I discovered another important factor to getting in a good workout. I MUST feel comfortable in my surroundings. From the moment I walked into the Tempe YMCA I was uncomfortable. The lady at the front desk made me feel extremely unwelcome. She didn't seem to like the fact that my home YMCA is Mesa. Apparently my questions were distracting her from folding the towels she had in front of her. She clearly saw my big gym bag, and one of my questions was the location of the locker room. Did she bother to tell me the lockers there are not traditional? No, she let me get all the way to the locker room only to turn around and come back to request a key. That, too, was a big problem for her. Customer service is definitely different at various locations.
I finally got my belongings stored away and ventured out to locate the treadmills. I was about 20 minutes early for class, so I thought I would warm up with an easy mile run. The key I had to pin to my shirt was really frustrating me, though. I would much prefer to have lockers that did not require me to carry something extra. Every step I took shook the key, making a pinging sound against my upper leg. Grrr!!! After 5 minutes the beating of the key against my clothing was annoying the daylights out of me. Yes, I AM very sensitive to how I feel while I am running, and this did throw me off.
Cutting the treadmill run short at less than half a mile, I decided to slowly put my iPod away, hit the bathroom one more time, and make my way to the aerobics room. When I was in the locker room someone was calling out, "Hello. Is anyone there?" It was coming from the direction of the showers. I answered, "Hello!" Boy was the lady mad that I interrupted her conversation! Here I thought she might need assistance after hurting herself in the shower, and it turns out she is on her cell phone yelling at whoever is NOT answering the phone. So much for being a kind and considerate person! I've noticed that I've been getting a lot of dirty looks for trying to be helpful lately.
Feeling like I just didn't fit in there, I left the Tempe YMCA. I was going to head home because I was frustrated, but I didn't want to give up on myself and the workout I wanted. So, after hitting the bank to make the deposit that needed to be done today, I drove 15 miles in the opposite direction to the Ross Farnsworth YMCA. There was a Zumba class that started at 10:00. I arrived much too early, but the lady at the desk gave me an admission ticket anyway, and told me to have a great workout. She did this with a smile. And, you know what? I DID have a great workout. I really think it was because she made my experience something I was comfortable with, and she made me feel like I belonged.
I warmed up with an easy mile jog, then I put my things away before joining the Zumba class. The songs were different than what I am used to, but the workout was as good as ever. One thing about Zumba, the hips sure do get used! Tonight I am going to a Yoga class with Daniel. I hope we do some hip stretching!
Our comfort zone makes a big difference in what risks we are willing to take. For me, I was not willing to try a new class while also feeling like an outsider. What risks have you decided not to take based on a "gut feeling?"