Last weekend my lovely boyfriend took me to Las Vegas to see Cirque du Soleil. If you have never seen one, you must do, it really is an amazing experience. I had seen it once before in San Francisco, years ago, but this is the first time I had ever seen it on its own stage. Wow! That is really all I can say. It was spectacular. We were seeing “O” which is based around the concept of water. The stage had a built in swimming pool that could be miraculously transformed into solid ground in an instant. That meant that people were diving into it from 100 feet in one instant and tap dancing in the puddles the next. I have never seen sets so amazing and yet they were nothing in comparison to the performers. If you have any idea what Cirque Du Soleil is, then you know what I am talking about. The athleticism, strength, balance, grace, and flexibility are out of this world. Sometimes I believed that I must have actually been watching other life forms because my body certainly does not do what they were doing.
One woman did a trapeze act on her head! That means that instead of her hands holding onto the bar or her feet (like nature intended!) it is her head! Do you understand the magnificence of that? There were men and woman who were balancing their entire body weight on a finger and there body was horizontal. Just think about how hard that must be.
All the while that we were watching this amazing spectacle of dance I was thinking about when they learned how to do it. I mean they must have learned as children, right? It must have been so scary in the beginning. There had to have been some serious falls. Even after they had become professional performers, there must have been a couple falls. Nobody does a headstand on a swinging trapeze and doesn’t fall at least once, right? Right. Everybody falls. If you didn’t fall, you would be constantly scared of it happening.
Several years ago I had a snowboard lesson in Tahoe. I was pretty scared. I mean falling on a snowboard can cause some serious injury. To my horror, the first thing we learned was how to fall. The instructor said, “In the beginning you are going to fall, so I want you to learn how to do it well.” He was right. I fell, a lot. And by the end of the day, I was great at it. I was also no longer afraid to fall. Now my big fear was going fast. Funny how I was afraid to fail (fall) and once I had that down I was afraid to succeed (go fast).
I think that in order for us to learn how to go fast, swing headfirst on the trapeze, dive into the abyss, get that promotion, or make it to that weekly walk, we need to first feel okay about falling. We need to first not be afraid for whatever might come our way.
Let’s take Mrs. Smith who is trying to exercise more. She is so afraid that she is going to injure herself. She is also afraid that she won’t have enough time in the morning to get ready, that she might not remember to bring her shampoo to the gym and not be able to wash her hair. She is afraid that she will not like the suit she brought with her to work and end up walking around all day in an outfit that makes her feel fat. But she is most afraid that exercise will be just too hard and she won’t be able to do it. All of these things that Mrs. Smith is afraid of are what keep her from exercising. She will never succeed because she is so afraid of failing.
Mrs. Smith is not alone. There are so many people who are not achieving their health goals because they are afraid. Now I am not suggesting that all of these people need to grab their spandex, get a stiff upper lip, and just do it. No way. The headstand trapeze artist had to first learn how to swing with her hands and before that she probably had to learn how to do a somersault.
This week start small. I want everyone to do at least one thing this week that scares you, just a little.
Here is something scary that I plan on trying out this week. I am always scared that I might get hungry during a client and so I will sometimes eat when I am not hungry just so I don’t get hungry later. I will sometimes do this even when I am not at work but before I am about to go out and do something. I am pretty sure that if I were to get a little hungry, it would make my next meal that much more satisfying. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know because I am rarely hungry.
I think that this week I am going to face my little fears. (Oh, you think that is my only one? I am sure I can dig up at least a few more and I am sure you can too.) I am going to experience what it feels like to be a little hungry. If I can handle a little hunger, well just think of the possibilities after that. I might even be able to stop obsessing about food altogether.
Be good to your body, it’s where you live!