Something New…

I went to bed last night with that icky, creepy feeling that only shows up when really crazy stuff happens in the universe. It had been a gloomy day already, and Sunday nights in general tend to cause me more anxiety than any other night. I’m watching “The Apprentice” while feeling myself lose brain cells by the second; I was trying to get my mind off of life for a minute. The news ticker starts scrolling, stating THE PRESIDENT is going to make a VERY IMPORTANT announcement about NATIONAL SECURITY!

HUH?!

That’s a little weird…on a Sunday night at 10pm EST?

What the bleep is going on?!

More anxiety…flashes of my family and how lucky we are race through my mind. I begin pleading with God…please don’t let anything bad happen to all of the amazing people in this awesome (truly) world we live in.

Fast forward: we all know what went down. Justice was served, although death never feels 100% like “justice” to me. Whatever the case, it was yet another gloomy day here in Minneapolis and I was on the edge.

It’s May 2!

COME ON! CAN’T WE GET A BREAK!?

In light of the gloom outside and the gloom in my head, I decided to forego all I needed to do and head to the gym to clear my mind and get a much needed endorphin boost. It seemed like the perfect day to step outside all that is comfortable to me and…

try something new!

Out bodies love it when we get out of our comfort zone. Our muscles have memories; they get used to the love of a yummy yoga class or the pain of a crazy cardio & strength combo.

When it comes to workouts, variety = change! It’s also really good for your mind to stay fresh and do things that make you feel uncomfortable, awkward, and maybe even clumsy.

Enter ZUMBA!

You’ve probably seen the infomercials and you’ve probably spoken with at least one person that is a die hard fan. People seem to really like their ZUMBA classes!

I’ve always gravitated to the high impact aerobic route – I enjoy a good series of high kicks and lots of jumping jacks set to some pumping techno music. This is my comfort zone and also my happy place…AND, it’s also the place that I need to take a break from sometimes.. Too much of this can make me feel tired, cranky, and depleted. i.e. The need for VARIETY!

Here is what I love about ZUMBA: it feels so good to your body! It’s more fluid than many forms of dance AND it’s low impact and fun! To shake your hips, stomp your feet and rock to the lovely Latin beat is really a sweet escape.

Today I had the joy of taking class from a true Latin dance legend! Meet, Leslie Fhima.

Yes, she is a totally rockin’ ZUMBA instructor. We are on the same group fitness team at LifeTime Fitness, St. Louis Park. I decided to look in the windows of my own little corner of the world to see if I might learn something, experience my body moving in a new way, and get a little uncomfortable in the process – we all know that’s when the growth happens and the learning begins.

I am discovering that the more I step outside of what I am scheduled to do and teach, the more I grow as an instructor. I don’t teach any type of dance format, but I can assure you that I was completely inspired by Leslie today. I hope to infuse a little of her flair (in my own way) into some of the cardio combos I teach this week.

I can see that ZUMBA is a format that you grow with. You will build a library of steps and combos as you take class and practice. Eventually, it will feel natural to weave them together. Today, it felt a little awkward and I didn’t like how I looked doing some of the moves. BUT, I stuck with it and let go of the negative thoughts racing through my head. I embraced the fact that I was doing something positive and fun, just because.

Leslie is a terrific ZUMBA instructor. Her music was fantastic and I really loved her choreography. She doesn’t use a microphone, which I am usually not a fan of, but I have to admit that it was nice not to have someone shouting at me for an hour.

Here are my recommendations to anyone wanting to try this format:

1. Try it! It can be found in major cities and small towns all over the US. And, you can even do it in your living room (see below, Exhibit A)

2. Don’t get discouraged. This type of class consists of choreography that could take a few times to flow for you. Stick with it and DON’T GIVE UP!

3. Have fun :). Most importantly, ZUMBA has the potential to leave you feeling like you just experienced a rockin Latin dance party. Let yourself go and enjoy it – if you are not able to let go, you absolutely will not enjoy ZUMBA.

Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or how you look.

It. Doesn’t. Matter.

I promise!

I had my own little dance party in my living room after class.

The moral of the story is this: there will be cloudy days, horrific world events, loss, fear, and anxiety in our lives. That is simply a law of nature.

The determining factor in your happiness is how YOU CHOOSE to handle it.

Do you let things get to you?

-or-

Do you step outside your comfy, cozy world, shake a little booty and dance to your own beat?

I hope I always choose dancing 🙂

Peace, love, jumping jacks and latin rhythm…xo

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