I am happy to report that I attended an Afro-Belly Boogie class tonight, and it was fantastic. I hadn’t been to one in a really long time, but I think tonight’s class was even better than the last one I took.
It’s been hot here – in the 100s, and I know myself well enough to know that in order to make sure I stayed committed and attended the class, I had to take my accountability up a notch. Which is why I invited one of my teaching colleagues, FiddlerGirl, to come with me to the class. I knew that if someone else was counting on me to be there, I couldn’t renege.
(On a side note: FiddlerGirl and I couldn’t be more different in so many ways. She’s unassuming, shy, and was raised in an ultra-religious Pentacostal household. She grew up wearing skirts that went to her ankles and shirts that covered her to the wrist, but finally broke out of that when her parents passed away. At that time she was 80+ pounds overweight, and I watched her transform herself in body and spirit. She joined Jenny Craig and then WW, lost 80 lbs, started becoming really active and fit, and stopped wearing the long skirts and dowdy clothes. She’s even a WW leader now. Her metamorphosis was nothing short of phenomenal. At 43 she’d given up the thought of ever getting married, but she went online one day, and met a man who became her husband. Oh, and the name FiddlerGirl is because she’s a classically trained violinist who plays concerts in our area. So even though I’m bold, outspoken, and the opposite of conservative, she and I are becoming friends. She’s such a sweet, kind, encouraging person and she inspires me. She told me last night that she wishes she could be more like me in speaking her mind about things. So I think that even though we’re opposites, we’re going to help teach each other something. I’m really encouraged that I’ve made a new friend and workout buddy).
In class tonight I had two different women come up and start talking to me, which made me feel happy that I’m approachable. And glad that I’m extroverted and like meeting new people. One woman is a teacher, too, and said that she just joined the gym and plans on going a lot this summer (another workout buddy!). The other woman was joyful in the way that she moved, and I got such a positive vibe from her. I think she’s had weight loss surgery because she was slender, but had some loose skin. It seemed like she recognized herself in me, and she kept smiling encouragingly at me throughout the class. Talking to both of them at clued me in to the fact that I need to keep getting out and about among people because I’m bound to meet new friends that way.
I told you all about this class in an earlier post, but I can’t reiterate strongly enough how much fun it is. I love that it combines African beats, Belly Dancing rhythms, and then modern dance moves. The class is high energy and empowering, and I left feeling sweaty and exhausted – in a good way. There were women of all shapes and sizes in the class, and while I long for the day that I’m not the biggest girl in the room, I’m proud of myself for how well I kept up with the moves. In fact, after the class, FiddlerGirl told me that she wished she could move like me.
FiddlerGirl has a hip injury that is so severe that she’s going to eventually need to get hip replacement surgery (she’s only 47). Certain movements, especially jerking ones, send shooting pain down her leg from her hip past her knee. It was so eye-opening for me to realize that even though FiddlerGirl is slim, fit, and wears single-digit sizes, she’s got limitations and she’s envious of the way that I can move my body without pain. Which goes to show just how much I have to be grateful for. My body may have been the biggest one in that room, but I was able to move and shimmy and shake with the best of them. All the more reason to reach my true fitness potential once I lose this weight.
Tonight I had a great workout, but it was so much more than that. I deepened a collegial relationship that’s becoming a real friendship, I made two new acquaintances, I moved my body painlessly, I kept my commitment to myself about exercise, and I was proud of myself. Not bad for 60 minutes, right?