About this time last year is when I made my foray into The Discomfort Zone by sidling up to a bike and doing some spinning. It was kind of a turning point on my blog, both because it was the start of confronting some of my anxieties and? It introduced my frequent use of the word ‘hoohah’.
I think I’ve been getting a little complacent lately, so in making this 7 in 7 goal, I decided it was time to venture back out. Shake things up. Be uncomfortable. So I pulled out the class schedule and scanned Tuesday’s offerings of things I’d never tried before and . . . chickened out. But, there was a Zumba class at noon, and I like Zumba (as long as nobody talks to me or brings any sort of attention to me whatsoever – an important fact to know as you read on) so I decided to skip the treadmill and head to class.
I should have known things weren’t going to go quite my way when I decided to wear flip flops. The floor in the Zumba room is that black kind of sticky stuff that keeps you from skidding around as you flail kettlebells and the like, which is great for some classes. But not for dancing. And being that I am now babying this knee, I decided to skip the sticky shoe situation and dance barefoot. In a room full of people wearing sneakers.
And somehow, as I was taking off my shoes and trying to make it through small talk with the teacher (because I was of course the first student to arrive) I somehow neglected to notice the pile of multicolored sashes with jingly jangly hangey things all over them. You know, that make noise.
The room filled up with kind of an eclectic crowd, and it seemed like they were all regulars to this particular class. Still, at this point I’m not in a total sweat, because I kind of have a handle on the dance class thing.
Until the instructor picked up this pile of sashes and began handing them out. There were three of them, in bright colors, and they clinged and clanged and jingled all over. Three regulars raised their hands, tied them around their waists, and bopped their hips around. Jingle jangle jingle.
The only class that normally fits in my schedule is a beginners class, and this one was anything but. I enjoyed the challenge, the sweat, the music, and the beautiful smile on the instructor. She is this pure, sweet looking, petite woman with a drawl, who you would never think would shake her hips like you shake your hips in Zumba. So by the time we do the warm up and the first song, I’m feeling kind of loose and dare I say relaxed and I kind of forgot about being nervous.
Until . . .
I notice one of the jingly sashed women coming toward me. And? She’s taking off the sash. And? She’s handing it to me. And? She’s talking, but I’m having trouble making out what she’s saying because I’m caught like a deer in headlights, but it’s something about how she can tell I’ve been dancing for years and I should definitely be wearing a sash, but really I’m unable to do anything but watch my hands shake. And once the sash was in my shaky hands, you should have heard the jingle.
And the instructor and a bunch of other students are looking at me and smiling and I’m sure they’re not actually laughing at me or maybe they are and for a split second I’m terrified the stupid sash won’t even fit around my waist and do I tie it in 2 knots and what if it gets tangled and boy do I NOT want my Zumba to make noise. Seriously. Who wants their Zumba to make noise? AND DONT THESE PEOPLE KNOW I HAVE AN ANXIETY PROBLEM?????
Then I happen to look up in the mirror, and holy crapballs I actually see 2 girls in the back corner pointing at me. No, I’m not lying, and no, I’m not mistaken. TWO GIRLS IN THE BACK CORNER POINTED AT ME! And? There was WHISPERING! Like, behind a hand whispering.
I tried to plan a quick escape, but being that I was in the front in a jingly sash wearing no shoes on the opposite side of the room from the door and not in the path of my car keys, I felt that I had no choice but to dance one song with the jingle thing and try not to get too caught up in thoughts that the pointing and whispering wasn’t karma paying me back for my teenage dalliances in being a Mean Girl.
By the way, whatever song it was that I had to wear the scarf to was the absolute Longest Song Ever.
But I did it. I jingled and samba-ed and jingled some more. And I didn’t cry, but I DID sweat buckets, and I turned red from head to toe. But the song finally ended – I danced every step – and somehow I managed to get the knots out of the scarf with shaking fingers and passed it on to the next girl without throwing it at her.
And as much as I tried not to look at the whispering pointing girls in the back, I just couldn’t help it. I was intimidated. I mean who points and whispers behind their hand once you are past the age of having to ask your parents for permission to watch a rated R movie? And you know what I saw?
I saw them both slipping off their shoes and socks. They were whispering and pointing at me because they saw me dancing barefoot instead of struggling with the sticky floor. And they decided to try it too.
So, I may still be on the hook for the whole Mean Girl thing, but at least those girls weren’t making fun of me. And I made it through the class. And I worked my tail off.
And that was only workout number 2 of 7.
Bless my heart.