Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dancing Outside My Comfort Zone

A week ago, Lark wrote about taking the controls of a small airplane and soaring 2000 feet above the ground. That post drop-kicked me outside my comfort zone and propelled me to do something unexpected and daring.

I signed up for a Zumba class.

While some Zumba practitioners get airborne, this exercise/dance routine is mostly earthbound and takes place in ordinary settings like gyms and community centers. Challenge-wise, it doesn't come close to the responsibility and rush that is flying in a small airplane. Nevertheless, Zumba doubled-dared me because I'm clumsy and hate to look foolish.

Hey! I heard that. Yes, I've had had lots of practice. While I own my typos, verbal bloopers, and inability to walk in heels, the thought of showing off my lack of coordination makes me go clammy.

Nevertheless, inspired by Lark's adventure, I turned up for a half-hour Zumba session. (Some sessions last an hour, but a half-hour session's just right for a beginner.)

And loved it.

I was so busy following the instructor's moves, I didn't have time to be self-conscious. Sure I repeatedly bungled a particular dance step and got off on the wrong foot with another, but I had fun, elevated my heart rate, and burned calories.

Next time, I'll bring my own towel and water bottle. Meanwhile, I'm going to practice my hip shimmies and shoulder shakes.

At an upcoming wedding, I might pull out a couple of Zumba moves. Turns out I'd rather look foolish than be stuck in a too-small comfort zone.

What unexpected and daring-for-you thing are you going to try

Speaking of unexpected, Lark and I have changed the blogging schedule here at Reading, Writing, and Rambling. Look for a post from Lark every Tuesday, and one from me Thursdays.


Coleen Patrick said...

I could do zumba without popping an anti-anxiety pill, as opposed to say flying in a plane. Me in the pilot's seat? Never going to happen. Dancing, I will happily do. I'm trying to think of something out of my comfort zone (there's a lot), but I'm stuck on exercise classes, so it would be those pole dancing exercise classes. I would be too self-conscious and probably fall on my head.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Pole dancing require stilettos, right, Coleen? I'm out because I can't walk in heels, never mind dance in them. I hear you about the fear of falling on your head, but what if the alternative is sliding down the pole? Ouch! Pole burn.

Sarah Andre said...

I heard so many things about Zumba that last year I went to a set of classes. The teacher was fun, smiling, motioned in advance what steps we'd do next, etc.

And boy, did I burn calories without feeling like I was exercising--how could I sweat like that with such a huge smile on my face?

Each time I got better because I knew 'that dance' now and of course felt sorry for all the newbies and how awkward they looked.

Then the instructor pulled a muscle and we had the owner of the gym who always arrived one minute before class started, looked like he was crawling in with a hangover from Hell...until he got on that stage! Then he was doing everything but backflips. His shimmie and hip gyrations put women to shame!

Immediately I spent most of the hour bumping into others, tripping over my own feet, or standing there open-mouthed because the intricate steps just went by lightening fast.

A few weeks in he finally made a condscending comment about those of us who still couldn't get the routine and I was humiliated and done. It's one thing to look like an idiot, another when the teacher points it out to the class. Besides, I hadn't been having fun, I'd been dancing in place instead of smiling through a fun, refreshing class like I had with the other teacher.

A few weeks later I saw the original Zumba owner's infomercial and purchased those CDs and have danced a CD over and over for months until I'm as good as the instructors onscreen before putting the next set in! I'm in my living room, so if I look like a geek no one knows anymore too.

And boy, the inventor of Zumba is hhhhot and shirtless! (Now I forget the steps but not because it's hard or he's going too fast.) Luckily, there's a remote control to go back and watch how his abs rippled through that move again. And again. :)

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Oh, Sarah! What's with the gym owner with the condescending attitude? You were right to quit that class but don't give up on live Zumba. I lucked out and got a great, encouraging instructor. That said, the CDs sound impressive in more ways than one. Thanks for the tip.

Lark Howard said...

You give me way too much credit for daring, Pat. Trying a new exercise program is just as courageous and takes a lot of commitment.

When the DH started going to Bodyflow with me, he thought it would just be a ladies' yoga class and beneath his fitness goals. Now it's the highlight of his day and he's amazed at how much benefit he's gotten.

Keep up that Zumba! Positive results have a way of sneaking up on you!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I tricked myself into keeping up Zumba, Lark. Today, I bought what I thought was a six-class package. Turns out it was a ten-class deal. Here's hoping for positive results!

Wow, Bodyflow sounds amazing.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Congrats on getting out of your comfort zone to find something that's good for you AND fun!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Thanks, Jennette! (Zumba doesn't compare to a ride on a Harley, but I'll take what I can get.)

Karen McFarland said...

I can just see all the hip shimmies and shoulder shakes at the wedding reception Pat. You go girl! Me, try something new? I'm treading water right now. Until my life calms down, I'm looking forward to a little boredom. Really, that would be perfectly fine to me. *Yawns*

LynNerdKelley said...

Yay, Pat! I watched part of the video to see what the heck Zumba is, and it looks like a great way to stay fit and have fun at the same time. Dancing is the only kind of exercise I enjoy, and not for the sake of exercising but because I love to dance. I discovered my new city offers a belly dancing class. I took belly dancing decades ago before I had children, but I remember most of the steps and taught my daughters the basics. I'm considering joining the class! So if I get brave enough and think I can keep up (like I need to add one more thing to my schedule), I'll do a blog post on it! Shimmies are part of belly dancing, too. Shoulder shimmy, hip shimmy, it's all good! :)

Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Hi, Pat. Sorry it took me awhile to get over here to your blog. I don't go to blogger as often as wordpress and I can't figure out how to get an e-mail notification from blogger when a new blog is posted. If you know, please fill me in so I don't miss you all the time.

I love zumba!! I go to an hour class twice a week. It is indeed a good workout. And yes, bring water and a towel. If you don't need those 2 things, you're not doing it right!

Glad you jumped off the metaphorical bridge and tried something new. Keeps you young.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt