Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Do you Censor your Actions so you're not Embarrassed?

Do you Censor your Actions so you're not Embarrassed?

Do you ever not do something because you're afraid of embarrassing yourself, even in front of people you don't know?

I usually go swimming two to three times a week at the Oak Point Center in Plano, TX.  They have a very nice indoor pool. Membership for Plano residents is ONLY $65 a year!!  I fall into that category living in Richardson because my neighborhood feeds into Plano schools.  Outside residents are only about $125 a year or something like that, so it still beats the heck out of a gym membership.

Anyway, I digress... When I first started going there a couple of years ago, I tried doing the butterfly stroke, but I hadn't done it in years, so I felt embarrassed.  Instead of practicing it to get it better so I wouldn't be embarrassed, I just never tried it again... until Monday.

Monday morning, for some reason, I felt like I could give it another shot.  I was swimming as usual, and about 20 minutes into my swim, I kicked off the wall and just started doing the butterfly.  I did 3 strokes of it, and casually went into the breast stroke, hoping no one noticed what I had done, as I'm sure it looked bad.  I mean, look at this picture!  Mouth is wide open every time you come up for a breath, and arms are waling out to the side and tons of water just splashing around.  It's definitely not a dainty swimming stroke.

I continued down, and did my next lap freestyle again.  When I got to the other end, I kicked off the wall, and for some reason, I went into the butterfly again.  This time, I made it just past the halfway point before I went into the breast stroke.  Man, I had to look silly.

Again, I'm down the pool, kickoff the wall and go into the butterfly stroke.  This time, even though I felt I looked really silly, I didn't stop.  I made it all the way to the end, feeling more confident with each stroke.  When I got to the wall and came up for air, this huge tidal wave came up over me, and I made sure I didn't make eye contact with anyone, and quickly went into another lap as if "I meant for that to happen."   

I kept swimming and thinking about that butterfly stroke.  I realized that by that third lap, it felt like I was doing it properly and people probably weren't looking at me anyway as they were swimming their own laps. We all know how little the lifeguards actually watch the water as they daydream about other things.

The moral of the story, don't hesitate to learn something new, or relearn something, just because you're embarrassed about what you might look like to other people.  My muscles felt great the next day, and I could tell my body got a workout it wasn't used to, and that's a good thing.  I'll be working on the butterfly much more often in the future!

Comment balloon 19 commentsDonna Harris • October 29 2008 01:14PM


I have had the same internal struggle at the gym.  Finally I realized everyone is probably having the same discussion in their heads and worrying about looking silly themselves they don't have time to pay attention to my antics.  I have seen a few people fall off treadmills - fall isn't really even the word for it, they kind of fly off and then slam into something.  Everyone in the gym notices the unfortunate person because it usually makes such a scene.  So I am very rarely seen on the treadmill but otherwise other people thinking I'm silly has never stopped me before.

Posted by Jenn Neumann Deer, Surfside Beach Real Estate (RE/MAX Southern Shores) almost 12 years ago

Besides, who cares what other people think, as long as you are having fun!

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) almost 12 years ago

Jenn, I can picture someone flying off the treadmill.  Too funny!

Robert, I know I know, but deep down, we all care what others think!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Much to my credit (or fault) I just don't care what other people think when I try something new. My hope is that they either have some constructive criticism so I can improve myself, or that they just keep their comments to themselves. Just the fact that you're out there doing your thing when half of America is sitting on the couch should be reason enough for you to not to be embarrassed.

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) almost 12 years ago

Donna - Here's an interesting experiment.  Try to remember someone (not family or a close friend) doing something embarrassing.  I've certainly seen people struggle at seemingly simple things or do things that I'm sure they were embarassed by.  When trying to recall this though, I can't think of a single specific incident where I remember the event and the person.  The only time you need to worry about doing something silly is in front of friends and family --those SOBs can be merciless:)   

Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, Louisville - Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) almost 12 years ago

Hi Donna,

good for you that you kept at it.  I agree with Eric.

Posted by Angelia Garcia (Pure Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Craig, Yes, it is hard to get out there and work out.  It used to be really easy, but now it's a chore!

Erik, But that's easy for me as I'm a people watcher and catch people doing silly things all the time.  I then get to go home and tell my husband and laugh at them without them knowing... I don't want to be the person someone else is laughing at at home.

Angelia, Thanks!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

The true story of it Donna is most people are not watching you at all, so GO FOR IT. Your breast stroke is probably better than mine if that will make you feel better : )

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago

A long time ago I remember buying a gym membership.  I was a 110 lbs socking wet when I started.  I was embarrased lifting my tiny weights, did not know how to use the equipment.  I was amazed when members came up to me and told me what I was doing wrong and helped me.  They were not laughing at me, they were helping me!  They did laugh when I would do my five miles on the tredmill and I would stand on the sides of it (I hate the tredmill). 

Within 12 months I was a young hardbody in my early 20's looking for any excuse to take my shirt off, and with 40lbs of mass and having to buy a new wardrobe, I was proud to do it.  I relized that those that were watching me, were not laughing at me, they had constructive critism that helped me in the end. 

I really should get back to the gym! 


Posted by Chad Baird (Re/Max Spirit) almost 12 years ago


 I have never flown off a treadmill at the gym, but when I first started road cycling I was trying to open a power bar as I road away from a convenient store and fell over into a bush. I was very embarrassed, but I knew I was not the first or last to have a silly fall. It was a funny moment for my riding buddies as well as the the lady who just got of her car...

In the end we had a good ride and a good laugh....


Posted by Mike Carsten (Tucson Mortgage,LLC) almost 12 years ago

Gary, I don't know... people are always looking around and dodging eye contact there.

Chad, You put on 40 pounds of muscle in a year??!!  Dang!!  Though I put on 40 pounds in 10 weeks when I was pregnant, I'm sure your body handled it a lot better than mine.  Now, get back to the gym!

Mike, Sorry, but I had to laugh!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Chad - thanks for the visual. I always knew you were a hottie. lol.

Donna - I thought you were going to say you top flew off as you kicked off the wall.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 12 years ago

Greg that was almost 20 years ago and I have had 2 kids since then (If my wife can use that wxcuse so can I!).  Though I still find myself very attractive, it may be in my own mind.  I keep my shirt on now unless I am swimming. 

Posted by Chad Baird (Re/Max Spirit) almost 12 years ago

Greg, I'm not swimming laps in a two piece!  It's an unflattering one piece so nothing can fall off.

Chad, Excuses excuses... did you have those two kids ripped from your loins? LOL j/k

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Lol Donna & Chad! Loins - he he.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 12 years ago

Great story about something that all of us, at one point or another, have struggled with (in our own heads).  I no longer worry about what I look like, as long as I am doing something that I love, and am having fun. 

Posted by Scott Owens, REALTOR (Scott Owens Limited) almost 12 years ago


Even if people are looking at you they are probably thinking about their selves.

We are a very self-absorbed nation.

Posted by Brenda Harmon (Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas) over 11 years ago

So true...

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 11 years ago

Donna, thank you for the inspiration.  You have inspired me to get in a bathing suit and go swim.  My fear is people look at me in a bathing suit.   But if I keep up w/ it, my body will get trimmer and I will feel more comfortable, thank you!


Posted by Brooke Shepherd, Speak With Honesty~Act with Integrity (Keller Williams Partners) over 11 years ago