So, I’ve been taking the healthy road – exercising, eating well and all that jazz. I started the journey a few weeks ago, but know I need to change things up – recipes, exercise, etc to keep myself motivated.
But I wasn’t prepared for the emotional toll one simple class would take on my psyche.
As part of quest to infuse the weight loss process with diversity, I decided to take a Zumba Class. Sounds simple enough, right?
Not for me. I was almost in tears by the end of the class and didn’t trust myself to respond when my husband asked me if I was ok.
In order to explain why in the world I just might cry after a class like this: (You only need to see the first minute to get a feel – and yes, our instructor was JUST that good)
I have to explain a few things about me.
- I have always wanted to dance.
- We could never afford dance classes or cheerleading.
- To this day, I am afraid of most sports. As a kid I was injured too many times – broken knee, sprained wrist, broken fingers, knocked out tooth.
- I am NOT athletic.
- I am NOT coordinated.
So, I am therefore also nearly paralyzed by a fear of looking like a complete jack-ass…. I was the kid who dropped the ball. I was the one people snickered about.
Enter Zumba. It is a dance/cardio/exercise class – apparently one with tremendous mass appeal.I’ve been watching the class from the door for weeks – trying to find that little something in my gut that will motivate me to actually open the door and enter.
I found it last week, but the class was full.
This week, I arrived earlier. And got the last ticket.
The girl teaching the class is breathtaking. She is charming – I’m tempted to hug her at the beginning of the class and warn her of my inexperience. She’s wearing Zumba attire (I was not aware there was such a thing) and the girl can DANCE.
Me? Notsomuch. I was one of three new people in the class. The other two spent 10+ years as dancers.
Again, me? No dancing background.
The Zumba-sized weight sitting on my chest as I write this is serving to remind me just how deep these emotions go for me. I want chocolate to calm down. Counter-productive, I know.
I’m deep breathing and drinking water with lemon instead.
Every time I found myself lost in the moves, proud that I was at least keeping up, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. To say I was cringe-worthy doesn’t do it justice. I am awkward. I look gangly and pale. I’m wearing a hat and keep knocking it when I raise my arms.
The instructor is graceful. I am intense, frowning as I try to follow along. I laugh inwardly when she mentions ‘attitude’. My attitude is insecure with a side of clumsy. Her moves are fluid. Mine are robotic and artless.
I am time-warped to age 13. And I feel OLD.
I find myself sneaking glances at the clock behind me. Will this mental torture ever end?
The Barbie-like instructor singles me out, guiding me with one of the 87 steps she can see I have not mastered. I am grateful but embarrassed.
Mercifully, the class winds down.
I leave, struggling to lift my head, refusing to make eye-contact with the others in the class. I’m afraid of the sympathetic half-smiles that will send me on my way.
My psyche took a beating. That trip down memory lane was altogether unwanted.
But my body feels good.
I have always wanted to dance….and I can’t be any worse than I was during my first class, right?
I’m going back tomorrow. (And I’m not going to look in the mirror)