Last year, I decided to become a Zumba instructor. It wasn’t something that I had planned… it just sort of happened.
I had always liked dancing even though I wasn’t a professional dancer nor was I in any dance classes/groups/drill teams. Hell, I wasn’t even spectacular at it, nonetheless I was indeed moved by the art of motion. It granted me a freedom like none other… with the exception of writing. I love to dance in any form and to any music. In the midst of doing some Zumba cardio at home every day for the last few years, I began inviting friends to join me. It didn’t happen all at once. At first, it was the Xbox video game, later it was videos on YouTube and DVDs. It wasn’t often, maybe once or twice a week. Heck, some days it was other dance video games and video streams. Eventually, I had a friend here and there with me joining in on the fun until one day, more friends showed up.
Before I knew I had days that resulted in me having to turn away some folks because my small living room space just wouldn’t cut it. The feeling was almost surreal. I mean I loved to dance but it was that feeling of leading and helping others… whatever it was, it was awesome! It’s funny because I have always struggled with weight and well getting fit. I was never skinny and nonetheless I still had the energy to keep up to a beat and well survive cardio…shit I even completed a few 5k runs. But despite being able to survive some cardio and boot camp style workouts, I manage to get through them with a history of knee injuries that still bothers me to this day sometimes.
I never let that stop me. I would not fall victim to my own fears and thoughts of feeling sorry for myself.
Maybe that was what motivated people because I surely am not the epitome of what being fit “looked like.” But then I started to find solace in being body positive and loving the size that I am. I could leg press more than half my body weight and jog mile in less than 5 minutes. So how much out of shape could I be? I started reading about fitness levels until one day, I took everything that I thought I knew about fitness and threw it all away. I was going to become a fitness trainer and then it hit me, who would listen to me? People never want to hear about how to get in shape from a fat person. Right?
Well I said FUCK THAT! And so fast forward to this past summer when I made the decision that ultimately would change my life. While scrolling on Instagram, I saw an ad about becoming a Zumba instructor. I saw it again on Facebook, and again on YouTube. Maybe it was fate or maybe it was my browser history because I was constantly watching Zumba videos and learning new moves. I decided what the hell! Why not? But then I had a nasty fall resulting to yet another injury to my knee and ankle and so I shrugged it off. I was never going to be a Zumba instructor or anything else like that. Hell I couldn’t even run or squat anymore. But I didn’t give in. In fact I had friends and loved ones encouraging me to keep it up. Even with my injury, I still managed to keep moving and instruct my “classes” from my living room.
I even spiced things up and added twerking to the dance fitness choreography. It definitely made my legs strong again. I decided after my injuries healed I would again decide to sign up for a class to become an instructor.
And guess what…
I did it and I learned so much more than dancing. I learn to teach and to lead as much as I learned to follow. I learned that I needed to pay attention to not only teaching dance moves but health and wellness. I learned to give cues and pay attention to those in my class. I learned that I didn’t need to be perfect. I just had to be…me. Zumba wasn’t about being like anyone else. It was about being an individual and that was the game changer for me. I began to network with a new bunch of like-minded people of all sizes, races and backgrounds. I finally found a home. I found something that I could see myself doing alongside my writing career. Because let’s face it, as much as I like where I work… I am not that crazy about crunching numbers behind a desk. Though I am most thankful for it and grateful I can pay my bills on time as well as take care of my kid, I realized that I wasn’t using whatever talents God gave me nor am I utilizing my fullest potential.
And so I adjusted my current 10-year plan.
So that by 40, I would get into the best shape of my life physically, financially, emotionally and mentally. I was going to invest in me and make lateral moves if need be. I always wanted to know how I would do that aside from writing… because as good as I can entertain via stories, poems, etc., it can become a struggle here and there to get a good foot off of the ground. Especially in a life full of distractions where anything can cause writer’s block or hell a bad publishing attempt can be squandered by piss poor marketing. Despite that I am still determined to get a horror best seller out there as well as get my blogs back to their former glory. And even if I didn’t, the good thing was that I was not abandoning my passion. And after what perhaps was one of my most awesome birthdays ever, was the moment I found my other purpose. It wasn’t scaring people or showing people new dance moves, it was the ability to help people find their best selves, even if they were afraid to.
I wasn’t a personal trainer yelling to scare people into shape or making them feel bad about their weight. I was put here to make people feel confident in their own bodies and present them with this a different type of fitness fact. Through Zumba, I learned the tactics of dancing and having fun to get into shape, and that fitness was more than just a size. It was more than attainable and something that was already there inside of us. What was more awesome was that I now had the support of other instructors. I didn’t feel like I had bought into something just to be left in the dark. I was also free to shape and mold things to my own style amongst a group of other individuals who weren’t robots. We could all do the same moves but in our own way…
That’s some harmonious shit!
In terms of overall fitness, I also learned the tactics on properly working out. In case you didn’t know , it’s not a gimmick and there is a formula to it. I won’t go punishing neither my body or my students for the way we ate or looked. My goal is to get people moving and show them that we exercise because we love our bodies and not hate them.
So here is to my career as dancing writer… and I guess this would be a good time to plug myself. Yup…they even gave me my own little section.
If you want to stay updated as I walk this path as a Zumba instructor, visit: rose123.zumba.com
Til Later Kiddies,
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