So, I've been telling myself a little lie every time I take a Barre class. I don't quite know how to explain it in words, but you know what they say about pictures, right?
Okay, here's what I think I look like in class:
Yep, in my own mind I am a graceful dancer who missed her calling and should have spent my life knee-deep in tutus and toe shoes.
But I made a big mistake the other day. I let down my guard and glanced up at the mirrors that are literally everywhere in a Barre studio.
And I saw what I actually looked like.
And I actually was shocked. Shocked.
I had done such a good job of imagining. And the imagining made things better. It made it more fun. It made it seem less like a workout.
I grieved the loss of my little fantasy life, where for an hour every week I was graceful and poised and all of the things I wanted to be as a 7-year old ballet class dropout.
I was sad about it for about a half a day and then I thought, you know what? That lie wasn't hurting anyone. That lie made my life better. And that lie could live again.
It could live if I positioned myself in the right spot in the classroom and kept my eyes on the instructor, instead of on my reflection in the mirror. I thought for a minute that maybe I should look in the mirror to make sure my form was good. And then I decided I didn't need to do that, for two reasons. One: it's the instructor's job to notice if I'm doing something incorrectly and/or on the verge of hurting myself. And two: I have a decent sense of my own body in space, so with practice and good cueing from the instructor, I can probably feel when my form is good or bad.
So, I'm lying again and I encourage you to lie to yourself too. If going to the gym and lifting weights is more fun if you tell yourself you're just this side of a spot on the Olympic team: do it. If pretending you look like J-Lo in Zumba class gets you into that room and through that workout: do it. It's not hurting anyone. It's aspirational. And anything that adds an element of joy to exercise, while not hurting anyone else, is a win in my book.