Cloth diapering. Motherhood. Park playdates. Mama’s Circle Group.
What does this have to do with exercise?
Hear me out!
In 2010, I became a mom. I didn’t know what I was doing, but each day, I tried my best. Jeff would leave for work in the morning, and Cora and I would stay home and do our best to survive. Our schedule went something like this: get up, take care of baby, nap, take care of baby, eat, bedtime, repeat. All seemed fine. This was all new to me so I didn’t know any differently.
One of my best friends invited me to a Mama’s Circle playdate at a local park. It’s essentially a support group for moms. You bring your kids, they play, and the moms talk.
Sounds great, right?! No. It didn’t to me.
Why? I feared I would be judged. You see, I didn’t cloth diaper like the other moms, I also didn’t know any of the other moms, I felt huge and out of shape, and sleep-deprived/cranky. The list of excuses continued.
So for months I didn’t attend. I was going to do this parenting thing on my own!
But, every week my friend would call asking if I planned on attending. Running out of excuses, I caved in and showed up.
Much to my surprise, I had fun. I saw other moms using disposable diapers. Several were complaining of always being tired, and nearly all were unsatisfied with their bodies post-pregnancy. What a relief! I fit right in!
I looked forward to this Mama’s Circle every week. Not only did I get to enjoy company of other moms, I also got great advice on parenting. I became a better mom to Cora because of it. And many of those moms became dear friends. I would have missed out on so much joy if I let fear hold me hostage.
So again, what does this have to do with exercise?
Many people don’t join training groups because they fear being judged by others. Reasons such as, “I will be the slowest one”, “I’m too out of shape”, “I don’t have the right equipment”, etc, etc.
You know what? You’re not alone. Everyone thinks this before joining. Rest assured, you will find someone in the group that’s your same pace! You will find that someone has an old, beat up bike like yours! You will find that someone else is running in old cotton shirts, and not a cute $60 athletic top. There will be someone just like you!
It doesn’t matter what you wear, what equipment you have, your speed or ability. Why? Because, no one cares. And I mean it in a good way. Everyone else is so focused on what they can do, that they aren’t judging you, but rather, judging themselves. I know this to be true because I have been on both sides of this as an athlete and a coach. I have seen it all!
What truly matters is not letting fear prevent you from experiencing something incredible. The friendships you will make, the better athlete you will become, and joy you will experience is worth the “risk”!
So I challenge you to join a group. Find a group that will accept you for who you are, support you in your endeavors, and be there for you when you need it most.
There are several groups for that, but I know one in particular that would love to have you 😉