It was a Thursday morning in 2003. I woke up early to go to an 8:30 Bar Method class in West LA. I knew it was a Level 2 class and I was supposed to take at least 5 mixed classes before going, but I went anyway because I bought a 1 month unlimited pass for $100 and I hadn’t been for 5 days. I got to class and the teacher asked if I’d been to 5 classes yet. When I said no, he said ok, but he was going to go fast and not stop to help me. I said ok and after a few minutes he came over and told me I needed to leave. Oh my God. I felt angry because I had woken up so early to go and angry at him for insulting me and being harsh about it. My pride was hurt because I didn’t want the class to see that I wasn’t good enough. My self esteem was hurt because I wanted to be someone who could keep up with the class. I wanted to get a workout and be accepted. My security was threatened because I needed to be good enough and accepted to feel ok.
As I drove away, I took responsibility for going to the class knowing I was breaking the rules. I felt the feelings that I fear so much which were: feeling rejected, not good enough, looking bad, and disrespected. These feelings translated into, “if I was thin, I would have looked and been good enough to be accepted, therefore not alone”. I felt these feelings intensely. My first reactive thought was to say no to these feelings and smoke. That felt justified for a minute. Then I reconsidered and heard the truth that to smoke would create more fear. Then I thought to get a latte and snack from Coffee Bean. But then I paused and knew that wouldn’t dissolve the feelings either. What I learned from the book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” enabled me to take responsibility and “know” that to avoid the feelings would create more fear and disturbance and a need to “fix”. I was really proud of myself. I felt the fear and pain and took responsibility. I felt it and didn’t avoid it by eating or smoking. That’s probably the real reason why I got kicked out of the class. I didn’t get a physical workout for my body but I jumped to the next level I’ve been climbing toward for years. I said to myself, “I handled it. I can handle it. I can do it. I’m not a victim. I am powerful and loving it. I am in control of my thoughts and actions. I am in control of fear.” Having faced my fear and walked through it, I was actually grateful to be kicked out of class!