I’m a huge advocate of trying new things. For example, when I go on vacation, I do not like to go to any restaurant I could go to at home. And I never regret it when I try something new, even if the result is “I’m never doing that again.”
So WHY as I approach 32, are there so many simple little things that I’ve never done or tried? For example . . . riding a motorcycle, skinny dipping, going on cruise, learning how to play horseshoes. . . and the two I hope to knock out on this next Vegas trip – riding a mechanical bull and zip lining.
Over the last week, I threw myself into three new experiences and I’m so glad I did. I kept thinking of this book my mom was obsessed with, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. That’s exactly what I did!
1. Tanning – I have always been scared of tanning. When I was in high school, and all the girls were tanning for prom, I was terrified I’d burn and turn immediately to white, which is pretty much what happened back then. Over time, my skin has gradually become a little more tolerant, and as long as I don’t burn too bad, and I keep putting on good lotion to avoid peeling, I can eventually (usually not til late, late summer) develop a tan. However, tanning still terrified me – public nudity, laying in a coffin-like bed, and the threat of skin cancer kept me away for years.
Finally, I gave in. . . and I liked it. I’ve already been back. Granted the nudity freaked me out, but only because I’m not in the shape I want to be in. I also had this fear someone would walk in, even though you can lock the door. Clue to those who have not been tanning (because I didn’t realize it), you can crank up the music, which will drown out the clicking and buzzing of the machine. By the next morning, when my feet were actually not translucent for once in my life, I was over all these fears and ready to go back.
UPDATE (and the funniest part of all) – I was doing it so wrong!!! The first time I went in I told the girl I’d never been tanning AT ALL before. I tried to pull down the lid and it didn’t come down, so I thought it wasn’t supposed to. WRONG. No wonder I felt so exposed. No wonder I didn’t feel the need to turn the face light off. No wonder I didn’t find it THAT soothing. No wonder my pink back didn’t look anything like my white stomach. Third time’s a charm – I pulled the lid down and it was awesome!
2. Grilling – I like grilled food, but someone else always did it for me – my mom, my brother, whoever was hosting parties. I was slightly afraid that I would singe my eyebrows or light something on fire that shouldn’t be, so I asked my man teach me. He agreed, but had the pager for work, and I happen to be very impatient. God bless the Internet – I looked everything up and grilling success! The charcoals took so long to heat up, I grilled everything I could. I tried to keep it healthy – peppers, artichokes, corn on the cob, veggie burgers. And not the healthiest but ok in moderation – cheese quesadillas on the grill – YUM.
3. Water Aerobics – This was one I’d never really thought about, but it came about when a friend was going with her very pregnant friend. The fear set in – me looking ridiculous flailing about in the water, and on top of it, wearing a swimsuit in public/baring my thighs to the world. This may be mean, but I immediately associated water aerobics with old people like in the Cocoon movies. Ok, that part turned out to be pretty accurate. Besides the three of us, it was all older people. However, that does not mean it was wussy. It was actually pretty challenging, but it was much different than I expected. I expected more jumping up down, but it was a lot more swimming laps and strength work. I would definitely do it again, especially when I’m really sore and still want to work out.
As for flailing about, that certainly happened. Some of the moves were definitely a challenge to my balance, and I may have accidentally let my water noodle fly into the face of the pregnant girl. So sorry!! But luckily, everybody was cool, and we were all just laughing at ourselves and having fun.