Well, dear reader, another year has come and gone. Out with the old, in with the new. Auld lang syne. Etc, etc.
Last year, I did swimmingly well at accomplishing my New Year’s resolution to try something new every day. I went to New York City and Los Angeles, I made a purposeful illegal left turn, I ice skated, I wore a clown nose during an entire 2 ½ hour hair appointment, I got a promotion, I ate lots of new foods at lots of new restaurants, I got pulled over for the first time (unrelated to the aforementioned illegal left turn), I got a new tattoo, I attended a demolition derby at the State Fair, and I did approximately 300 other new things I can’t remember!
Ok, I can’t say that I remembered to do something new every day, but I did lots of new things, to be sure. And the great thing is that I’m still doing lots of new things every day! It’s amazing how much there is to experience and try in life. What a wonderful world we live in!
This year, on the heels of such a successful 2012, I’m really pushing myself. In 2013, I’m going to force myself outside of my comfort zone!
You see, gentle reader, I don’t like to try new things. Well, I don’t like to try new things unless I know I’m going to succeed at them. If there’s a chance I’ll fail or embarrass myself or I won’t be the best, I don’t want to try at all. I get easily embarrassed, and I often quit things before even giving them a fair shot. Most times, I end up dealing with this embarrassment and quitting in an even more embarrassing way: by throwing a temper tantrum.
A 28-year-old woman (who looks 21) throwing a temper tantrum?
Oh, honey. That does not look good on anyone.
So, NO MORE! I’m putting myself out there! And success or failure, I’m going to be cheery about it, damnit!
Which brings us to: Jillian’s First Step Outside Of Her Comfort Zone
When? January 3rd
Where? Sky Zone
Who? Me and a group of 20-ish people
Sky Zone, in case you’re unfamiliar, is an indoor trampoline park. I was really excited to go. I like trampolines, and let’s face it, jumping around like a little kid is kind of fun! However, when I got there, I started to get very self-conscious; In addition to the general trampoline area, they had special trampoline areas. Dodge ball. A foam pit. A basketball hoop.
To the typical person, these things might sound like a dream. A foam pit?! Too good to be true!
To Jillian, these things are panic inducing. A foam pit? What if I don’t jump far enough and I land on the ground? What if I jump too far and hit the wall? What if I try to flip into the pit and I look stupid? What I if I get stuck in the foam pit and can’t get out? Does everyone really have to watch me jump? Maybe I can jump in while no one’s looking?
I was determined to push myself beyond my doubts, though. I mean, how horrible could jumping off of a trampoline into a foam pit be? It’s probably one of the best things on earth that a human lady could do!
So, I did it! And people watched me! And I didn’t fall on my face! And it was pretty fun! I climbed out of the foam pit and descended the stairs in a blaze of glory. (This is an exaggeration. I still felt self-conscious, though shockingly no one else seemed to be paying any attention to me.)
When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I saw that most of the people I knew were huddled around the basketball hoops. I watched as Bryan grabbed the ball, bounded down the trampoline, and dunked the ball on the highest hoop. (My hero!)
“Do you want to try?” he asked me when he got back to solid ground.
“Um, I don’t know,” I answered nervously.
“Just do it! I’ll stand in line with you.”
Unable to turn the opportunity down because of my effing New Year’s resolution, (whose idea was that anyway?), I suppressed both my desire to run away and my desire to throw a tantrum and stood in line for the children’s hoop.
Child after child dunked before me. I can do this! I can do this! Finally, it was my turn.
“Take three jumps, then shoot!” Bryan instructed me.
A 9-year-old boy threw the ball to me. I grasped it between my sweaty palms.
Here goes nothing, I said to myself. I stepped off of the platform.
One jump. You can do this, Jillian!
Two jumps. You’re invincible!
Three jumps. Time to shoot!
I leapt upward toward the basket, extending my arms as far as I could reach, and tried to put the ball in the hoop. Unfortunately, it bounced off of the rim, high into the unknown.
Darn! Well, make up for missing the basket by hanging from the rim like a pro! Show them all how talented you really are! Unfortunately, I was already on my way down and was no longer at the appropriate height for grasping the hoop. Sure, my fingers grazed it, trying frantically to claw their way to a firm grip, but no luck. I fell in slow motion down, down to the trampoline, landing on my hands and knees.
That wasn’t so bad! I thought.
The ball, deciding to reappear from nowhere, the blessed thing, suddenly made its descent. Landing square on my back with a thud. I collapsed flat on the trampoline.
With as much grace as I could muster – it’s hard to move gracefully on a trampoline, mind you – I rolled over, stood up, and bounced my way back to the platform. Just in time to see the 6-year-old boy who had been in line behind me dunk the ball without batting an eyelash.
Not my finest moment; however, mercifully, not my worst moment either! I’ll call Jillian’s First Step Outside Of Her Comfort Zone a success.
Jillian’s Second Step Outside Of Her Comfort Zone, (aka. learning to parallel park), is, ehhh… still a work in progress.
The first attempt did not go well, as it ended with me throwing a temper tantrum at Bryan, my humble instructor, on the sidewalk somewhere on Mass Ave. The second attempt also did not go well, as it ended similarly, with me throwing a temper tantrum at Bryan, the dear soul, on the sidewalk somewhere on St. Clair. Certainly the third attempt will be better.
Happy 2013! We’re in for a fun ride.