How an app called Swiftr helped me identify a fear and get out of my comfort zone.
Like most people, I have a lot of fears which can all be tracked back to the feeling of shame. I am working hard on challenging myself in that area mentally to really try to understand my blockages, but last week I took it one step further and embarked on a more physical journey with the help of Swiftr.
Swiftr is an app where you can get access to several yoga-studios, gyms, boxing-clubs etc in your city. If I have understood it correctly, it was quite recently launched in Malmö and though there are a lot of options for places to work out, I am sure that larger cities have even more studios to chose from.
The app suits me well because combining the different types of yoga I enjoy, it would cost me about 1600 SEK/month (150€) to do be able to do them all. With Swifter I pay a fixed price each month (599 SEK ) and I get access to them all + several other workout methods.
Little did I know that this app would aid me in opening up my mind to the possibility of trying some new workouts that I had never thought of trying before, due to the fact that I would be bad at it.
Shocking no, being bad at something one has never ever tried before?
So, I signed up for BJJ ( stands for Brazilian Ju Jitsu) and went to the boxing club where the classes are held. Now, the gym I used to go to provided clean and dry towels for all members, breakfast if one worked out before 10am etc. You get the gist.
This is a proper boxing club we are talking about, and if you like me have zero reference to what that means, it means that when you enter it smells of everything BUT clean dry towels and free breakfast. Have you ever smelled a used boxing glove which is still wet and you have to stick your hand in there several times during a class? Don’t ever do it. It is absolutely rank.
What I am trying to get to is that a boxing and sweat-dojo is everything but posh and it felt so damn relieving. One cannot hide behind prestige, appearance, background, achievements, work titles or whatever you use to normally convince yourself of the fact that you matter to mask your true insecurities.
I arrived, a beginner, to a non-beginner class as it wasn’t specified when booking. I haven’t done a tumble in years. Hell, I haven’t done a backwards tumble outside of the sea since I was 5. I felt ashamed of my lack of experience and like an absolute fool during the warm up alone. Out of 14 people, there was just one other woman there. Ofc we bonded because well, sisterhood.
But very quickly other people helped me out when I struggled with a shoulder/backwardtumble and showed me the technique, in an everything but ”mansplainy” way. Whilst it was a very advanced class, four people participating offered to show me some basic moves and positions. I felt embarrassed and ashamed again that I didn’t know shit and hesitated to agree to it to not make a fool out of myself , because well being vulnerable is HARD ! Especially in front of a bunch of extremely strong men in a setting which is 1000% out of my comfort zone.
But thanks to the words of one very kind man who said : ”You won’t learn unless you’re on the mat” whilst extending a hand to the tiny and embarrassed version of myself sitting down and watching the practice , I got up and showed up for myself.
On my cycle home I reflected over how often I extend a helping and supporting hand to someone who is struggling and how easy it can feel doing something next to impossible with a little bit of support and a tap on the back. As soon as I returned home I booked a few more classes through Swiftr and felt a rush of excitement.
Before I leave you I would like to share a quote that I keep reminding myself of :
”Vulnerability is not about winning or losing. Vulnerability is about showing up and be seen when we have no control of the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness, it is our greatest measure of courage. ” – Brene Brown