Being nervous is something I am familiar with, and always thought I was good at suppressing. All through my teens and into my young adult life, people used to ask me if I ever got nervous. I can’t believe how flippant I used to be about it. I was nervous, oh heck yeah… I was just really good at hiding it.

But now, as a thirty-something mom of two, I’m way less balls-to-the-wall than I used to be, and a lot more transparent. Before a meeting where I have to talk, before a presentation, or on the phone to folks I don’t know, I lock up, get flustered, and jumpy. I trip over words and don’t say much when I am in an uncomfortable situation, letting the nerves win.

I know, silly, isn’t it? I am a smart, well-spoken woman with a good education, yet I crumple and speak jibberish the moment there is any tension. I am sure there is a explanation that would take much too long to explain in this post. Let’s just add it to my cumulative weirdo factor, shall we?

Yes, I do have one. Surprising, no?

Recently (as in last week) I noticed a new trigger to my nerves. I was nervous before a workout.

I assumed-the first time- it was because I had decided to try the big $@*&% hill and was thinking about how hard it would be. Then it happened again. And again. This was new, and was kind of cuttin’ into my mojo, dude. I started to wonder if I needed to deal with some fat-girl-confidence issues before I hit the pavement again, casting doubt into if I should have started Couch to 5k or stuck to walking for a bit longer.

Before, I always just struck out with one foot, then the next, and went for it. I would tell myself it was going to be awesome, to get my butt in gear. I could do anything. When I competed with my horses, I would canter into the show ring confident, stuffing the butterflies and wigglies way down deep and focusing on the performance. When I played paintball, I would visualize, and listen to trigger music to rev the adrenalin so that when the buzzer went I was a fire breathin’ demon racing for the flag pull.

I was in-the-zone-zen, yo, and it was awesome.

But… Spring forward to 2012, and suddenly, I’m a shaking, nervous wreck before each “outing”. I feel my heart pounding, I start to sweat before I’m even out the door, and when I plug my music in, my hands are always just slightly shaking. My thoughts aren’t towards trepidation, I am eager to go. I want to do this; I want to feel the elation at the end when I have accomplished the mini-goal of finishing the workout.

I want the sore muscles, icky sportsbra, and beet red face, dammit.

So last week, to cope, I repeated to myself “You can do this, you can do this” over and over until I was into the workout, and feeling better. At the end, I was super happy and feelin’ successful. In between the Nervous Nelly and the Rocky Fist Pump (in my head), I focused on getting through the interval, nerves replaced by stubborness, swearing at myself to just put one foot in front of the other.

Really, I am a potty mouth in my head, I tell ya. My mental swear jar is full. I’m going to buy 5 foot metal chickens for all my friends.

But here’s the thing. I still don’t know why on earth am I so intensely nervous at the beginning of my workouts. Why can’t I stuff the wigglies deep down inside like I used to and Just. Do. It? I’m fine afterwards, and feel foolish for even being nervous, but there it is. Does anyone else get this way, or is this just my own fat-girl-confidence hurdle to overcome?

Tomorrow is Week 1, Day 3 of Couch to 5k. I gotta get a handle on this or my inner wimp is going to come out, beat me with a negativity stick, and I won’t go.

I don’t want that to happen.


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