As D and I were driving home from Jiujitsu, he asked me how I was feeling about the MetaFit training course that I was going to the next day. I told him I was excited, but I was also scared.
MetaFit is a tough class. I find it quite challenging, but that wasn't why I was feeling scared.
I was scared I wouldn't fit in. I pictured myself entering the training studio filled with all these super fit and skinny people and there I would be - still the fat one.
I'm confident in my abilities. I know I give it my all. I know that I work well training other people ... but still, first impressions are not easy to break through. I know that when people look at me they don't see a strong, fit person ... it's frustrating, it's annoying, it's sad.
Still, I knew that I couldn't let these thoughts overwhelm me. I was determined not to let what I was ASSUMING others MIGHT think of me get in the way of having a good experience.
So, come Wednesday morning, I prepared a yummy chicken and avocado salad, put it in my already prepared gym bag and hopped on the tube to head down to the training studio. An hour or so later, I arrived.
I arrived first and I sat at the second of four tables. Two other people arrived a few minutes after me - one sat at the first table and the other sat at the third ... I guess this is the sociologist in me noticing this dynamic. Even though there were 4 chairs around each table, we each chose to sit in one on our own. Since I didn't want to sit and wait in silence, I went ahead and introduced myself. The chit chat started, a bit slow at first, but then it picked up ... and more people came so there was more chit chat --- by the time we were ready to begin, things felt good.
Not everybody had done a MetaFit workout before. There were a lot of big, buff guys who had come. They were personal trainers at different gyms, and they were sent by their gym to do the course. One guy I was talking to told me that he basically only did strength training and hadn't done any cardio in a long time.
We all got ready for the workout. There were 3 staggered lines. I tried not to pay attention to body sizes, but it was hard for me not to noticed that I looked like one of the chubbier people there. Still ... it was what it was ... besides, the true test was coming with the workout.
It was a 17 min HIIT workout with lots of jumps, sprints, push ups, and burpee style exercises ... It was interesting to see how people were barely able to move by the end of the workout. Of course even I was near collapse, but I kept going. Those big guys who started with plyometric push ups and crazy jumps were just about crawling towards the end.
Although I was absolutely exhausted, I was happy with my performance. It also definitely showed that those people who looked like fitness models didn't necessarily equate to them being the best at the exercise.
My confidence was definitely restored more after that. I had to keep reminding myself that I worked to get to where I was. I studied. I worked hard. Most importantly, I believed in what I was doing. I was still on a mission to lose weight -- I knew the struggle to get to where I am and I know that I'm still going to have to work bloody hard to get to my goal. I think this actually puts me at a much bigger advantage to those who have no idea what it's like to be unfit, overweight, and full of self-loating and low self-esteem. I had hit rock bottom ... and now I'm working on climbing to the top.
The rest of the course was great - theory, teaching techniques, group work ... I didn't let any voices of doubt creep into my head. It was an important experience for me -- not just the physical training but also the emotional/mental experience.
By the end of the course, I felt like I had a good grasp of how to approach the class. I enjoyed the group that I worked with, and I went home feeling happy and satisfied ... and then later that evening very, very sore.
So now, I'm a MetaFit Coach! I have to work on a few academic tasks before I really pursue anything with coaching, but I'm glad I went through the certification. It was a great experience!