Friday, December 16, 2011
Christmas Party #1: An Evening of Extraordinary Women
December is not only the month of Christmas preparation, but Christmas parties. In the past two weeks I have had four parties and am beginning to feel the burnout. The saving grace is that each party has had a different group of people, location and theme. So this is the first of four postings of each unique party.
My first, a week ago Tuesday, was our Zumba Christmas Party. Yes, Zumba, that workout that I had only heard of a few times before I attended my first class almost a year and a half ago. The first class where I tried to hide in the back of the room so no one would see me as I tried to maneuver and contort my body in rhythm and motions that looked nothing like that of my instructor. I thought I would never be able to learn or keep up, but instantly fell in love with it just the same. With each weekly class I learned a little more and moved up another row or two until I reached the front which is where I always stand now.
I love Zumba, not only for the physical workout, but the mental one as well. It's my me-time that I'm not a wife, mother, employee or responsible to anyone for anything. I do it for no one but me, and no matter how many people are in class, it's just me and the music working out my stress and frustrations while having fun. While I know my body is in a high intensity toning session, I also know that each drop of sweat from my body includes a drop of my daily weights. It's good for my body, mind, and soul and has become my non-negotiable appointment. While the scale still makes me a little frustrated, I know that muscle weighs more than fat, and I have definitely shed some fat on my Zumba journey. My body is not yet where I want it to be, but is much better toned and my clothes tell me this as they fit differently than a year ago. While I would love to get in a few more classes than once a week, my one Tuesday night is what I am able to realistically commit to. It gives me something to look forward to, but not get burnt out on by doing it too much. Of course I always try to make it to the numerous Zumba parties promoted in our area too as they are an easy and fun way to raise money with a few entry dollars for the many good causes they support.
Our Tuesday night class began in our church youth room but quickly grew so much that we changed locations to the larger gymnasium of our local recreation center with the largest one night attendance being up around the count of ninety women. While we meet weekly, it's hard to really get to know these ladies during a hour of high energy aerobic dancing followed up by a grueling fifteen minutes of abdominal work out. That said, it was great to meet these ladies for out of the gym for a night where we traded our workout wear for real clothes, sweat for makeup and the workout for a little time of appetite indulgence. An evening where we each brought a food to share, an ornament to exchange and some time where we could actually meet the women whom we have been dancing and punching the air next too. A few stood up with a picture of what they looked like before they fell in love with Zumba. While they were beautiful before, as they are now, they were minus forty pounds here, another forty pounds there and one woman had lost over eighty pounds in just the past eleven months. It was an inspiration to me to hear these women share their stories and commitment to make positive lifestyle changes and see the results they should be so proud of. Each story of endurance and success brought a tear or two to my eyes and caused me to not only see them as my fellow work out mates, but as the extraordinary women they are.