‘Last week, I made a call. One that had me feeling anxious until about 9:10 a.m. this morning.’

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Last week, I made a call.

One that had me feeling anxious until about 9:10 a.m. this morning.

Anxiety is nothing new for me; it’s the hood in which I live.

It’s not debilitating for me and in fact, I speak openly about how despite the fact that stress (real or perceived) and my nerves make me want to vomit on the daily (I don’t, but the queasiness feeling is ever-present), I also find my nervousness to be oddly motivating and galvanizing.

On the heels of a laughter-packed game night over the weekend, during which I lost quite a few dolla’ dolla’ bills y’all to my brother as we played Left Center Right dice game and had a few glasses of wine, I agreed to call a local fitness chain and schedule myself a guest class.

Yes, that is the call I made; one for me to attend an exercise class.

Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme

Were you expecting something a bit more daunting? If so, you must not understand just how terrifying certain social situations can be for some people.

For me, nothing is more intimidating than walking into a new gym, jam-packed with an overflow of regulars who, at least in my mind, would be judging me from my choice of tennis shoes, to my unshaven legs, to my off-brand workout gear and stained tanktop, up to my already sweating from stress face that either had too little or too much makeup on, and then to my topknot which looked a bit like a drunken bird built it’s nest on top of my head.

I’m being a little dramatic, aren’t I? But, anxiety can do that to you.

Yes, the Honest Abe in me is divulging to you that I have gym phobia and my free guest class had me freakin’ the fudge out.

Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme

The reason I made the call, despite being to quiet down the peanut gallery known as my husband and brother, was because I have learned from experience that when I go out of my comfort zone, I actually beast my way through awkward and difficult situations, coming out on the other side with evidence that I am, indeed, a superwoman.

Guess what? You are too.

I could (and have; just ask those close to me) list off so many reasons I don’t have to time to exercise, but it’s crap.

I’m a mom with three kids.

I’m trying to build a business.

I won’t have time to write.

I already can’t keep up with the housework, and this is going to make it even worse.

Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.

I’m a mom with three kids, and that is a reason I MUST take care of my body and my health.

I’m trying to build a business, but my business will go to sh*t if I do not keep a healthy mind to run it.

I will have time to write, I will just have to time block better and there’s a chance my exercise will actually increase the flow of my creative juices.

Like I mentioned, I already can’t keep up with the housework, so no one is going to notice if I slack off even more.

Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme

Listen, it doesn’t have to be exercise. I’m not saying adding a gym routine to your schedule is the “be all/end all.”

BUT, what I am saying is that you matter enough to get outside of your damn head and cozy sector of your present existence and do something that frightens you.

Do something that you find difficult.

Push yourself to try and complete tasks even when you know you will inevitably stumble.

All my gym anxiety was relieved from the moment I walked in their door and was greeted by energetic, kind, and helpful staff. No other participant gave a flippin’ hoot about me, or my size, or how funny I looked on the rower or whether or not I was running as fast as them. There was this kind of unexpected silent camaraderie as if everyone understood that each participant was at the gym on this day to better themselves; their brain and their body.

Before today I had made every rationalization I could think of as to why I shouldn’t try out today’s gym class.

Well, I just signed up for my first month with the gym, and I feel like Superwoman.

You will too, Mama…when you accept your anxiety for what it is — a dumb nuisance — and then give yourself grace, as well as the opportunity to let it motivate you to do one thing different to improve today.

“Aren’t you a mother? Shouldn’t you be with your kids right now?,” I said to myself.

“By taking care of myself, I’m making sure I’m with my kids for a lot longer than right now,” I responded.

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme, where the post originally appeared. You can follow her on Facebook, her website or podcast

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