No Shame in My Game

Posted August 11, 2011 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five
It’s easy to let yourself feel judged – at work, at home, on the street…….at the gym. Even if you’re not being judged, it’s easy to feel judged. But if I’m really sticking by my self care edict, then I can’t let that feeling of judgment get to me. Which is exactly what I did last night at my new gym.

The manager of the gym I’m joining offered to let me come try a class for free before joining the gym. So I picked Yoga. Why? Because I believe I should like Yoga. Everyone around me likes Yoga. My best friend, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, the guy who sits next to me at work. Everyone likes Yoga. Except this girl. The only Yoga class I’ve ever really enjoyed was at a specific studio with a specific temperature in Minneapolis. I’ve tried studio after studio, gym after gym, and with no fail, I hate Yoga. But alas, I still decided a 90 minute Yoga class would be a good way to try out my new gym.

So 6:30pm rolls around and I’m set up with my mat in the Yoga studio. There are only 4-5 other people in the room with me, and no instructor. The instructor blows in, starts the class immediately, greeting the other 4-5 people in the class by first name. It was clear from the start this wasn’t my class. So 25 minutes in, after the teacher only used “yogi” terms, didn’t demonstrate anything and forced us to do what seemed like countless minutes of downward dog, I thought to myself, “Joining this gym is supposed to fill you up, not make you feel confused and annoyed and frustrated.” So I got up, rolled up my mat, and left.

Until my epiphany about self care, I would’ve stayed in that class for the whole 90 minutes. I would have walked out feeling emotionally and physically drained, I would have cried half the way home about it, and I would have felt like a failure. But not this time. Instead, I left the gym happy, took the bus home and spent that extra hour with my loving husband. I took care of me first, did what made me happy, and my day turned out swell.

There’s no shame in doing what’s right for you. There’s no “selfish” in the equation. And who cares if you’re being judged or not. Maybe that instructor bitched about me when I left, or maybe she didn’t even notice I was there in the first place. But either way, I did what made me happy and content and that’s what matters.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."