Yesterday, I tried something that I would normally run far far away from. Zumba. Since I started this Change the Way You Move thing this October, I have been wanting to take a break from triathlon to try some new things. Let me tell you, this class was WAY WAY WAY out of my comfort zone.
You see, I’m NOT the dancer. Yes, I can move my hips and salsa (I am Hispanic after all), but that is it! Let’s just say there was a reason why my sister was a varsity cheerleader and I did speech and debate and marching band, okay?
Okay, lets get to the good stuff…
So, I walked into the room, and what did I see? Women in cute little dancing sneakers and cute little tops…
I didn’t feel like whipping out my camera and taking pictures. I looked awkward enough, trust me. I will just help you imagine what is what like with these pictures. And, there were no men in the class, although that would have been interesting. Would you like to know what I was wearing? My trail runners, running shorts, and a running microfiber top. I looked like I was lost and walked into the wrong class or something.
I immediately headed to the back, even though I read The Chic Life’s Zumba 101 telling me to situate myself somewhere near the front. It turns out that there were some “normal” (aka: nondancers) looking people in the back that I hadn’t noticed when I first walked in.
Okay, I can do this. I just did a Half Ironman. I can get through a one hour class of dancing. Psh!
The other side of brain started saying this though:
Um, hello! Do you remember how you looked when you got your Primary Group Fitness Certification? It was not good. It wasn’t just NOT good, it was really sad. I really don’t know how you passed that part of the practical to be honest. This is NOT marching band!
Okay, okay. I know. But I’m not a bad salsa dancer. I did take jazz lessons when I was like 6. I need to channel those jazz hands. Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean, body!
The music started. People started dancing. About 90% of them seemed to know the moves. The instructor was moving entirely too fast, and how the hell were most of these people keeping up? How did they know what to do?
Arms and legs were up the air with this sort of sexy vibe about them. Ahem, I mean other people’s legs and arms AND hips were moving sensually. My abnormally long limbs for my 5’5″ frame waving wildly were very awkward looking in the mirror, but I tried to ignore that. I failed. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. Out loud. Yes, not only did I look uncordinated about 2 beats behind everyone else, I was also giggling like a mad woman. I looked like a crazy drunk woman flailing around aimlessly trying to dance sexy up on a guy at a club, but not really. We have all seen those girls, right? However, I wasn’t at a club, my husband wasn’t there, and I wasn’t drunk. I was a triathlete in a running outfit with my trail runners trying to “get my groove back.” I was determined, AND cracking myself up.
I started looking around the room after 20 minutes of my version of “interpretive dance” and realized something. I wasn’t the only one struggling in there. There was an 80 year old in there dancing with us. There were women of all different shapes and sizes in there. I started to notice that people were messing up on the moves too.
In between songs, I started talking to a woman who had lost 50 pounds taking Zumba classes. I was amazed. I told her that it was my first time taking Zumba, and her face looked like she was in shock. She told me she thought that I had been coming for a while from the way I was picking up the moves so fast. What??!!
The rest of the hour vanished into thin air as I swiveled my hips, fist pumped, and booty popped away. Although I’m partial to a good pain session in spin class, this class has to be one of my favorite group fitness classes that I have ever taken in my life. It was really intimidating at first, but once I got over the initial shock of being there and realized that everyone was there to have fun (well, mostly everyone. There were about 3 chicks who looked pretty serious to me), I became a lot more relaxed. And, it turns out that they repeat a lot of the songs so you get more proficient in nailing the moves every time you go to class. Any Zumba peeps out there? Is this correct?
The lesson I learned here: We often judge ourselves too harshly. I know I do. It is okay NOT to be perfect. It is okay NOT to be proficient in everything new you try. The important thing to remember here is that stepping out of our comfort zones is essential to truly living!! I felt like I was 5 again dancing in my living room with my sister, well, minus the booty popping.
And if that all escapes you, no matter how bad you think you are at something, there are always people in your same shoes or worse! I know that it isn’t very profound, but it is the truth. 😉
And… I’m actually going back tomorrow. I’m really excited!
Have you ever tried Zumba? Do you want to?
Click here for the giveaway!!!