May 2, 2018
I think I hated sports growing up.
I played in-house basketball from 3rd grade through my senior year of high school. I was probably guilty of handing the basketball over to the other team instead of fighting for a jump ball. I just couldn’t fully get behind being competitive for the stake of t-shirt at the end. You could label me as a teammate’s worst nightmare; the “let’s just have fun” kid.
I was a softball umpire and played for years and while I liked this more, I just wasn’t passionate about it. I didn’t look forward to going to the batting cage and my coach would yell at me because I was jogging to first base.
I’m pretty sure I was just actually that slow.
I was not a small kid. I was usually the heaviest girl on all my teams. I found myself hiding behind my clothes. I’d wear extra-large t-shirts and basketball shorts to school. Insecurity manifested itself in a lot of ways, but I remember just wanting no one to notice my body. I would feel embarrassed at times and thought people were embarrassed to be with me.
I went to my first Zumba class more than 5 years ago. Surrounded by middle-aged moms, I was very out of place, but hey, that wasn’t a new feeling.
I didn’t understand how my instructor could move her left arm and right leg at the same time and I was so uncoordinated, but I didn’t care. It was fun. It was a workout I actually enjoyed.
It kept me coming back.
Now, I thank Zumba for not only making me healthier, but as something that has impacted me on much more than a physical level. It’s been a way to shake off all the stress of day and has helped me feel confident in my own skin.
There are a lot of other unexpected benefits to Zumba. Just ask one of the 15 million people that take Zumba classes every week in over 180 counties.
One study found that Zumba has many cognitive benefits.
“Researchers believe that doing Zumba promotes the development of new neural pathways which can enhance your cognitive skills, including decision-making, spatial and visual recognition, and memory recall”.
I get energy from being with people. Hearing a “whoop whoop” in the middle of a class gives me a little extra push or when the squat song comes on, I know we’re all going to struggle through it together. Zumba is also a great way to meet friends!
If you’re anything like me, there will be one move you just can’t seem to get. Until the last chorus. The last chorus you get it, but the song is over. So, you can bet that my stubborn self will be back tomorrow to show that move who is boss.
While Zumba didn’t take away all of my struggles with self-image, it has positively impacted my life in more ways than three points in a blog post could express. I hope you find a workout that makes you feel a little sexier and a whole lot happier with your workout like Zumba has for me.
Stay tuned for details on when I’ll be instructing my first class!