I wasn’t at a very high point in my life when I found Zumba. My job was in a rough phase and my personal life was tumultuous, to say the least. I had been working with a trainer to get in better shape, but I still had about 30 pounds to go and my weight lifting sessions had become lonely and joyless. Most days, I was going through the motions: feed the cat, make it through work, maybe pretend to listen to a friend’s problems on the phone or over drinks.
After I got over the initial hump of feeling uncoordinated and awkward, Zumba became what I looked forward to in my day. For that sparkly hour, I was adrift in a neon cloud of music, lost in the zone of salsa, samba, and merengue. My instructors inspired me to jump higher, shake more, and move in ways I hadn’t even thought of. By the time each class ended, I was dripping sweat but my heart was aglow.
Song by song, I rediscovered my enthusiasm for life.
My new happiness spiraled into motivation to plug back into life. I bought new clothes to flaunt my results. (Don’t judge, I hope you would do it, too!) I started spending time with people who mattered to me and made me feel energized, and I found the courage to pull away from those who made me doubt myself. I got back into salsa dancing, which led to so many unimaginably wonderful friends that I will keep that story for another day.
I’m not kidding. All that really happened, and then some, because I kept showing up and shaking it in Zumba. Somewhere between the cumbias and the reggaeton, I learned to believe in myself again. I realized it was ok to leave my stress behind for an hour – or maybe forever. I found my wings and left behind a cocoon I had long since outgrown. And, of course, I got in fab shape, though that once-desperate goal almost seems like a footnote compared to the amazing changes in my heart.
Shake it till you make it.
See you soon? Remember, your first class is free!