I am not someone who enjoys group exercise. I’ve never been a fan of aerobics, team sports, aqua aerobics, or boot camp – it seems like complete torture to me – myself and a group of complete strangers united in an active dislike of the perky instructor, or me, the last one in the row, picked last. Nope. I’m trying to repress memories of primary school, thanks.
This is probably a huge fault of my anxiety, although I know that no one is really paying as much attention to you as you are to yourself. If you mess up a step, who cares? Work on it, ignore it, continue on, and laugh. If people don’t laugh with you, then stuff ‘em.
After feeling and saying all this though, I found myself completely shocked and surprised to be really (REALLY) enjoying Zumba.
My best friend asked me along with her one week and I thought it would be a laugh so I decided to attend a class.
It was a laugh alright. My co-ordination needs to be witnessed in person. I can trip UP stairs. I think I spent most of the first class exercising my stomach muscles more than any other muscle. I was incredibly worried about what I looked like (not helped when there are mirrors floor to ceiling) and if I was able to get the moves down pat, so instead of putting proper effort in, I clowned around. Better to be seen as silly rather than someone who is hopelessly uncoordinated, right?
But, to my credit, I didn’t do it at the second lesson. I actually paid attention and made sure I copied the moves of the instructor. I realised, young, old, fat thin, fit, and unfit, we were all there to have fun and focus on the moves, but if we stuffed up, we laughed and continued on – we didn’t beat ourselves up about it, we just kept on shaking. I was finding this group exercise FUN.
I was supposed to attend yesterday, but my best friend texted me to tell me the class had been cancelled, probably indefinitely because the numbers just weren’t meeting the financial output. I found myself more upset at this news than I thought I would be.
So, I’ve committed myself to finding another class closer to me, maybe not attended by people I’m instantly comfortable with and without the safety net of my best friend and an immediately supportive environment, but I’ve enjoyed it so much I’m going to try and push myself past my anxiety and go along to a session.
Can’t promise this means I’ll be joining every group exercise session, sweatin’ to the oldies or scissor kicking with flippers, but small steps!