Showtime and performance anxiety

Friday, May 24, 2013 Permalink

It’s a public holiday here in my new hometown. The Show (fair) is in town and we locals get a day off to enjoy the fun and frivolity. Of course the fact I’m not working means I don’t officially get a paid to stay at home and not-work, but still… it’s nice seeing everyone else in ‘woo-hoo-it’s-a-long-weekend’ mode.

And… although I don’t intend to go anywhere near the Show (which I’ve written about in my local blog), it’s been SHOWTIME this week for me in a couple of other ways. And… in line with my last post about sharing the good and the bad, today it is – fortunately – mostly good!

I’m a week into my new training program. I’ve exercised EVERY day (yes, EVERY day – you heard it here first… well, unless you’ve read my Facebook feed!) and even returned to Zumba yesterday. It’s two weeks since I had my embarrassing fall and I have to admit, I was a bit gun-shy, but realised I needed to climb back on that horse, or bicycle (lost track of my metaphors!) lest I lose confidence forever.


I kept my movements low-impact but… am pleased to report I survived the class with no injuries and my confidence (mostly) restored. Better still, the regular exercise means that I’m already feeling more sure-footed and agile again.

The week of exercise has involved 2 x 2 gym sessions (featuring some basic moves like squats, push-ups, chest presses, leg extensions etc) followed by a short cardio session (a walk in my case) or just a cardio session (again a walk, or Zumba). My trainer has been amazingly zen about my food and exercise and I’ve found that a relief. And encouraging.

I told my visiting mother last night that – although I’m sure I haven’t lost weight – I feel leaner and stronger. Already.

And #goodnews item number 2: Today, I spent the morning at the local art gallery where my writers’ group had been asked to provide some poems and short pieces in line with the current exhibitions. I had, ‘sort of’, agreed to write something but then struggled with the topics on offer. I wasn’t going to bother at all, but a shortage of offerings meant that the coordinator was keen for all she could get. So… eventually struck by inspiration yesterday afternoon, I whipped up something.

I provided it on the promise that someone else would read it as, although I blog and write everyday, I can’t read my stuff in public and don’t want to see people’s reaction to my writing. However… after some nagging from my mother and a friend, I succumbed at the last minute and read it myself. And I am stoked that I did. The room was full of (ahem) oldies and supporters of the arts and the whole event was relatively informal, so in the end I felt comfortable. I attempted to read slowly and speak clearly. I got some nice feedback afterwards, but that wasn’t important.

The fact that I did it was enough for me. (Read the piece I wrote in my other blog if you are sufficiently bored have the time!)

I had to move outside of my comfort zone in a whole new way this week. Have you tried something you’ve long feared? 
Do you suffer performance anxiety?

  • Jess
    May 24, 2013

    Good on you for reading it!!! I would be shy about that too! And awesome job on your exercising, sounds like it is going well for you!

    • Debbish
      May 24, 2013

      Thanks Jess. It’s not a massive thing compared to what I used to do and what others do, but it’s still better than where I was a week ago!


  • Christine Davidson
    May 25, 2013

    Good on you for getting up there and reading what you wrote! Glad it went well…I am envious of you doing Zumba..I have never tried it but am rhythmically challenged to say the least so I don’t think it would end well if I did.LOL

    • Debbish
      May 25, 2013

      Thanks Christine. I LOVE dance classes. Normally I’m pretty coordinated (though my recent fall disproves that theory!).

      I actually enjoy ‘classes’ a lot more than working out myself. If I can mindlessly get myself to the session then I usually enjoy it. The time flies and I lose myself in the steps and music!

  • Char
    May 26, 2013

    I totally understand why it’s hard for you to read your work aloud. What we write is a little piece of us and reading it out in public is putting ourselves out there – exposed and naked, waiting to be critiqued. It’s pretty scary stuff so you did really well to get out there and do it.

    • Debbish
      May 26, 2013

      I think I’ve mentioned before Char that, at Uni, I rarely went to tutorials because of my fear of being identified by / for my work and put on the spot. I’ve done an online writing course requiring me to upload my work, but on other courses will avoid reading my work (at all costs!).

  • Lou Lou
    May 26, 2013

    Sounds like everything is on the up and up for you. Happy to hear that!

    • Debbish
      May 27, 2013

      Thanks Lou Lou. And yes… I’m slowly getting there.

  • Doug
    May 27, 2013

    I have to admit, I have secretly always wanted to try Zumba… but not sure guys are all that Welcome! I love your attitude, a minor set back in the way of a fall can be just the excuse for some to stop, but you stuck to your guns and got back up and kept fighting! Love the spirit 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 28, 2013

      Thanks Doug. I have to admit… you rarely see guys in Zumba classes, or in the likes of Body Jam etc either I’m afraid.

      I did my second class (since my fall) yesterday and felt better again!

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