Friday, October 8, 2010


Let me take you back to my freshman year of high school.

I wanted to be a cheer leader.

I had zero cheer experience...

I had 2 years of dance experience...

when I was 4 and 5.

But, I had two things going for me.

I had a lot of energy.

And I could yell really really loudly.

So, I had my dad drive me to the high school so I could try out.

We parked in the small parking lot and sat there, truck facing the entrance to the cheer tryouts. We sat there, and saw from a distance many confident, blonde, high pony-tailed, long-banged, well dressed, chatty girls go from their cars to the school. We sat there in silence, waiting for me to open the door, waiting for me to step outside and walk alone to that same entrance, waiting for me to overcome fear and take a leap to carve my high school destiny and make a name for myself on our cheer squad.

I turned to my dad, and said, in almost a whisper, "Let's go home, dad."

Was it insecurity? Maybe. Was it a sudden realization of who I was? Most likely. I wasn't that girl. Plus, I was still able to use my two talents on the other side of the bleachers. High school was still awesome.

Now, let's fast forward to this past week.

Zumba classes were being taught at a location very close to my house.

The price was very reasonable.

The time was workable.

The need for exercise was undeniable.

So, I drove alone, oddly enough, wearing a T-shirt from my freshman year of high school.

I sat there, in my car.

I had zero zumba experience.

I had two years of dance experience, when I was 4 and 5.

And the two things I had going for me was either now non-existant of no use here.

So I sat there, in the far parking lot, watching the confident Zumba ladies with their high pony-tails and long bangs and mini belly-dancing hip-shawls enter the building.

This time, I did open the door. I did enter the building. I did pay for the class, 10 classes in fact. And I sat there, surrounded by 50 chatty women, and stared at my shoes.

The music started, and we Zumba-ed. I stood in front of the only part of the wall that didn't have a mirror. Not that it mattered...I was too focused on following the teacher's feet and arms that I didn't have a chance to look at myself in the mirror. I was in a sea of swishing shoulders and jingling hips, arms whipping to the rhythm of the music, feet twisting under floating bodies.

Then, I moved and saw myself in the mirror.

My arms moving stiffly like a rusted machine, my legs stomped like a child wearing oversized boots. Where there should have been chest thrusts, I mistakingly did arm pumps. Where there should have been hip shakes, I unknowingly did head shakes. Where there should have been curves, I was all angles. When there was movement with the right, I moved with the left. Where there was Zumba, I was doing "the robot."

And after only an hour of publicly humiliating myself, it was over.

But, gosh darn it, I did it!

Unlike the high school me, I stepped out of my comfort zone, rediscovered myself, and overcame fear.

Now, I just have to overcome it nine more times.

so excited.