On Sunday I travelled down to London to do my Aim 1 (Advanced Instructor Module) in Sh’bam.
Now I can’t dance. I closely resemble a plank of wood attempting to move to the beat (I can hear what I’m supposed to be doing and when, I just struggle to make my body do it when it comes to dancing). So whilst I’ve done the equivalent courses already in Body Pump, Body Combat, CX Worx and GRIT and also my Aim 2 in Body Pump so knew what was coming, I was really really (really really really) nervous about this one.
Added to this, for personal reasons, I wasn’t in the best head space when Sunday arrived and my confidence and concentration was at an all time low.
I won’t go into the ins and outs of what you do on an Aim but in addition to teaching and getting feedback on this particular course you also learn about (and try) various different types of dance, which- in my case- meant spending the whole day trying things I’d never tried before (ballet, contemporary, Jazz…).
I will start by confirming that, as anyone who has ever met me would expect, I did not excel in any of the movements tried. I also managed to completely forget the choreography for my track about 10 seconds in the second time I taught and pretty much fell to pieces.
I spent much of the day feeling really quite uncomfortable.
But I’m glad I did it.
We all like doing things we are good at. We never mind trying things when we are confident they are going to go really well. That’s fine because even if you’re good at something, going on courses such as these and getting feedback can still improve you.
But although I was by far the least able person in the room on this occasion it was probably one of the most valuable Aims I’ve done. Regular readers will know I hate cheesey phrases like ‘step out of your comfort zone’ but on this occasion, this is what I was forced to do. Not just occasionally but for 9 hours straight! I gave so many things a go that just didn’t feel natural or comfortable or easy- and when my attempts went wrong I tried my best to laugh it off.
I will never be a ballerina but learning how to do things that scare you is a skill that can help you in all aspects of your life, not just the gym.
So if you think your rubbish at squats and so fear approaching the squat rack just go and do it. You might still be a bit rubbish afterwards but you’ll be giving yourself a chance to improve at the same time as reducing the mental block surrounding it.
If you want to learn to do a handstand, sod what people think and just start practicing – the worry about what you will look like is normally a lot worse than any kind of response you might actually receive.
I’ll sign off by saying a massive thank you to Laura Turner for putting up with me the whole day and not laughing at my attempts to dance and also all the other Sh’bammers for their encouragement and advice!