We’ve Only Just Begun

*phew* It’s Monday night, and sounds football fill the room.  This means I made it through the weekend, and I lived to tell the tale.  Well…really more than just lived.  This weekend was filled with all sorts of excitement for me, and I think that I’ll be trying to let it all sink in for days!

ZUMBATHON For Spectrum Youth and FamiliesThe weekend started with a fundraiser for a local non-profit organization working with teens.  Before this day, I had only led one song in one class.  Sure I had helped on songs with people, but this was totally different.  Knocking knees and all.  This meant standing up.  On a stage.  In front of a group of people.  AND – trying to get them to do what I was doing.  I was nervous as heck.  My mind was pulling out every reason that someone could decide that I was not fit to be up there…I’m not a dancer…who the heck am I to try and choreograph something…  What WAS I thinking.

But, the first song of the event came and went.  I was dancing on the stage following behind someone else leading a routine.  The second third and fourth passed by.  Just before me, Lori kicked her routine out of the park.  It was great to see her smiling, having fun, and people following her cues. 

My music started and my heart briefly just stopped.  And then something happened.  My arms and legs took over and started moving.  “Hey you, you’ve only listened to this song 187 times in the past two weeks…you’ve been doing choreography in your car for just as long…GO!!!!” 

And I did it!  I did not get lost and had an absolute ball.  I could hear people from the classes I regularly take yelling and hooting and hollering along with me…I could see the two people who came from work out there boogying…and to my right I could see Lori and Jess dancing away and smiling. 

Somewhere out there my husband was taking photos…I saw the camera out there and for one of the few times in my life thought “YEAH, this is gonna be on film, wahoo!”

And hour and a half later, lots of dancing, and one shirt change…I was back at it again.  This time with a stronger routine, a tired but totally pumped audience, and a stage FULL of local ZUMBA instructors. 

I had three ladies up there that had learned the routine previously so we just went and knocked it out!  Thank you Jessica for joining me and being part of this journey.  Your grace and presence inspire me to keep putting myself out there…even if I’m not sure I can.

I felt strogner, prouder and just went out there and did the best darned routine I could.  People were singing along and having a ball.  More importantly, so was I.I was so excited and proud to have done it…and done it well.  Oh yeah – the Purple lady was awfully grateful to be able to say and believe, “I did good!”

We raised over $1700 dancing and shaking our tassels for Spectrum. 


So as if a 2 hour Zumbathon weren’t enough, the next morning, Lori and I hopped in the car and headed almost 4 hours south to Worcester, Massachussetts for a Super Duper Mega Monster Master class with Regina and Diane, two ZUMBA instructors who are amazing women.  They not only teach their own classes, but help teach others how to become better instructors.

When I had heard that Diane was going to be nearby (relatively!) I knew I had to go.  Reading her posts and writings on the Zumba discussion boards, I had gotten soooooo much from her.  My instructor, Allison, told me that I would just adore them both, but that I had to meet Diane. 

She was soooooo right!

I feel like I could try to write a book about what that day held for me.  I will leave it at – we were there in the front row representing Vermont, Allison, and I was flying the Prilosec Official flag on the car and sporting my tshirt with pride!

We did Zumba, we talked, we laughed.  OH HOW WE LAUGHED!  Diane floored me.  She had that room rapt.  From the quietest comments to the BOOMING BASS and “KEEP GOING!”  she had us working up a sweat and smiling and wanting more – all at the same time.  A hallmark of a great class!

Regina rocked it out and I found myself loving her variations on some of the pieces presented.  She just brought it to a level for the “regular folks”  – like me — who aren’t dancers, but want to have fun fun fun while sweating.  As the Zumba motto goes, “Ditch the workout, Join the party!”

Afterwards, we talked for a bit…I had my picture taken with her (I truly felt like I was hanging out with royalty!) and she made me promise to write and share more of my Zumba story and journey than I could then and there. 

As I waited for Lori to come back out from her shower after class, I sat there in the gym…watching people pack up from class and the tears were just rolling down my cheeks.  I just felt so proud and humble and most importantly grateful.  For the friendship with the women I work out with each week…the patience and support of my husband…

I’m not sure what’s next, but I know after this weekend… that even if it is only helping out with fundraisers and Zumbathons…there really is a place for me in the big ole Zumba Fitness family!

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