Monday, October 08, 2012
No More Hiding.
I did that a lot. Scary monsters hid behind every unfamiliar corner and under every deceptively safe bed. My mind and body was in a constant state of alertness and caution. Life had taught me to be a wallflower...to tiptoe my way around groups of people and to never draw attention to myself.
I mastered life as a wallflower. I could skirt my way around a room and exit before anyone noticed. I could stay at home inside my house, so no one would recognize me. In fact, if I didn't leave the couch, I could turn on the TV and escape into the latest drama, the pretty houses on HGTV or some delicious meal made by a world renown chef. My body began to take the form of the padded environment I had built around myself, but that was ok, too. I reasoned that being overweight (and even obese) was safe. No one would notice me. No one would look at me. And life was safe.
Except for the fact that it wasn't. Shutting myself off from the world, didn't shield me from its pain. No amount of hiding in my house prepared me for the sudden death of my very best friend. No one tells you how cold loneliness feels and how the lack of socialization can eat away at self confidence. I became socially awkward. Which, in turn, caused me to shut myself off even more. It was a terrible downward cycle of depression, self loathing and helplessness. My decision to hide for (what I thought) was self preservation, put me on the road for even more pain and an incredibly unfulfilling life.
No more hiding!
Two years ago, God pulled me out of the horrible pit I had fallen into. With the help of Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds DVDs (my late best friend's favorite DVD), I began to exercise. Not only did I exercise, but I also watched my portion sizes and counted calories. We moved to Missouri and I desperately grabbed onto the opportunity to start a new life.
No more hiding!
A friend introduced me to a Zumba class. I have to admit, I hated the first class. It was everything that I wasn't. Fun, exciting...very non-hiding (for lack of a better term)! My old self wanted to withdraw. She wanted to make an excuse and not go back to the next class. But, there was a new girl in town. She was tired of hiding, she was tired of being afraid of new experiences and she was GOING to step out if it killed her! So, I went again. Ugh, so uncomfortable. I was 500 steps behind everyone. I should just stay home. There was no way I could move the way most of the people there could move.
NO!! No more hiding!!
I went for a third time. And, I made a decision to let go of the fear. I was not going to give up and hide. I didn't want to go back to the old girl hiding on the couch. I wanted to be fun, crazy and happy. I missed being happy! So, I went to my third class, let go and absolutely and totally fell head over heels in love with Zumba! I let go. I had fun. I was crazy...and I was happy.
No more hiding.
7 months later, I attended the Basic 1 Training in St. Louis to become a Zumba Instructor. I am now a licensed Zumba Instructor!! Can you believe it? The girl hiding in her house would be horrified. Ha!! Did putting myself out there feel safe? No way. Was I scared out of my wits to step out and do something so out of the ordinary for this former wallflower? You bettcha. But, I have never felt more alive and more true to myself than I do now. I know what I'm passionate about. I know what I love and what makes me happy. And I know the illusion of safety and fear is not worth my life.
I am a Zumba Instructor. I have run 5k races. I have lost 105lbs. I will continue to do things that put me out of my comfort zone, because there, I grow. There, I find out who I truly am. And there, I am happy.
No more hiding!
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil 4:13