Saturday, January 9, 2010


I fell asleep in yoga class this morning. It wasn't the type of drifting off that happens when you've been awake for too long, running on caffeine, bright lights, and loud noises. No. I woke up at 7ish and went to my regular hot yoga class. Being it is Saturday I thought: Ya know, maybe I'll take a nap later. I just wasn't expecting it to be during yoga class.

Now it's not like I was in tree pose and just decided to doze. At the end of nearly every class you take, the teacher will hold their hands at heart-center and say, "Namaste," which means: the divine in me welcomes and blesses the divine in you.

Well, I felt quite welcome and blessed today. So during the last relaxation phase of class, I resumed Savasana and didn't wake up for half an hour later when the place was empty.

Five Willows is a good place. The gym I belong to is within walking distance and honestly, when I think about the day I'll leave Nebraska, that's one of the first things I know I'll miss. That might sound crazy, but I spend at least 1-2 hours there everyday. Other days I work the front desk. There are great women who work there, good classes, and every time I go, I feel like I am doing something good for myself.

Five Willows is an all-women's gym. This makes a huge difference. Jeremy jokingly says they are sexist. I say, "Men have been dominating planet earth for at least 2,000 years. We're just getting started." I can wear whatever I want. I don't have to worry about that obnoxious guy (and he's at EVERY gym) who looks you up and down, then sees a brilliant way to talk to you by saying, "Let me help you with that. You're form is a bit off." The problem is, my form is not a bit off and I feel much safer at Five Willows where I am not eye candy.

This is where I take yoga classes and this is also where I teach Zumba twice a week. I also teach Zumba at the YMCA. It took 3 weeks for people to start attending. I've been averaging about 6 per week. But last week, as I walked up the stairs to the cardio studio, a swarm of people were waiting outside the door. What are they doing here? They must be confused. They can't be here for Zumba. "Are you waiting for the Zumba class?" I asked.

"Yeah, have you ever done it before?" one of the women asked me.

The words dribbled terrified from my mouth. "Yeah . . I'm actually. . .teaching it."

By the time class started I had 21 standing before me. I told them my "rules" before we started.

#1. There's no wrong way to Zumba. So let your inner-child out and don't worry about doing it "right". If you're moving, you're doing it "right."

#2. If I screw up and forget a step, just shimmy around in circles until I remember what we're doing.

#3. Thou shalt not look at other people's arm pits, that way, none of us have to shave.

By the first song people were shaking and shimmying, squating and salsa-ing. The energy in that room increased, well, about 16-fold, as people let loose and stopped thinking about the laundry and that idiot at work. With all those wiggling hips and silly expressions, you can't help but smile. That is honestly some of the most fun I've had in a long time.

All kinds of people do Zumba. I had two high schoolers and one brought her mom. I had several college students and some working women. And then there was Steve.

He looked about how I imagine a Nebraska farmer would look dancing to latin music. He wore a white tank top, baby blue jogging shorts, and knee-high socks. His tummy moved a bit as he said after clas, "That was the most fun work-out I've ever had!"

"Well good," I replied. "You're so brave for even giving it a shot and I'm glad you did. You did great!" We chatted for awhile about how bored he was getting with his other work-outs.

Mischieviously he leaned in as he confided, "Ya know, sometimes when I'm home alone, I'll crank up the stereo and dance around the house like a mad man!" His eyebrows inched toward his forehead and his eyes twinkled. "Sometimes you just gotta let it all out, ya know?"

"I do know!" I assured him. He said he'd be back next week.

Now let's be honest. The date of my Zumba class was January 5th. So once many people's New Year's resolutions falter, I might be left with about half that much. I'm preparing for the fact that while 21 people might not ever show up to Zumba again, that same excitement I earned from helping other people have fun can stay. I think it will.

Zumba makes me a better person.

So does yoga
and Five Willows
and my sister
and my boyfriend
and blogging
and a cup of tea
and watching Oprah.

I'm really quite a simple soul. I'm not too hard to please. I don't require entertaining. I thrive from feeling engaged in my own life. Why is that often the hardest thing to do?

Why do the days just fly by? Not from necessarily having fun, but from existing. From getting through another day, another report, another stop at the gas station, another hour in front of the TV. That is not the life I want.

Life can't be a constant honeymoon or vacation either. I get that. The whole prospect of actually enjoying my life is quite new to me. But I'm clinging, yes, clinging, to the joys in my life and the joys I hope to continue.

Hold me to it.


Blonde Ambition said...

I have made much the same goals for myself...I remember as a kid I was so happy and carefree, and as life happens we lose sight of that. Like you, I'm going to find that agin in 2010. Come out and play with whenever you want to! :)

Anonymous said...


Carley Brown said...

"I thrive from feeling engaged in my own life"

That inspires me