccupied a lot of the day. As the night wound down to a slower pace I started to reflect, and as I started to reflect I started to feel that old anxious feeling. I call it the anxiety hangover, a term I’m stealing from my friend Russ that describes the feeling of dread we used to feel waking up after a night of drinking. That feeling that has you trying to recall what you did and what you said that might have embarrassed you. That feeling that makes you cringe, but it’s usually at nothing.
It was nothing, it is nothing. This is just my mind being stupid and trying to hold me back. I’m going to push past this and carry on because I’ve done the hardest part by coming out of my shell, and I’m ready to fight to stay out because the light’s nicer out here.
Until next time, finish your coffee and go run!