Two weeks ago I attended one of my favorite conferences. I’ve been doing marketing & e-commerce for years and I’ve been to dozens of conferences so I’m pretty familiar with the topics and what can be done so when I go to an event it’s easy to jump in. And I have lots of friends in the industry so I'll usually run into someone I know which makes the conference much more comfortable.
Out of my Depth
Last week was a different story. I attended a workshop for pops.
week 6 (April 6-10) week 7 (April 13- 17) we will cover IKARIAN POPS & DROPS & ACRO-YOGA WASHING MACHINES pic.twitter.com/0rEMbivEtk
— Pitch Catch Circus (@DuoAcroSchool) December 18, 2014
Pops are a technique in acroyoga where you work with a partner to throw them in the air and then (hopefully) catch them.
I’ve dabbled with acroyoga but I’ve only tried pops once. And everyone else at this event have done pops numerous times. And when I walked in I realized how out of my depth I was.
- I didn’t know a single person
- Two people started talking about an acroyoga event I’ve never heard of and it sounds like they’ve gone to it 5 years in a row.
- I’m asked how much experience I’ve had with “Icarian”. I didn’t know what that word even means – and I found out it’s a specific type of pops.
Here I am trying to learn the basics about pops and I accidentally signed up for a specific type of pops and I’m with people who seem to know each other and have been doing this for years. I feel completely out of place and the workshop hasn't even started.
When the workshop starts we form groups of 3-4 people and it’s clear I’m the person with the least experience.
- I was asked to “receive more”. I had no idea what that phrase even means. It turns out it means you need to decelerate your partner when they land.
- There were prerequisites which I barely grasped. For a pop from reverse bird to reverse throne we had to start with foot to hand. And I’ve only done that once so I had to spend time covering the basics.
Foot to hand:
I also realized I might have been one of the least fit people in the room. And in a physical practice that’s important. There were 7 people in the workshop and 3 of them had six packs. VISIBLE SIX PACKS. Who are these people that have time to develop 6 packs!?
My group was amazingly kind despite my novice status.
- They helped me cover the pre-reqs
- They trusted me to catch them when I popped
- They were patient with me and never rushed me to finish
Starting is Hard
The point of this article is that I’m reminded how hard it is to join a new community. There’s jargon you don’t know, pre-reqs that you didn’t know about, and humans tend to cluster with people they know. And that’s all after you sign up. You have to first decide to join the community which is a whole different journey.
Having gone to the workshop and feeling completely out of my depth I now feel confident I can handle anything. I already faced being the newbie and I did fine. In fact I did great. I learned a lot and by the end of the workshop I completed almost all of the poses the more experienced members did.
Help Others Starting
If you notice someone is new help them out. It's scary to join a new community where you don't know anyone and don't know what you're doing there. You don't have to learn their life story but chat with them.
I'm pretty confident in the WordPress, marketing, and ecommerce worlds. I'm still new in the acroyoga world and I know I'd appreciate someone approaching me and chatting with me instead of feeling live I have to invade an established circle of people.
Here's how our workshop ended with a reverse throne to bird.