When I noticed a poster at the gym advertising yoga classes on Wednesday evenings, I thought, "Hey, I should go to that!" And then I immediately started inventing excuses why I couldn't go THAT week. It was a Tuesday, so Wednesday was tomorrow. That was too soon. I mean, sure, I wanted to go. Just not right now.
And then the week after that I couldn't go because I had to race home after work to see if my cat was dead.
And then this yesterday I started to tell myself I couldn't go that evening because I forgot to call and see if I needed to bring my own mat or not. What if I dragged my mat all the way to work -- on my bike, you guys! -- and it turned out I didn't need it? But on the other hand, even if they had mats, would I want to use a communal mat? No, so I should bring my mat. What if class is canceled? What if it's over? What if I don't have $5 for the drop in fee? Oh, I don't have time to think about this, I'm late. I'll just go next week.
The really sick thing about this entire line of reasoning is that instead of making my usual long list of New Year's Resolutions this year, I decided to just focus on a few big, overarching things. Two things, so far. #1: Get more sleep. #2: Do more yoga. And the obstacle to #2 is that my beloved yoga studio doesn't have evening classes that cater exactly to my schedule. The night classes are from 7-8:30, which means I don't get home until 9pm, and that severely cuts in to my decompression time. I've wished many times that they would add a class at 5:30 (except then I'd have to really rush to get there on time, and I'd complain that I hate rushing around all day), and here one is -- one block from my office, I might add -- and I'm inventing excuses not to go. What is my problem?
Well, the problem is that I don't like change. Ironically, one of the mantras of yoga is to embrace change (see! this is why I need to go more!). So I told myself to shut the hell up, crammed my yoga mat into my bike bag and called and reserved my spot when I got to work. And still, all through the day I'd catch myself mentally whining that I didn't want to go, what if it sucked, what it if was a waste of time, maybe I should just start next week when I wasn't so busy. What if there wasn't a bike rack, then I'd have to walk ALL the way back a block in the wrong direction to get my bike. I could take my bike with me and just lock it to a sign post or something, but here it's next to a guard station so I don't have to worry about my wheels and lights getting stolen and oh, it's just too much to think about!
You're just being stupid, I told myself. Shut up. You're going. (Yoga is also about "accepting yourself as you are." I think I need to start going to remedial classes.) Besides, I thought, what's the worst that could happen?
Well, for starters, I almost missed the whole thing because I couldn't figure out how to get into the goddamn building. The last time I went to the main gym was years ago (this day, in fact), and I've never been there after 5pm, which, apparently, is after 3pm. And 3pm is when they lock the shortcut door I've always gone through. No matter, because I still had fifteen minutes and I knew where the outside entrance was. Emphasis on the word WAS, since there is now an entire new building in front of the outside entrance, complete with a six-foot iron gate. Which locks at 5pm.
Undeterred and only slightly flustered, I asked the security guard in the fancy new building if she new how to get into the gym. She just kept saying "it's right next door", which yes, I knew, what I needed to know what how to get INSIDE, short of hijacking a wrecking ball. She finally pointed me to the right ("It's right there! The gym is right there!") and I walked around the entire building, figuring I must have missed the new entrance the first time I went past.
Finally, after walking around the entire block, I found the entrance. Guess who was working the desk? JUST GUESS.
Basically everything I'd worried about happened, but I still went. And I might go again next week, just to spite myself.
I have found myself spending far too much time lately debating idiotic issues and worrying over non-problems. Should I leave my U-lock on the bike rack at work or take it home with me? Well, if I need to go anywhere at night I'll need the lock. But I can't think of any place I'd need to go, and if I really need one I can just use Joel's. But what if I can't remember which lock is mine tomorrow? What if I forget to bring it home for the weekend? Just take it. But I don't need it. Why should I carry extra weight? Oh my god, it weighs like three-fourths of a pound. Just take it. But I don't need it! But I might!
You should hear the debate over whether I should go to yoga at 10am or 4pm on Saturday. If I go at 10am, it will get me out of bed! But then I won'd be finished and showered before 1pm and then I'll waste the whole afternoon away, plus I like the 4pm teacher better. But what if there's a sub? And what if I just waste away the whole morning and then I'll have to go at 4pm and that's right in the middle of the afternoon and what if we want to do something? Oh, please, like what? I don't know! Something!
It sounds like all I do is think about exercising, which couldn't be farther from the truth. You should hear the fights I have in my head over what to have for lunch and what color to paint my toenails. Should I watch Jersey Shore or Project Runway?
I am spending far too much time worrying about these things and then beating myself up for worrying about them, and that's going to be my resolution #3. Stop the non-productive internal monologue. Stop fretting about the possibility of expending an iota of unnecessary effort. Stop talking yourself out of trying new things. And watch Project Runway already.