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No More Hiding: From Wallflower to Zumba Instructor

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 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! emoticon

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil 4:13
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh my goodness! You have just spoke words out of the story of my life! I am that girl right now, and you made me realize just now that I have been hiding! while reading this a light bulb came on and now I know what I need to do!!! I feel so fortunate to come across this today thank you so very much for sharing!!!
    1499 days ago
  • ROBIN4664
    Wow girl, you are amazing!!! I was YOU at one time, hiding behind everything I could find that would help mask the pain of my weight problem, shyness and lack of self-confidence! You are such inspiration and I LOVE that you share about your faith in God, and how He pulled you from the pit.

    You made my day! Keep on keepin' on!!!
    1539 days ago
    Thanks beautiful sister, keep walking and holding onto the Hand that holds you, strengthens you and lifts you up. Your story, told in beautiful and free Truth, is a testimony that many will be strengthened and encouraged to hear.
    1547 days ago
    Lucy--You can do this!! It doesn't matter how many times you fall, as long as you pick yourself up and try again. I had YEARS of falling and feeling like I was getting nowhere, but there was that one time...that one wonderful time that it stuck. And every day that passed after that, I only looked to the end of the day. I just told myself just one more...just one more day. And that one more day turned into another "one more day" and another and another.

    You are strong and keep that hope burning alive in you. You've GOT this!! emoticon
    1548 days ago
  • LUCYLIN101
    After reading your recent blogs, I searched back to the beginning and this was the earliest blog I could see. You had already achieved so much. You give me hope. Hope after failing so many times, I see the glimmer of hope that a success story inspires. Thank you for taking time to share your journey.
    I agree.... "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"
    1549 days ago
    This has got to be the best blog I have read!

    Such ambition and dedication shines through your words!

    You look great!
    1558 days ago
    Wow!!! I love this blog!!! I am sure that there are many more people out there afraid to try and make excuses. I am so happy for you that you found your way out and into a joyous life! You are an inspiration!! And what a great testimony for Zumba too! Now you can share that with beginners and people trying to get fit that come to your classes!!!
    1745 days ago
    What a wonderful story and transformation you've had. Congratulations on all of your success!

    Are you a member of the 'At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance' team here on SparkPeople? If you're not, I invite you to come check it out. We've got lots of great resources and discussions on topics connected to the unique challenges of maintenance. You can find the team page here:


    Hope to see you there and congratulations again!
    1750 days ago
    Oh, goodness, you guys brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your comments. emoticon
    1750 days ago
    That is an awesome story!! Way to go!!
    1750 days ago
    Oh my! Such honesty! Your story needs to be "out there" where I know it would ring true for so many. You've come a long way---and I know you've got to be ecstatic! Congratulations!
    1751 days ago
    Great story! Hope everyone will "Like" it and make this a Popular Blog!
    1751 days ago
    WOW!!!!!! FANTASTIC STORY! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! BEST WISHES in reaching all of your goals.

    1751 days ago
  • SUNSHINE20113
    emoticon emoticon
    1751 days ago
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