Zumba and the Need to Be Good
Being a perfectionist is a difficult thing.
I am not a competitive person at all, so if I'm bad at something others are good at I skip the "practice makes perfect" phase and instead jump right into being discouraged. I understand that you can't be good at everything (or really anything, if you're me) but if I know I'm going to lose I have a hard time enjoying myself enough to continue. This is a terrible habit that has likely robbed me of a lot of opportunity.
Then, Zumba happened. I arrived late for a different exercise class at my gym, which was completely full. Next door to that was Zumba, and I have no idea what possessed me to walk in, but I did, and I had fun.
Not the working out kind of fun where you're sort of happy and you're sort of miserable. I actually enjoyed myself and didn't care that I had no clue what was going on. I went into it with no expectations, and thus my expectations were exceeded. I am certain that had I planned to go to this class, I would have spent the day thinking about what to expect and probably would have talked myself out of it.
Going in without expectations was beautiful. I definitely didn't look any more put together than I would have otherwise (probably even less so!) but I didn't care. I honestly can't remember the last time I legitimately did not care how I looked. Even when I leave the house in my lounge clothes, I have to tell myself I don't care as opposed to not actually caring.
The whole experience was a huge affirmation that things should be fun and life shouldn't be a plan-fest. Of course, these are truths that I've been over-saturated with my entire life. Every inspirational Pinterest post conveys some kind of message like "Worry Less, Laugh More" or "The only person to impress is you", and I honestly wish I could read things like things and get inspired. However, regardless of what inspirational jargon I read about confidence, I tend to feel more like a potato with arms than anything that resembles a confident and functioning human girl. Maybe this is anxiety, or just generally irrational thought process, but it isn't conducive to enjoying myself. The flipside of this is that when you find something you actually enjoy without worry, it is a liberating thing.
I honestly don't know what possessed me to walk into that class, but I do know that spontaneous, Latin-inspired dance cardio can be a really good thing. I might never Zumba again, but I hope to find other things that inspire this same kind of absent of worry fun that seems to be so rare for me.