It’s Hard To Be A Beginner

By Tracey Toomey McQuade, September, 2016

My two-year-old son, John Michael, was overwhelmed yesterday, during his first day of school. I kept looking around at the environment and seeing so many things that he loves — trucks! A sandbox! paint! a water table! I wanted him to get involved and have fun, but he wouldn’t leave my lap. He spent the first twenty minutes crying that he just wanted to “go home and see Dada.”

So in the spirit of trying new things, I took a class at Body by Simone today. I had never been to the studio, and had no idea what it was all about. To be perfectly honest, I found out about it from Taylor Swift’s Instagram: I saw a picture of her standing on a street corner a block from my apartment, and her comment was about how Body By Simone had kicked her ass! So I signed up for a “Tramp Cardio” class at noon.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so spastic and uncoordinated.

I haven’t been on a trampoline in a long time. Even so, I remember that my childhood trampoline impulse was to jump UP. But to help me keep up with the class and the beat of the music, the instructor kept yelling at me to jump DOWN. Wait — WHAT?? I couldn’t do it for the life of me. I was several moves behind the whole time, and I fell off the trampoline twice. I didn’t hurt myself, and I tried to laugh about it, but it was embarrassing. I didn’t even feel like I was getting a workout — I was just trying not to break my ankle and look like a total lame-o.

It’s hard to be a beginner! It’s scary, embarrassing, overwhelming, and intimidating to try new things. The experience gave me more compassion for my son, and insight into how he must have felt to be in a new environment, a new room, surrounded by new kids, new teachers, and not know the lay of the land. It also made me so proud of him and all the students who come to Yoga Shanti and yoga in general for the first time. It takes courage to walk into a new place where you don’t know the culture or any of the people. It takes guts to roll out your mat for the first time.

Tracey Toomey McQuade

Tracey Toomey McQuade is a writer and yogi who loves to bridge the gap between the ancient practices of yoga and life in the present moment. A founder of Breathe Repeat she's passionate about helping her fellow Modern Yogis "put a little east in their west."

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