Nervous Camper

I had always thought that going away to camp would be the most amazing experience. I mean, if all of the movies I saw were true, it was the place where you got to make life long friends, make s'mores and kiss boys, and I loved all of those things!! I never went because I had FOMO before I even knew what FOMO was.  There would be so many things that could happen in my neighborhood that I would miss! Running bases in the street, swimming at the pool, the chance that the ice cream man would stop right in front of my house!! But, in the summer of my 32nd year, FOMO be dammed, I finally signed up for camp: boot camp. And just like I would have been at 8 years old, I was excited for 5 minutes, and then totally terrified. 

I entertained an endless stream of anxieties: "What was it going to be like?  Were the other people going to be nice? Was the coach going to yell? Will we have to do gun drills?!" (Wrong boot camp, but a lot of things were running through my head, it was hard to focus!)  The worry that trumped all worries was that I was going to make a fool of myself.  I was scared that I was going to be slower than everyone else, and that I wouldn't be able to do all of the excercises that the other 'campers' were doing. I know that every instructor says that they can do modifications, but the very idea of being singled out made me feel so awkward!

The night before Boot Camp, I laid out my first day of camp clothes, my yoga mat and my water and I had a conversation with the incredibly nervous little camper who was freaking out inside of me:

No matter what happens tomorrow - signing up for this Boot Camp is a victory.  You're trying something new and intimidating and outside of your comfort zone. That's a huge win! If you like it, AWESOME! If you don't like it, you're a grown ass woman you can get up and go home! 

Being a grown up is the BEST!

I got to McCarren Park earlier than the 6:45 start time (nerd), and I let the instructor know about my physical limitations, and if she thought that I might need any (*gulp*) modifications, if she could just tell me in advance that would be awesome. She was incredibly kind, and said that she'd come to me individually and let me know. Which caused me to exhale, deeply.

A little later the rest of the people came to our spot on the astro turf, and the camp started. And the most amazing thing happened - I was just like everyone else!! I wasn't the fastest (no shock here) but I wasn't the slowest! I was delightfully in the middle of the pack - like a totally normal person. It was incredible. The modifications that she had me do were so slight that I looked just like everyone else, and it was bad ass!

I walked the half mile back to my apartment exhausted, dripping with sweat and grinning from ear to ear. It felt wonderful to have done something that scared me, and to have put myself out there! My internal nervous camper was now a pretty happy camper, except she was dying for some s'mores.


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