Today I went to my first Zumba class in El Paso. Yeah, get ready people, this blog is about to go healthy. Anyone who knows me knows that my weight has been a life-long battle for me that has recently took a turn for the worse. My constant, anxiety-filled, eating and drinking binges prior to moving to Mexico has caught up with me and I have more than a few bad habits and pounds to get rid of. I have always loved working out, dancing and running mainly, but damn if I wouldn't love to have a couple of glasses of wine every night to wash down my bacon.
I should've known what was about to happen when the instructor walked in wearing pink track pants, a black spaghetti strap shirt with a rhinestone Playboy Bunny and a pink and black Von Dutch hat. Yeah. I guess I should have expected this. I mean, a Latin dance class? Where would you find a more authentic Zumba class outside of Latin America? El Paso. That's where. I thought I had been to a Zumba class before, but it was nothing compared to all the erotic, booty shaking that went down in this classroom! At one point we were actually "dancing" pretending to ride a... horse? While slapping the "horse"... to make it go faster? Uh huh.
I don't usually notice these things but I think I was overly self-conscious about being the new girl, the biggest girl and the white girl. I was the only white person in the room. Damn my blonde eyebrows. Living in Mexico, I'm getting used to being the only white girl around, but it was just too much in addition to being new, to being so overweight, etc. I felt like the new kid in school, with no one to sit with at lunch. It was an uncomfortable situation. Imagine belly dancing in a circle with 60 other strangers? Straight from a Geneen Roth self-help book, that circle was just AFGO... As the class went on I became more and more okay with the fact that I looked like an idiot and I'm no salsa expert. Oh well. I burned 459 calories! Although, it was pretty funny to see everyone do a double take when I started to do the basic quebradita moves perfectly. Priceless.
Afterwards I felt really excited and I still do. Of course I'm excited that I am making some positive changes in regards to my health but more so I am excited that I can still get through these uncomfortable situations and grow from them. I'm adapting to a whole new culture (on both sides of the border) and loving it. I'm sure one day I will make a friend in Zumba and won't feel like such a fish out of water. It takes time. This lifestyle is definitely giving me a lesson in independence because once I cross that border back into the US, I'm sort of on my own. I have to have my own life that my husband really has no part in. My career, my colleagues, my hobbies, etc. I'm starting to like that. It's forcing me to discover my strengths within and develop myself more as a person.
I'm so excited to see what tomorrow will bring! In the famous words of Mr. Rincon, "Make it a great day, or not. The choice is yours."