So I’m constantly having ‘aha’ moments while at the gym. Like one time I was hurting while in a plank position and wanted to give up, but I pressed on, at which point I started thinking:
“Self, you really thought that was all you had but here you are still doing it.”
“I know right? That’s crazy.”
“So I guess that means your mind doesn’t really know what your body is capable of huh?”
“Oh. Yeah, I guess.”
“So maybe, every time you want to give up, just hold on a little longer and show your mind it’s not in charge.”
Anyway, not the greatest “aha” moment, but it was something. Well I’ve had a few recurring thoughts while in Zumba that I thought it would be nice for others to know. So today it’s 5 Things I Learned in Zumba about Life.
1. Keep your eyes on the “leader” – It never fails: as soon as I think I know the next step and decide to watch myself in the mirror or see what that awkward lady to my left is up to, the actual step is different than the one I’m doing and now I’m the awkward dude on the right. I put leader in quotes because I’m thinking more of a metaphysical, intangible leader whether than an actual person. Maybe your leader is “God” or The Five Noble Truths, or your personal understanding of what your life is supposed to be about. Whatever your leader may be, there are a number of distractions around us that seem to be encouraging us to take our eyes away. “Did that lady over there just hit a smooth spin move?” “Dang that dude is way off beat.” “I love how this lady is always wrong but keeps dancing anyway.” “These kids sure are laughing a lot back there, what are they up to?” This is equivalent to television, politics, people at work, lovers, friends, traffic, toys, and so on and so forth. Don’t let them fool you! This world, it’s entertainment and it’s issues has nothing to do with who You Are and your Purpose. “There’s so much of Everything, Nothing is remarkably hidden.” I read that on twitter a few days ago…think about it.
2. There’s no such thing as a mistake – These things happen. Everyone misses a step here or there, even the instructor forgets something once every third class or so. It’s a part of dancing, a part of life. So when you mess up, recognize it for what it is, have a laugh and keep dancing. The only mistake is feeling embarrassed, upset or quitting. No matter the endeavor, if you want it bad enough you have to be willing to fail at it a few times before you master it. Yup.
3. If you don’t know the steps, keep dancing – Sometimes we just don’t know what to do next. Life doesn’t come with instructions so a lot of it is trial and error. Well not knowing is not a valid excuse for standing still. There’s a reason NIKE’s slogan “Just Do It” resonates with us…it’s a take on real truth: If you’re not doing anything then nothing gets done. Just move to the beat until you catch back up, no worries, there’s no such thing as a mistake, remember?
4. Once you know, go all out – Ah, that sweet and elusive feeling of knowing what the heck is going on. How much time do we spend pondering the “What am I supposed to be doing with myself” question? Whether it’s regarding weekend plans or lifelong dreams, we find ourselves feeling lost and without clear direction. In Zumba, I often feel like the next song will be one of the tricky ones, or even worse a brand new song, to which I must stumble through and do my best. Oh but when she plays something that we’ve been dancing to for a while and I KNOW it…you better believe I’m showing out. In life, when our questions are answered we must learn to go all out. If it’s the weekend we were wondering about and Life directs you to complete a project, don’t half ass it, go all the way. And when you finally land on that certainty of Purpose for your life: Lose Your Mind about it…like I do when I’m dancing.
5. Sometimes it owns you, sometimes you own it…either way you’re winning – There are so many factors that contribute to how good I feel in Zumba class. From the song selection to the temperature of the room..whether I’m standing in my favorite spot (last row, center) or how hard I worked out prior to class. This list goes on and on, just like Life. There are innumerable events happening to and around us that contribute to how we feel in any given moment. Sometimes I own Zumba, I walk out of there like “Can’t Nobody Tell Me Nothin!” And there are times where I long for the days of old when I could dance all night and not have knee pain in the morning. Either way, whether I’m kicking butt or getting kicked in the butt, my very presence in the class is a win. Similar to living this life, so long as I’m actively participating and doing my very best with a smile on my heart, I’ll be improving.
So there it is, Zumba imitating Life…once again I receive basic instructions through dancing…