Vulnerability is my new drug. I don’t think I had an old drug, so maybe it’s my first drug. Defined as “susceptible to physical or emotional injury” by TheFreeDictionary.com, vulnerability is a thing most of us go out of our way to avoid. However, lately I’ve decided to do the unthinkable and embrace it. It started two weeks ago when I quit my desk job where I enjoyed a convenient cash flow called direct deposit and a convenient caffeine fix called an unlimited k-cup supply. Comfortable as I was in my short-lived career, I was worried about becoming the girl below on the way to my long-lived career.
The only thing more frightening than those eyebrows would be a unibrow, and I’d be lying like Lance if I said they were natural. It takes a lot of upkeep to keep them separate! Jokes aside, I left my job of two years for the last time on Friday because I wanted to take a chance. Actually, I didn’t want to take a chance. I wanted to make myself take a chance. There is a big difference. You see, I’d be perfectly content to keep going to the office and returning home to my nice apartment in a luxury building. Luxury meaning that I have a washer and dryer a dirty towel’s throw away from my kitchen sink and two gyms at my disposal. Not to mention putt putt golf and a pool on the roof deck with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. All of those things are pleasant and predictable, but when I got down to the nitty gritty about who I was when I was most happy, it looked like the girl below. Colored pens and paper aside, how could I become her?
Make myself vulnerable I concluded after reading a pile of self help books I found in the trash.
Emotional Vulnerability: Despite my fears of the unknown, I am taking on a new job in a new country where I can wear my Chacos and maybe even adopt a dog without fighting a nonrefundable $$$ deposit and $50/month pet fee. Honestly, at night I lie in bed worrying about the hundred plus things that could go wrong as I make this move. The other night though I happened upon Luke 9:58. It read:
Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.
The takeaway from my brief Bible study was Katie Jackson does not need a queen-size bed. So I need to stop fretting so much about where I’ll be sleeping in Nicaragua, and start getting excited that I am trading waking up to the sound of construction and garbage trucks for wild birds and my long lost relatives, howler monkeys. Just kidding there.
Although I’m truly excited to venture off to a new place, I’m filled with sadness at the thought of leaving the city I have loved and lived for the past six years. If Six Flags could tap into my mind and capitalize on the roller coaster of emotions I’m on, they’d have lines up the wazoo. Which brings me to:
Physical Vulnerability: As if riding the emotional Katie-coaster isn’t difficult enough, I’ve been trying to make myself more physically vulnerable. I’m doing this by taking fitness classes when I normally like to stick with the elliptical which I think I’ve mastered. Below is a breakdown of classes I recently tried. Each of them were a first, and in each of them, I was the worst. By a long, long, almost-as-long-as-the-line-at-Shake-Shack shot.
- Friday: Yoga to the People’s Flexibility Class: Unfortunately my rental mat landed in the middle of the pack so all of the pliable participants got to witness me trying to touch my toes. I’ve never felt more like a pretzel rod among a bunch of pretzel twists.
- Saturday: Core Fusion Cardio/Barre: I had the pleasure of attending a private birthday party for MizzFit, Bianca Jade. When you work out with MizzFit and her friends in the fitness industry, you can expect to get schooled. I was nervous for it all week, and even tried to back out but Bianca wouldn’t let me. In retrospect, I cannot thank her enough for that even though school was in session for me the entire time. During some of the exercises my legs uncontrollably shook to a degree that the instructor said was not normal. I wish I had a video of it because it was like an out of body experience. As much as I concentrated, I could not get my legs to be still.
- Sunday: Hot Yoga: Despite having lived with some of the best yoga instructors in the country while working at two yoga studios and selling yoga gear at Lululemon, I can still count the number of yoga classes I’ve taken on one hand. But to truly become as vulnerable as possible and crank up the embarrassment, why not crank up the heat? To 105 degrees. The coolest part about this insane class was watching my toes sweat. The amount you sweat and where it
seepspours out is unreal!
- Monday: Hot Bodies Hot Pilates: Probably my least favorite of the bunch. Even the pregnant woman in the class had more strength and stamina than me. Although it was a balmy 95 degrees, my abs were in a much hotter hell, and I did not dig the props as much as I thought I would. Give me blocks and I want to build. Not put them between my legs and do sit ups.
As I finish this post about pain and being susceptible both emotionally and physically, I need to take a minute to get a kink out of my neck. (Note to self: learn how to properly perform sit-ups.) Not sure I’ve reached my embarrassment threshold, I will probably try a new class tomorrow. Because trying these new things and putting myself out there to fail feels far better than not trying new things and failing to fail. Who knows? I may actually find something that I’m good at or like. The worst that can happen is I have to get into child’s pose and take a few breaths.
As January becomes February, and we find ourselves hibernating as winter drags on, I encourage you to get in the zone. The not yo’ zone. The zone of the unknown or whatever you choose to call it. I just happen to have the AutoZone tagline stuck in my head.
Check yourself out and determine what you’re afraid of and then check out of your comfort zone for an hour or two. Make yourself vulnerable, whether it’s emotionally, physically, or more often than not, both. You don’t have to leave your job or join a gym, just do anything legal and potentially fun or beneficial that scares you. See how well it works for this guy in a mildly entertaining video. “Baby steps guys, baby steps!”