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I was so skeptical about Zumba. When it was first announced, I said to myself “What a waste of my time! Why waste money to hire an instructor just to do some chicken dance? Anyone can do the chicken dance! I know I’m a dance-zombie and I have two left feet, but I’m sure I can do the chicken dance without the help of an instructor.”
Despite my battling thoughts, I gave Zumba a try. The company paid for it anyway. So, the only thing expected of me was to show up.
After my first reluctant attendance, I managed to keep on showing up whenever I could. Because I didn’t want anyone to see me looking like a chicken uncontrollably scratching my wings, either I positioned myself next to a pillar or on the far side of the crowd and never at the center.
After some time, I became more and more confident of the steps that most of the time, I found myself ahead of the beat. When I was hit by my “analysis paralysis syndrome”, I would stop and beam at myself feeling a little embarrassed. But then when I saw the other participants enjoying themselves, without minding how they would look like, I realized that nobody really cared if you missed a step or two. The participants were really enjoying while sweating. They were all flashing smiles, making silly moves. Who cares, we’re not here to take a perfect pose but to become healthier.
Sure, there are steps that I still couldn’t dare to do, but instead of tormenting myself, I would just keep moving on my place. Who cares if look like a drowned chicken flapping its wings, as long as I’m sweating. I learned from research that by sweating, you improve your cardiovascular muscles and you improve your mood. So, I continue flapping and wagging the rest of the session.
|Photo courtesy: http://jokideo.com/tag/zumba-jokes/|
Just when I thought I had almost perfected the steps, the instructor added new steps, which were faster and more complicated. Instead of revolting against it, I took it as a new challenge. Too much familiarity is boring. New step adds the element of surprise, which is exciting. Sure, I still look and feel silly doing the steps but I know my muscle coordination has improved.
Fast track to today, the company’s Zumba sessions became something that I look forward to every Friday. I don’t know how it happened but I seem to have enjoyed it already. Maybe it was because the instructor looks like a very energetic child you put on a platform to dance and once she started to dance, you can’t help yourself but bang your head, and then later on, you end up dancing with her, mimicking her every move.
Now, I think it’s a “waste” to miss the Zumba sessions. Aside from its health benefits, it is for free, which reminds me that some of the best things in life are free. So while it’s there, you have to seize the opportunity to grab it.