Monday, January 31, 2011
I just got back from my usual Zumba class. I nearly cried today. I was actually overcome by emotion. My inner dialogue went something like "IS this really ME?! Me, the girl who hated P.E. at school, the girl who would avoid exercise at all costs, and joke about running being bad for my health. The girl who was so distressed after stepping into a gym for the first time, that it was all she could do not to run out crying?! I am DOING this! I AM doing this! *I* am doing this! I am dancing around like a loon in a room full of people, and I don't CARE who's looking, and I don't CARE what they think, and I am actually having a blast!"
I experience a whole gamut of feelings in a usual session. When I get ready, as I walk in and at various points in the workout I feel embarassment about my 'wobbly tummy', as I'm completely unable to hide it since having a baby, especially in workout gear. There are a wide range of shapes and sizes represented at my class, and I am in no way the biggest or the wobbliest. But this is the thing. We are THERE, we are doing something about it. And I'm so proud of me, and I'm so proud of all of them! And the ones who look like they have no weight to lose? Well, they've obviously had the same epiphany I did, a week ago: I don't exercise to lose weight. Not anymore. I exercise because it makes me feel good, and because I am looking after my body. How mad is that?! I've come further than I could ever have imagined.
I have to admit to feeling a little bit silly and embarassed about my lack of coordination as well, and whenever I think of what I must look like to anyone watching I feel very ridiculous indeed. However the other pervading feeling is my mental image of myself as a super toned, funky mover. This image is so strong, that if I relax and go with it, I find myself getting into the beat, and feeling so 'cool' that I couldn't care less what I look like. That feeling gets so strong that it is usually what gets the emotion swelling in my chest (so much I have to choke back the lump in my throat) and raises a smile to my lips!
So the embarassment is short lived as I remember that I have nothing to be embarassed OF, and that if anyone in the room has half a chance to even catch a glimpse of me they are welcome to think what they like, because I honestly don't know how ANYONE can manage to do the moves if they take their eyes off Clare, our lovely instructor, for a second.
For the first time in my life I have found an exercise I not only like, but I LOVE. Far from making excuses to get out of going, I will move earth and heaven to get there, and feel like my whole week moves more sluggishly if I don't make it to my Monday class. And here's another amazing realisation I have made about it, which given my past opinion of exercise as a 'necessary evil' to aid weight loss, is incredible: I don't want to stop going when I reach my goals.
The 'super toned funky mover' me gets to take over more and more the more classes I go to and the fitter I get, and I'm getting to love shaking what God gave me! ;) Though I have a way to go before I am that person on the outside as well as the inside, I know that I am getting closer to becoming that person with every step and wiggle, and that one day I'll look into the mirror and see her staring back at me, with a big smile on her face and only one question in her eyes: "Is it Zumba time?"