It’s almost 630am on Friday and I’m sitting here munching on a pack of granola bar and juice and preparing to go to work. I am now teaching yoga for four hours every Friday morning for the local community college as a curriculum course in the Math/PE Department. Odd, I know! The semester officially started last Friday, but as you know I was in Asheville teaching the PT workshop and unable to attend my own first day of classes, so this counts as the first for me. And, although I have taught many workshops and college courses, I still sit here anxious.
In the Day 12 reading (I did this on Wednesday) Gates writes, “When we opt out of experiences that challenge us, it’s usually because our pride is in the way. And “pride” is really another word for fear – the fear of not being enough.” (p.17) So, today I’m going to talk about three fears that I have that all involve not being enough.
Every time I go to teach a class, a workshop, a college course, or any other instance in which I must stand in front of others and be the “expert”, I find myself wondering, why me? What makes me the one that they should trust? I’ve gotten a lot better about this and now my questions tend to quickly turn to: Did I set this course up the right way? or Do I have to pee again before I start? No matter what, I still second guess myself and leave myself in that vulnerable space of self-judgement. Since practicing my yoga, this space has gotten smaller and smaller, but has not totally vanished. And, in the spirit of self-reflection, I don’t think it will ever totally vanish because it’s part of the human condition. So, teaching is one area in which I still find fear in my life.
My full-time job is as a stay at home mom….or really I should just say as Mom because it wouldn’t matter if I stayed at home or not; the fear is still there as a parent. I think stay at home parents have a similar but different fear than working parents and that is that we worry we are messing them up by being with them all the time. It’s a little easier to say that you messed them up by not being with them, but also put some of that blame on whomever you left them with, but a lot harder to find a scape goat when it’s just you.
I know that my older son has had more of my attention over the course of his life vs the younger one. I was home with him all by himself for almost 2 1/2 years before competition arrived. I didn’t work as much when he was younger either. So, number two has to struggle with an older sibling and Mama working both in and out of the house. I do not fear (so much yet) bad things happening to my children as I once thought I would based on my own past experiences (see a great post about these issues on Fit is a Feminist Issue here
and their effects on childhood obesity), but I do fear other things with my children. I’ve read several blog posts of late on We Don’t Chew Glass
and the Bloggess
about how mean girls can be, but I am worried about how mean boys can be too.
It has always been my intent not to push gender roles on my children. I let both of my boys play with dolls when they find them at other people’s houses and if they ever asked for their own, I would get them one. I let them pretend to be whatever they want to be and put on both Mama’s shoes and hats and whatever else they want to play with just like Da-Dee’s. My oldest has a “purse” that he sometimes carries around the house filled with toys and he likes to tell me how he’s going to live in a huge pink house some day. Am I worried that my 3 1/2 year old is gay? Not a bit. If he ends up being, so what, but for now, he’s just a boy who likes to play with whatever sparks his interest at the time. And most of the time that means wrestling and crashing trucks into things. Normally I don’t even take a second thought to what he’s talking about when it comes to the color pink or playing with dolls, but I kick myself now that on Tuesday night, when I bought him is first bike, I hesitated for a second when he picked a pinkish one. I hesitated just long enough to text Da-Dee and ask his opinion. Da-Dee is also VERY good about not gender stereotyping and I think that’s partly because Da-Dee is the kind of guy that just doesn’t care. He’s got gay friends and wears pink shirts. He’s very confident in who he is and doesn’t worry about other people’s opinions. I hope both of my boys turn out just like him.
That’s one happy boy on his bike! And if you’re wondering what it is, it’s a Glide Bike. Check them out here
So, I’m running out of time, but I promised you three things I’m afraid of and the last one is this: white vans while I’m running. On Wednesday night we had dinner at my brother-in-law’s house and he lives about 1.5 miles from us. I decided to run over there and let the rest of the family drive and I took the long way to make it 2.55mi. I was pretty happy with the new shoes. They were very light and comfortable and I had the right kind of socks for them this time around. However, they did make my legs feel heavy in comparison. I had never run to his house before and took a little bit of the long way because, how often do I get to run on my own? I hit a 9:14/mi pace for the whole run, but also ran on a new road. And while running and smiling and singing in my head and checking the time on my phone I was carrying (I really need to invest in a sports watch), I was passed by a white van….twice. And although I am a very confident woman who is in good shape and was on a well traveled road with people out in their yards and the sun still blazingly hot on my back…..I still feared that van coming too close and snatching me right out of the road.
So, as I head to class, I ask, what kinds of things are you afraid of? Are they pride based? Has fear kept you from challenging yourself with something new?