Checking the Dignity at the Door

When I think of instances in which loss of dignity results in something great, the first thing that springs (hurls, throws, runs-full-speed) to mind instantly is, of course, childbirth. Been there twice, both times the dignity went out the window as soon as that little pregnancy test showed positive. The seemingly endless doctor’s visits, the poking, the proding, the tests and then the big event itself…the birth. Amazing how you don’t even think to care about your dignity when you are in the throws of bringing a child into the world. There are some days when I am hesitant to go to the grocery store without mascara on, but childbirth, eh…I’ll just let it all hang out. New baby SO trumps gallon of milk.

Another recent event (on a smaller, less important scale) where this happened was…..please hold your snickers….please….Zumba class.

I attended a Zumba class with my youngest daughter this week. You know, fitness…having fun with it…she loves to dance…another friend was going…it was even a FREE program at our library. All the reasons were present in big bold letters. So, what the heck, why not?

You know, I do yoga. And I walk. And hike. Those are my things. Dancing is not one of them and we’ve been through this. Remember my retelling of my bellydance lessons? Oh, what I wouldn’t give to dance and do it beautifully and in a…er….a-hem….coordinated fashion. My husband and I took ballroom dance lessons before we were married. We did them at a local gym once a week for a series of weeks. It was a great time, actually, despite the fact that I giggled through the whole thing. My husband was good at it, but my overstepping toes and completely uncontrollable giggles were a slight hinderance to the learning process. Enjoyment: a 10! End knowledge of dance: 3.

And these are the reasons why I have never done any fitness classes involving dance. Coordination is not my strong suit when it’s paired with lycra, pulsing music and someone shouting directions at me. I can actually feel my brain lock up and I quickly turn into a stumbling fool who has seemingly become mentally impaired upon entering that loud, sweaty room. Right hand, left foot? WHAT? Move to the side and do that at that same time? Are you kidding me? I. Can’t. Do. Both. At. The. Same. Time. No way, sister. Not happening. I quickly become “that person” in the middle of the class. Instead of choosing to look at it negatively, though, I have chosen to look upon that scenario (which I don’t partake in) as me providing much needed comic relief to all the other participants.

Give me yoga. I will Downdog you into the ground and Warrior with the best of them.

Now you are wondering why, then, I actually chose to go to this Zumba class with my daughter. My idea, not even hers. Crazy, I know. Believe me, as we were driving over to the library, it did hit me…”What am I thinking?? Zuuuumba?”. Oh God.

But then I thought….WHY NOT?

It’s up there with the rattlesnake meatballs…Mom tries it, Kids try it. We all encourage each other to try new things. Maybe some of us end up liking it. At the very least, we possibly have a few laughs and memorable experiences along the way.

So Zumba we did. And the bizarre part (which I am totally contributing to the full moon this week) was that, holy cow, I didn’t stink. Got lost a couple of times, but the booty was shaking in unison with the others for the majority of the time. Who knew? Granted, for the entire 45-minute class, I did remain slightly in fear of having someone, anyone that I know walk by that common room in the library. Or watch, this was going to the be the day that the local newspaper comes to do a piece on “local events around town for kids”. I could just see it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t glance at the door several times during the class or even just do a check to see who was there (save my daughter’s friend and her grandma. A VERY cool grandma, I might add). Neither actually happened, much to my great relief, so I was free to enjoy the class with somewhat wild abandon.

There’s that moment when you are doing something like this when the “What the Heck?” factor totally kicks in. It’s actually a great feeling because it then allows you to become totally enveloped in the situation at hand. You can be free and loose as a goose.

Net-Net of the Zumba…My daughter had a great time and we did something new and unexpected together. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, baby. And hey, if the ol’ dignity takes a brief hiatus, is that really so bad sometimes?

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