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Experiences, People

I can… or can I?

I started teaching dance fitness classes about 1,5 years ago. It has been a very rewarding and enriching activity in many ways. One of them is the opportunity to experience first-hand how people react to challenges and change. That, combined with the fact that my class participants are from different generations and cultural backgrounds, makes teaching an even more fascinating experience full of simple, yet eye-opening stories like this one.

A friendly German lady (probably in her forties) approached me before my class last Monday to ask if she could join. I welcomed her as I usually do and wanted to know if she was familiar with the class format. The question made her nervous and she responded hesitantly that she had taken the class once at another gym, but was in no way experienced. I assured her that this was not a prerequisite at all and kicked off the class. To my surprise it took her not more than a few minutes to be able to completely follow my cues and enjoy the class without any hesitation or difficulties. Admittedly, it’s a fun and easy-to-follow workout, but you can always tell if someone has experience in taking group fitness classes or not. And she definitely had.

I’ve come across this discrepancy between our perceptions and the reality of what we can do quite often. There are so many factors playing a role here – personal, cultural, circumstantial. I don’t want to generalize or jump at conclusions, but I am convinced that we would be better off if we could pay less attention to our (often self-created) doubts and (often self-imposed) restrictions on our abilities. In fact, I am sure we can. Are you?

I can or can I


About irinapashina

Marketing professional, blogger, group fitness instructor, reader, theater-goer


5 thoughts on “I can… or can I?

  1. Totally agree! I have found – through some training for marathons.. which were my ‘big fear’.. that the rumours and the fear factors are ALWAYS worse than the reality… it’s so great to find that out.. you can -always- do more than you thought possible.

    Keep the posts coming, these are great.. 🙂

    Posted by Hubert | October 14, 2013, 11:20 pm
    • Thank you, Hubert! 🙂 My ‘big fear’ was to teach fitness classes… the road from being a class participant to becoming an instructor seemed virtually impossible in my head… but it was very possible and turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences. You are so right – we can ALWAYS do more than we thought possible. Have a great time at the marathon this year and look out for my little marathon post card which is on the way to you 🙂

      Posted by irinapashina | October 15, 2013, 7:56 pm
  2. Reblogged this on Love Thy Introvert and commented:
    Irina brings up a very good point about the “discrepancy between our perceptions and the reality of what we can do”. Sometimes we can severely underestimate how capable we are of achieving certain goals. Our fears in turn tells us to not even attempt to see how we will do, that we should give up before we even begin. You may feel as if you’re saving yourself from embarrassment or shame, but what you’re really doing is robbing yourself of another rich experience of having a fulfilling life.

    You can’t be so consumed in protecting yourself or guarding yourself from failing that you don’t even try in the first place. It may be scary at first, but it’s better to look back on life to see all the moments that you tried and succeed/failed than to look back and see that you did nothing and are now plagued with the “what ifs” or “if onlys”. So go after something new. You never know what you may achieve as a result!

    Posted by LetmebeRae | October 14, 2013, 11:28 pm
    • Thank you for reblogging my post and for the comment, Rae! Starting something new can indeed be (very) scary, but only by going after it can we find out what we are really capable of. And often it’s much more than what we originally thought possible.

      Posted by irinapashina | October 15, 2013, 8:00 pm
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