Wednesday, March 24, 2010

'Stepping Out on a Limb....'

We smiled at each other this morning when I said something that included the phrase in the title above.

It brought us back to when we were shopping around for a new doctor. One had been recommended by a friend. We each had an appointment with him. I met him and thought he would be fine. My partner met him too and agreed. During my partners meeting the doctor was asking all sorts of questions, since it was the first meeting. Midway through, the doctor states : " I may be walking out on a limb here, but, am I accurate in assuming that you are gay?" It kind of caught my partner off guard and of course he said that he was gay. No one from 'outside' had ever asked this before.

Whenever we hear this phrase we chuckle a bit because it brings back a time when we weren't as comfortable 'in our skin' as we are today.

By the way, we still see this doctor and are glad we decided to stay with him. It was a great move by him to 'out' my partner in the way he did. How else was he to get a better picture of his patient.

The lesson we learned from this was that it is good to 'step out on a limb' in life. It will open up a lot of possibilities and present a clearer picture of things. And it may also slap you in the face especially when the 'limb' breaks and you come crashing down!! This happened a few times to me.

I was teaching a fitness class and I had noticed that a young woman, who was a regular, was beginning to gain some weight. She was beginning to bulge out in the abdominal area. I figured that she may be pregnant and waited and waited until she approached me to let me know. She didn't. I was getting worried because she ought to be altering some of the exercises to protect her 'fetus'. So one day, as she was leaving the studio, I asked if I could speak with her. I stepped out on this limb......feeling really secure with my decision. "How far along are you?", I asked. She said, "Far along with what?" I said, "Well, with your pregnancy because you should start changing your routine in class."

She went blank. Then I did too.....realizing immediately that she was not pregnant. I had assumed because she worked out every day and couldn't be gaining weight unless she was 'with child'.

The poor girl was so embarrassed and I started tripping over my words of apology, as I am prone to do. It turned out okay. She continued to attend class nonetheless.

I don't think I beat myself up too, too much over this incident. But it did teach me something........not to hold back on anything just for fear of making a fool of yourself or being embarrassed. I have used this approach on a number of occasions and sometimes it worked out well and other times I got my knuckles rapped for it. But I learned nonetheless.
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