I hate being a newbie…at anything. This is probably because I’m slightly controlling and slightly know-it-all. Hey now, you have your own areas for improvement too! When I’m learning something new it makes me vulnerable and that is something I despise more than anything else. And that’s exactly how I found myself last week.
About a month ago, I decided to see what all this Crossfit workout nonsense was all about. I went to a free intro class (classic puppy dog close!) and nearly died. Yes, the free intro class nearly killed me. While I wanted to tell the instructor to go burpee himself, I decided it was time to get back into a fitness routine because let’s face it, my ass isn’t going to lift itself to new bikini heights without a little help and dedication on my part.
So my sweaty journey began. For starters, here is what I love about the program. I had to take four weeks of “foundations” before I could take any of the “real” Crossfit classes. Essentially, I had to train for training. How well are you preparing yourself to dive into something new? How are you training yourself to tackle your next big project, your next big step, and your next big success?
The foundations were great. I learned the exercise moves, worked on my form and technique, increased my lung capacity (so I wasn’t sucking wind after just a few minutes!), and made a few fellow newbie friends. And then it was time, time to box-jump myself into the “real” classes.
Let’s set the scene: Wednesday evening. 6pm. I walk into the once welcoming gym, now transformed into an intimidating atmosphere by thirteen all-muscle, no-jiggle, I could do this in my sleep Crossfitters, none of whom were first timers. UGH! I’m not usually timid or intimidated, but that night, I was both. I was vulnerable. I was miserable.
During the warm-up: “Everyone, this is Stephanie’s first class!” The spotlight shined in my eyes and I shyly smiled. Double UGH!
Work out time: It’s a swarm of bees! Everyone is swirling around me, grabbing weights and bars and kettle bells, oh my! And I’m standing there struck with a chord of loneliness and panic. All of the lighter barbells are taken, all of the workspaces are taken, all of my confidence – taken.
“Would you like to work in with me?” I turned to see a small, very-fit, blonde smiling at me. It was definitely not her first Crossfit rodeo.
“Yes! Thank you.” The panic washed away and I got to moving my butt like a busy bee to get set up and ready. Because this was happening, whether I liked it or not. It was go-time!
“Hi, I’m Stephanie.” I reached my hand out and introduced myself to the girl who had offered to work with me.
“I’m Grace.” She replied.
Let that sink in.
Ironic? Not at all. Serendipitous? I think so.
My favorite definition of grace: courteous goodwill.
Let these sink in:
• How are you extending courteous goodwill?
• How are you making others feel welcome?
• How are you lending your expertise to a newbie?
• How are you creating a state of grace?
Thank Grace for reminding me that everyone starts as a beginner and it is critical that when you are no longer the newbie, you extend your expertise, your grace, to help others in their own journey. When you help them climb to your heights, your own stock will rise in return.
You were once a beginner. You will once again be a beginner. And all it takes is a little grace to make a lasting impact.
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