Courage is a theme in my life right now. When I took a tour of Lifetime Fitness in Richfield yesterday, I took this print as a sign that I was making a good decision to sign up for a gym membership. It was just the confirmation I was looking for.
After my tour, Laura and I headed to the group fitness room to wait for Zumba to start. I have to admit, I was pretty excited. Excited, and a little nervous.
My dance experience is quite limited. I took a year of ballet and tap in kindergarten, and...that's it. I dance like I sing; strong and proud. I don't do either very well, but I love to do both!
You'll find me on the back row of any Zumba class, a couple of steps behind everyone else, smiling big, and dancing my heart out. I'm a bit of a klutz who loves to dance.
The instructor was talking to me; I knew it, when she stopped her arm movements while she continued her salsa steps, and yelled, "Don't worry about the arm movements. Get the steps down first, THEN add the arms." I was TRYING.
After 60 minutes of Zumba, there was a bonus session called Ab Rippers for us. Let's just say, I wasn't quite as enthusiastic about THAT class. Mostly I was amazed. Our instructor lay down on her mat facing us, leaned on her elbow, put her upper arm into the air, and then told us to lift our legs.
"Is she SERIOUS?" I asked Laura. I'm not sure my voluptuous hip is a good fulcrum point for that kind of maneuver. Every time I made an attempt, I simply rolled forward. Oh, not to worry; everyone around me had advice on how to modify the move for me. Unfortunately, they all had different tips. I just decided to lean on my elbow, and watch everyone else, while I had a good laugh at myself.
When Laura dropped me off at the house, I noticed my phone was ringing. It was my friend Kimberly, the sixth grade teacher who has my old fifth graders.
"If you had half a brain, you'd come up to the school right now, and come dance with us."
"NO!" I protested! "I just got home from the gym! I haven't had a shower. My hair and makeup aren't done."
And then I remembered a little gem I had seen on Pinterest just that morning...Oh, I do love Tina Fey. Her quote said,
"If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is:
"I'll be there in just a moment!" I heard myself say. Oh, my goodness, those kids had never seen me looking like this. I threw on a long-sleeved shirt, and put Marley in the car. I wanted to get my Boston terrier out of the house, and I would take him for a little walk when I was done. I would do anything to see my kids, even if it meant they had to see me looking a little worse for the wear.
I will be the first to admit that I'm a klutz. Keep in mind, my legs had done more exercise that morning than they had in months, and were feeling kind of shaky. As I ran through the double doors, I noticed the sign that said, "ALL VISITORS MUST REPORT TO THE OFFICE." I'm a former district employee; I'm technically not a VISITOR. So I just popped my head in the principal's office, threw him a quick wave, and said, "I'll be right back!" We'd taught fifth grade together over a dozen years. I knew he wouldn't complain.
As I ran up the hallway that rises in elevation toward Kimberly's room, my weakened legs gave up. I stumbled. I took several lock-kneed steps, fell forward, and caught myself as my cell phone fell out of my hands. Lovely. So glad they've installed security cameras in every hall, and that I was the only movement on any of the twelve screens in the office while everyone else was in class. The klutz strikes again.
Thank heavens the room was darkened when I arrived. The kids rushed the door, and embraced me in a group hug. Love those kids. They were just getting ready to start a session of Just Dance. Thursdays are dress-up days at the middle school. They all looked so impressive in their nice clothes. I noticed some of the girls had started wearing makeup. And there I was in my yoga capris, looking a little bedraggled. They didn't care, and I realized it was okay. We were all there to have a little fun.
We danced to One Direction's song, "What Makes You Beautiful." How ironic; I know. That is the song they sing for me every time I come, and I began to forget how straight my hair was, and I found myself laughing as I tried to follow the dance routine they've practiced all year.
Marley and I went for a little walk near the middle school, and then we headed home. My crowning moment of klutziness came when we got home. I was carrying Marley to avoid his tracking mud in the house, and my arms were full of water bottle, cell phone, and dog. When I tried to open the gate, I dropped everything, except Marley.
My previously shattered iPhone screen now had bigger problems. Its black and blue screen is indicating that it will no longer function as my favorite phone. Dang. I hate it when that happens.
Another day in the life of Ms. J. Let's see if this one goes any better. I'm off for day two of Zumba. I can barely move, and I've rediscovered some muscles that apparently haven't moved much in these last few years. Wish me luck!