I play tennis. And no, I'm not very good (my serve is weak and I'm more prone to hitting the ball way out in left field [literally]than over the net). But I love it because it's fun and it gets me out of the gym (and off the cardio machines) and interacting with other women.
But this week, our group tennis instructor Matt, said: "I didn't know you were the Editor in Chief of Shape." My heart sunk and I felt this enormous sense of "you have to perform well" pressure. When I'm not defined by my title, I'm just a woman trying to get fit and stay in shape like everyone else. When I'm "the editor in chief of Shape", I suddenly have pressure to be the best—have not a spot of cellulite (I DO have more than one), have a perfectly toned and strong body (I definitely do not), know all forms of fitness inside and out (um...I defintely don't, which is why I rely on an amazing team of experts to help create the workouts inside the magazine)—and in the case of tennise, hit a killer serve over the net and help win every game (not the case!).
So I thought about the way a feel a bit more and I realized that a lot of this pressure is my own: next week, I'm going to stride into that tennis court with confidence and the knowledge that with weekly practice, I can get better at tennis. And it doesn't matter one bit who I am or what I do to earn a paycheck. (And I will take pictures next week...so stay tuned.) Confidence, practice, and determination to succeed are what makes anyone a success—whether you're trying to lose weight or just win a match point!