Despite the odd sounding title the post won’t be about masochism 😛 There are some things I’m afraid of and about which I’m stressing out like exams or job interviews. Despite being prepared and trying to be rational my mind always goes into the wtf mode and my stomach turns into one big knot. Just like yesterday.
Do you know the feeling when you enter the lecture hall, sit down and wait for the exam to start? That crappy feeling when thousands of thoughts go through your mind mostly relating to stuff you should read but you didn’t. Then you get the piece of paper with the exam questions and it turns out you know the answer to all of them. Then like with magic the knot in the stomach disappears and so does the wtf mode in the brain. All in all, there was no point to freak out… yeah easier said than done. Just like yesterday. It was Monday so my wakeboard lesson day. From the morning on I was freaking out as during the lesson I was about do my first wake jump. For crying out loud. I was going on and on and on in my mind through the technique. Visualising when to start turning, when to straighten the board and how to perfectly slide onto the jump. After reaching the wakeboarding place it got worse. The knot in my stomach was huge! One of the more experienced wakeboarders told me not to freak out so much. Come on Alice, you are not afraid to fall into the cold water or fall at all but you are afraid of that little piece of plastic where you spent just a second jumping from it?! Don’t be silly. Have to say he was right. After the first jump I wasn’t afraid anymore.
The first jump was like this piece of paper with the exam questions. Now I know what to expect. Phuuuu…. Got so excited after the jump that I’ve booked a wakeboard session for today as well. The wake season is ending this week so I want to use it fully. Today I don’t even remember why I was so freaked out.
Same was before each and every Kung Fu championship I took part in. God… the moment when I entered the sports hall I changed into my kimono and had to walk onto the mat to perform… my heart was pounding like crazy. On some videos you could even see that my legs are shaking. After the first two, three moves the nervousness was gone, just like that. It was always the case. Even after the tenth championship I took part in I was still shaking like jelly before performing. In the end it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. What’s more, before the championships I was visualising my performance step by step and in my mind and correcting the moves. I do the same now. After each wakeboard or pole dance lesson I visualise all moves and figure out what went wrong. I know that’s damn creepy… but it helps! Now the million-dollar question. If I did all the moves and stuff in my mind many times why am I still afraid of doing them live? Have no idea why. Thing is that I mostly freak out about stuff that is pointless. Although I’m trying not to freak out it’s not always successful. Simple answer would be that fear disappears after things get in motion, never before. Funny enough I don’t stress out before delivering a speech to a wider audience or charring a meeting or talking in general. The only moment when I get nervous is before showing what I’ve learned and when teachers or instructors are rating me. Think that’s normal, right?
How does the old saying go? No pain no gain. That is very much true. Good example for this are pole dance classes. Long story short, it hurts, hurts as hell. My friend JR who introduced me to the sport told me that pole has to hurt and I should stop whining. After two months of training and doing some cool poses, I have to admit that having many bruises is the new normal.
Don’t get me wrong, pole dance is a fantastic sport. It strengthens the body, gives you confidence and hanging upside down is just fantastic. Only I have no clue when the pain will disappear. All the instructors at the dance studio and more experienced pole dancers say that the body will get used to the pain sooner or later. I hope it will be sooner rather than later as sometimes the fire on my thighs or behind the knees is super intense. What makes me a bit impatient is that I would love to do more poses or train longer as strength is not that much of an issue but the pain just makes it impossible. I really do hope that it will stop hurting after some time. I’m optimistic as it seems that the ladies who train for two years or longer don’t have an issue with that anymore. Lately I even thought about sitting with the hoover pole between the knees to speed up the pain accustom process 😛
Basically every time when you start practising a new sport there is pain involved. The day after the first wakeboard lesson I couldn’t put my arms up and my palms were covered in blisters. Sometimes during stretching classes Trisz our instructor goes hard on us during the warm up. The day after my muscle soreness skyrockets and I discover that I have hidden muscles on the ass that I had no clue they even existed. To be clear this is not a complaint, it’s an observation. Think that pain is the turning point when people give up practicing a certain sport. However, when you survive the pain period it only gets better after it. At least this is what I’m telling myself 😛
The upside of surviving the pain period is when you start noticing that you got stronger, more flexible, fitter. Although I’m still in the pain surviving period I noticed something. When I was on holiday two weeks ago I packed and lifted all my dive gear… somehow it didn’t seem as heavy as it used to. Don’t think that the gear got lighter, only I got stronger. Also lifting my 15kg suitcase with one hand… no problem. That’s actually the light at the end of the tunnel – progress, at least for me. When I start noticing progress while practicing a sport it gives me a kick to continue. Only to make progress you need a bit of patience as progress doesn’t happen straight after the first training. Well, during my first wakeboard lesson I mostly landed in the water. After two months I can do a 360 turn, a quite nice left and right corner and a basic jump. Not bad for practicing once a week for eight weeks. Can’t wait for next year’s wakeboard season. Luckily pole dance doesn’t have seasons and you can practice it all year round 😀
Funny when I now think about it. First you are in pain and bite your teeth together to survive training. Then you freak out that the things you learned are not performed well and your instructor will give you serious blocking. Makes sense right 😛
Another million-dollar question. How to deal with all those situations that cause us stress? Make sure they don’t happen? Not really as to do this you would need to sit at home constantly and do nothing. Avoid them and pretend they don’t exist? Also not a good idea as it is chickening out. The best I can come up with is to face the fear over and over again. Can’t stop myself from quoting Master Yoda – fear is the path to the dark side. Besides, fear is just a thought and you are not afraid of your own thoughts, are you 😉